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: The Duke. After a first start the was too reminiscent of 2009, Andy Sonnanstine was impressive yesterday with 4 shutout innings allowing just 1 hit and 1 walk, striking out 3…Reid Brignac. Brignac had 2 more hits and 3 more RBI and now leads the majors with 13 RBI and is 10-20 to start the spring…Pat Burrell. Must have been a nice day in Bradenton. Bikinis in the crowd is the only explanation for his sudden power surge (he hit a home run).
THE BAD: Wade Davis. Big Dub settled down in the second, but not after allowing 5 straight baserunners with 2 outs in the first inning. All 5 would score…Minor Bullpen. Against the Pirates, 4 relievers that won’t be on the opening day roster combined to allow 8 runs in 7 innings on 12 hits and 5 walks…Carlos Pena. Another 0-fer. This one was 0-3 and he is now 0-12 this spring.
THE TELLING: Sean Rodriguez started at SS against the Pirates, with Reid Brignac at 2B…The Rays improved to 9-1 with their split-squad wins yesterday. Only the Indians (5-0) have fewer losses.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Marc Topkin has a report that says Leslie Anderson’s contract is a major league deal, placing him on the 40-man roster. [The Heater]
- The Rays made their first roster moves of the spring sending Tim Beckham, Jake McGee and Nevin Ashley back to minor league camp.
- Matt Joyce was scratched from yesterday’s start because of an elbow strain. He is only expected to be out a couple of days. Same for Dioner Navarro who came out of yesterday’s game after being struck by a pickoff throw. [The Heater]
- Rafael Soriano threw batting practice for the first time. [Tampa Tribune]
- There has been a lot discussion recently about “Floating Realignment” which is surprising because: A) There is zero indication that MLB is seriously considering this plan and B) There are a dozen major problems that have already been brought up in a thousand different stories. In short, there is zero chance this will ever even see the light of day. But if you are interested in reading one take, here is Rob Neyer’s. [ESPN]
- Roger Mooney has 5 questions for JP Howell. [Tampa Tribune]
- Joe Maddon does not consider it hypocritical to call for a ban on maple bats while his own players are using them…To clarify, we just think JoeMa’s words would carry more weight if he publicly called on his own players to set an example. But Maddon has always been a player’s manager, so he won’t do that. [St. Pete Times]
- A math professor at NJIT predicts the Rays will win 93 games and finish second in the AL East and first in the Wild Card. [Fox Sports]
- Steve Slowinski presents a simple way to evaluate defensive value. If you are not interested in the details, just take a look at where both Dioner Navarro and Kelly Shoppach fall on the list. If you are short on time, you might want to start at the bottom of the list. [Drays Bay]
- Dennis Maffezzoli spoke with BJ Upton and Joe Maddon about Upton’s disappointing 2009 season (“last season humbled me”) and his ability moving forward. [Lakeland Ledger]
- Big League Stew discusses something we have been harping for a while. Is Evan Longoria the most valuable asset in baseball? [Big League Stew]