The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

click above image for boxscore

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]
http://www.tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/tampa-bay-rays-still-finalizing-roster-as-spring-training-winds-down/1083779

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8 Comments

  1. Mike says:

    Is it weird that I got chills reading this? I’m so excited man.. This is our year!!

  2. Beth says:

    Good thing the starting pitchers are in top form given the bullpen situation! Have any of the relief pitchers looked impressive this spring?

  3. Charles says:

    Here’s the main reason Nevin Ashley needs to make this team: his wife’s name is Ashley. And yes, she actually goes by ASHLEY ASHLEY.

    That is too brilliant to not save a roster spot for. Plus, it looks like he can hit some, so bonus!

  4. Alex says:

    And he hustles which is more than we can say about Fata…I mean Navi.

    Am I the only one concerned about Sean Rodriguez’s defense. He looked pretty shaky out there at second last night on a lot of grounders

  5. Tone says:

    I too am concerned about his defense at 2nd if he is going to be playing there more than just a few times. I think I’d rather have Reid as the everyday 2nd baseman and Ben the right field/outfield guy. Reid has a good bat and he always impresses me with his glove. Sean looked rough last night. Still want Sean on the roster though. I wish we could dump Burrell/Kapler and keep Reid, Sean, and Hank. Pat is just plain useless to this club and no other team is going to take him until they release him. I say get it over with now and move forward(admit the 16million$ mistake).

  6. Dirtbag Fan says:

    With the emergence of Ashley, is there a chance the Rays could shop Jaso or Ashley for a legitimate reliever?

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