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: BJ Upton. He returned from his 2-day hiatus and promptly hit a triple and it was even better seeing him pull the ball to left-center. He also walked. Sometimes a player needs an emotional spark. Let’s hope that was the case with Bossman…Joaquin Benoit. Another scoreless inning for Benoit who has now pitched 10 innings and allowed no runs and just 2 hits and 2 walks. He has struck out 15.
THE BAD: John Jaso. If Dyn-O-Mite is demoted next week, we can look at last night’s game as Exhibit A when we ask “why?” Jaso has indeed improved defensively, but that was the only direction he could have gone and he still isn’t that good. His mechanics behind the plate are too mechanical. He never looks comfortable. And last night he had 2 more passed balls. First there was the one on strike three that allowed the leadoff hitter in the 9th to reach base. Then there was the one that put the runner in scoring position. A runner that could have been doubled-up on the next batter’s groundball but was instead moved to third. A runner that would then score on a single, turning a reasonable 1-run lead with the heart of the Rays order due up, into an insurmountable 2-run lead. Jaso is a good hitter and he is an OBP machine. But catcher is a defense-first position and right now Jaso is only the Rays third best catcher…David Price. Price will learn that most important batter in any inning is the leadoff batter. Last night in the 4th he walked the leadoff batter. That was followed immediately by a 2-run home run that put the White Sox in front. In the 5th the leadoff hitter took care of things himself with a solo home run. He would also walk the leadoff hitter in the 1st who promptly stole second to get into scoring position. Outside of those 4 batters, Price allowed just 2 hits and 2 walks in 7 innings.
THE TELLING: Ben Zobrist was moved to the leadoff spot and Jason Bartlett and his .298 wOBA were dropped to 9th…Carl Crawford and Joe Maddon were (as expected) fined but not suspended for their ejections earlier this week…Kelly Shoppach will begin his rehab assignment Monday for Durham and will be reevaluated in a week.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 33-16 and lead the Yankees by 3.5 in the East and the Blue Jays by 5.5 in the Wild Card. After 49 games in 2008, the Rays were 29-20.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- We had some technical difficulties yesterday and “The Hangover” didn’t go up until last night. Here it is if you want to check out yesterday’s links. [Rays Index]
- The Rays are now Chicago Blackhawks fans, or more precisely, anti-Flyers fans and will wear Blackhawks jerseys for their upcoming roadtrip to Toronto (thanks Ro). [USA Today]
- Jeremy Hellickson shows up at #2 on Baseball America’s weekly prospect “Hot Sheet.” Tim Beckham comes in at #10. [Baseball America]
- TAUNTR is also behind the movement to get Pat Burrell elected to the 2010 All-Star game. [TAUNTR]
- Ken Rosenthal says that Pat Burrell’s deal with the San Francisco Giants would have no promise of playing time and could allow him to opt-out within 2 weeks. [Twitter]
- 7 members of the Charlotte Stone Crabs and their manager have been named to the FSL All-Star team. [St. Pete Times]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Richard de los Santos gave up 2 runs in 6.1 innings…Angel Chavez hit a 3-run home run, his 5th home run of the year…Desmond Jennings was 0-4 with 2 Ks and Fernando Perez stole his 15th base.
- MONTGOMERY: Jake McGee pitched 7 shutout innings, striking out 11 and walking 1. He allowed just 5 hits and picked up his first win in almost 2 years…Matt Sweeney went 1-4 with an RBI.
- CHARLOTTE: Matt Moore struck out 11 and walked just 1 in 6 innings, but gave up 5 runs in 6 innings and his ERA is now 6.52 and he dropped to 0-6…Tim Beckham was 0-4 with a strikeout and Matt Joyce went 1-3 with a double and 2 Ks.
- BOWLING GREEN: Alex Colome struck out 7 but walked 4 and gave up 3 unearned runs in 5 innings…Brett Nommensen had 3 hits including his 8th double…Ty Morrison stole his 17th base.