The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
THE GOOD: Starting Pitching. Want a sign that the starting pitchers are already in mid-season form? The 5 members of the rotation have combined for 78 strikeouts and 24 walks in 97.1 innings. That is a very good 3.25-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio…Jeff Niemann. The Giraffe tossed 6 shutout innings, striking out 6 and walking just 1. He now has 24 strikeouts and just 3 walks in 25.1 innings this spring…Nevin Ashley. Ashley continues to impress with 3 more hits including a home run…Evan Longoria hit his 4th home run of the past week. This one off of Josh Beckett.
THE BAD: Bullpen Candidates. Two relievers in the running for the final spot, Dale Thayer and Mike Ekstrom, combined to allow 3 runs in 3 innings on 6 hits and 2 walks.
THE TELLING: David Price will make his scheduled start today in a minor league game to avoid facing the Red Sox. Kelly Shoppach will be his catcher suggesting the two will team up during the regular season…The Rays are now 18-7-1 in the spring, matching their franchise record for wins in the Grapefruit League. They have 4 games remaining.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Desmond Jennings on when he will be able to return to action: “Soon, real soon.” [Biscuit Crumbs]
- No surprise here, Matt Joyce will likely not be on the opening day roster. [St. Pete Times]
- Marc Topkin looks at how the final roster spots could shake out. [St. Pete Times]
- Stacy Long spoke with Desmond Jennings about the upcoming season. [Montgomery Advertiser]
- This is behind the Insider wall, but Buster Olney presents a well-thought out realignment plan that would eliminate divisions and have the top 6 teams in each league qualify for the playoffs. The top two seeds would recieve byes in the first round and the third and fourth seeds would host each game in a 3-game first round series against the fifth and sixth seeds. [ESPN]
- Lisa Winston writes about 10 Rays prospects to keep an eye this year. [MLB]
- Don Zimmer has seen a lot of baseball in his years and he spoke with the Ft. Myers News-Press about how today’s players compare to players in past eras. [Ft. Myers News-Press]
- Roger Mooney has 5 questions for Elliot Johnson. [Tampa Tribune]
- The Tampa Bay Rays are teaming up with “American Idol” and their “Idol Give Back” charity. Donation stations will be set up at Tropicana Field. [My Fox Tampa Bay]