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: Matt Garza. Like James Shields the day before, Garza stretched his arm out working 7 strong innings, allowing just 4 hits and striking out 7. He walked 1. He now has 21 strikeouts and just 4 walks this spring…Ben Zobrist. Zorilla looked comfortable in the 3-hole, hitting a single, triple and a home run…Carlos Pena. Pena, who had 3 hits all spring before the weekend, had 3 hits this weekend, including a home run on Sunday. He also walked twice yesterday.
THE BAD: The Truffle Shuffle. Yes, it is spring, and yes scoring the run was not important. But a safety squeeze with Pat Burrell on third base? Burrell was thrown out at home on Gabe Kapler’s squeeze attempt.
THE TELLING: It appears that Joe Maddon is leaning towards having BJ Upton hit 6th and dropping Pat Burrell to the 7th spot…Hank Blalock started at third base…With 6 games remaining, the Rays now have 17 wins. That is 1 short of the franchise record set in 2008.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Marc Topkin says there is a possibility that opening day will not sell out. This would be the first time since 2005. Anybody still think we were overreacting last week?…In the same piece Topkin writes about new ways in which the Rays are taking advantage of video technology. [St. Pete Times]
- Dioner Navarro and Willy Aybar played in a minor league game yesterday and both are expected to be ready for opening day. [St. Pete Times]
- Michael Sasso notes that Bud Selig’s history suggests that at some point he will become more active and more aggressive in the quest for a new stadium for the Rays. [Tampa Tribune]
- Jeremy Hellickson will pitch in a minor league game today which leaves him on pace to pitch the Durham Bulls opener and the exhibition game in Durham between the Bulls and the Rays on Saturday. [Biscuit Crumbs]
- Mitch Talbot, who was sent to the Indians for Kelly Shoppach will be on the Indians opening day roster and has won a spot in the rotation. [Cleveland.com]
- Jordi Scrubbings interviewed The Cowbell Kid. [JordiScrubbings.com]
- Randy Choate and Joe Maddon speak about Choate’s transformation from lefty-specialist to a reliever that can be used at any time. [Tampa Tribune]
- Marc Topkin writes about how Lance Cormier will be called upon in more high-leverage situations with JP Howell on the shelf. [St. Pete Times]
- Wade Townsend was released by the Blue Jays. [Rays Prospects]
- Jason Cromer and Alex Cobb will both miss the start of the season. [Biscuit Crumbs]