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: Three Catchers. Just spit-ballin’ here, but consider this: 1) Dioner Navarro can’t be demoted without clearing waivers and for all his faults is still solid behind the plate and knows the pitching staff as well as anybody; 2) Kelly Shoppach will begin a rehab assignment in a week and is the best bat versus lefties; 3) John Jaso is an OBP machine versus righties even if he is still a bit rough behind the plate; 4) the starting pitchers are averaging more than 6.5 innings per start. So when Shoppach returns, why not keep all three catchers on the 25-man roster and go with a 6-man bullpen for a while? Jaso and Shoppach are both good enough with the bat, that they can be used as late-inning pinch-hit options. The problem is, it only takes one short outing by a starting pitcher and the bullpen will be stretched thin very quickly for a couple of days.
THE BAD: What Goes Around. The Rays have thrived all season with runners in scoring position, until last night. The Rays were 0-12 with runners in scoring position…Devil Raysian. A man on 3rd with 1 out in the 4th? No runs. A caught stealing and another runner picked off in the 5th. Carlos Pena with a runner on in the 8th and ahead in the count 3-0, ends up striking out. Brett Myers needed 122 pitches to go 7 innings, but only 51 after the 3rd inning.
THE TELLING: BJ Upton was not in the starting lineup as Sean Rodriguez made the start in center field. Joe Maddon said Rodriguez had fresher legs and matched up better with Brett Myers.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 30-12 and lead the Yankees by 4 games. They are 6 games ahead of the Tigers and Blue Jays in the Wild Card. The Rays 25-17 after 42 games in 2008…Kelly Shoppach could be ready to start a rehab assignment in a week.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Matt Garza talks to Joe Smith about last night’s loss (video)…A little off-topic, but if Garza ever starts a band, he should name it “Gonzo and the Super Chin Pubes.” [The Heater]
- This is a fun read on just how good the Rays are. Some of the numbers are just unreal. [the(middle)54]
- We spoke with SprungOnSports about why the Rays have been so good this year. [SprungOnSports]
- Here is a video of BJ Upton with Harold Reynolds demonstrating the flip drill. Kinda cool, right up to the point at the end where Reynolds says “Tampa Rays.” [MLB.com]
- Andrew Baggarly says Pat Burrell may have offers from multiple teams, including the Giants and Padres. [Twitter]
- By waiting until May 15th to cut Pat Burrell, the Rays helped Burrell become fully vested in MLB’s pension plan. Burrell reached 10 years of service time the day before.
- Matt Moore made this week’s “Not-So Hot Sheet” by Baseball America. [Baseball America]
- Facebook Group: “I Wants A Goatee Like Matt Garza” [facebook]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: postponed
- MONTGOMERY: In game 1 Jake McGee allowed 5 runs (2 earned) in 4 innings. He struck out 4 and threw 74 pitches…Darin Downs gave up 3 runs (2 earned) in 4 innings of game 2…Matt Sweeney was 0-6 with 2 Ks in the double-header.
- CHARLOTTE: Chris Andujar gave up 7 runs (6 earned) in 5.1 innings. He struck out 2…Matt Joyce was 0-4 with 2 strikeouts…Tim Beckham was 4-5 (all singles) and stole his 5th base. He is 8-15 in the last 3 games.
- BOWLING GREEN: Wilking Rodriguez struck out 5 and walked none in 7 innings. He was charged with 1 earned run.