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: Carlos Pena. Yes he has been in a funk (a realllly bad funk) but he has always been streaky and the defense will always be there. First there was the catch to end the 7th with the tying run on second. And there was the 8th inning double to end a 1-42 skid…BJ Upton. Bossman has got to be tired after flying back to Florida for the birth of his son and then returning to LA the next day. And yet he can still make a long run and sliding grab with 1 out in the 9th of a 1-run game look so easy (if not pretty).

THE BAD: Swingin’ And Missin’. 14 strikeouts by Rays hitters. 12 from the right arm of Jared Weaver in 7 innings.

THE TELLING: In the 8th inning of a 1-run game with a runner in scoring position, Joe Maddon had Willy Aybar pinch hit for Pat Burrell against a right-handed batter. Ouch. One has to wonder why Burrell is even on the roster if he isn’t even trusted in that situation…The last time the Rays won a series in Anaheim, Wilson Alvarez was the starting pitcher and Jose Canseco and Dave Martinez hit home runs (May, 1999)…For all the heartaches of this road trip, the Rays still went 6-3. And their 1.5 game lead at the start of the trip, is still 1.5 games. Not bad for a west coast swing. Not bad at all.

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 24-10, 1.5 games ahead of the Yankees and 5 games ahead of the Blue Jays and Tigers in the Wild Card. After 34 games in 2008, the Rays were 18-16.

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • For those of you that submitted questions for The Sporting News interview with Matt Garza, we have been told that Rays Index readers “will be well represented.” You make us proud.
  • We shouldn’t be surprised but it is still a bit of a letdown to hear Joe Maddon essentially say John Jaso will be sent packing when Kelly Shoppach returns. [St. Pete Times]
  • John Romano calls for the Rays to finally rid themselves of Pat Burrell and replace him with Hank Blalock. [St. Pete Times]
  • Tim Brown takes a closer look at the Rays rotation. [Yahoo! Sports]
  • Nicole Johnson (Elliot’s wife): “Something you may not know about baseball families is that they *try* to get pregnant during spring training.” [The Life of the Baseball Wife]
  • Shane Dyer and Henry Wrigley were named the Rays minor leaguers of the month. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Andrew Friedman spoke with WRAL in Durham. Nothing earth-shattering here, but if you have 10 minutes to kill… (audio) [WRAL]
  • Yesterday was apparently Delmon Young Day.” Whatever that means. [Twins Target]
  • DRays Bay looks at why we might not have to worry about Carlos Pena. [DRays Bay]
  • John Jaso spoke to Roger Mooney about the first month and taking responsibility for Monday’s loss (video). [Tampa Tribune]
  • Brian Shouse hasn’t retired, but he is now working as a coach for a high school in Illinois. [Peoria Journal-Star]
  • You can count the nose hairs in this interview of Reid Brignac…Pan out, PAN OUT! (video) [Tampa Tribune]

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
  • DURHAM: Richard de los Santos made his 3rd start and worked into the 6th inning, allowing 2 runs. He struck out 5…Ryan Shealy and Angel Chavez homered for the Bulls…Desmond Jennings was 1-4 with 2 strikeouts and is hitting .270…Hank Blalock went 1-4.
  • MONTGOMERY: Alex Cobb allowed 2 unearned runs in 4 innings. He struck out 4 and walked 1…Nevin Ashley was 3-4 to raise his average to .294…Greg Sexton hit his 1st home run and John Matulia added his 3rd.
  • CHARLOTTE: Nick Barnese struck out 9 and walked just 1 in 5.2 innings, but dropped to 3-2 after giving up 3 runs on 7 hits…Leslie Anderson hit his first home run as a pro…Tim Beckham went 1-4 and Matt Sweeney was 0-4.
  • BOWLING GREEN: Ryan Wiegand hit his first home run.
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15 Comments

  1. Jim says:

    I think sending Jaso down is a mistake and telling him it will likely happen is probably worse. I wonder if it will mess with his approach at all. I'm sure he will be professional about it and continue to play to the best of his abilities, but I'm sure part of him was hoping if he proved himself he might stay.

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    • Kevin says:

      I didn't read Maddon's comments as anything definitive other then Shop will be in the bigs. Other then that he said Navi's playing well and so is Jaso...good problem to have. Yes, based on the Rays approach Jaso is likely to go down but at the same time 3 weeks is a long way away and for all we know pitchers could find a whole in Jaso's swing and he could go 0 - for the next 2 weeks.

      The more current issue is Blalock. Can he be traded or is it just a release situation? If you can get something you actually value for either of them I'd trade that guy.

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  2. Alex says:

    Really Maddon? Navi's playing well? What part of his game impresses you most? The .180 batting average? The terrible throwing and blocking (minus one game). I couldn't imagine making such a tough decision between a guy who has no upside in Navarro and a guy that worked his a** off in spring training to get better.

    Has Navarro ever worked that hard to improve himself? It sure as hell doesn't look like it to me. All I see in Navarro is a fat catcher who never comes to camp in shape, has had 2.5 terrible years vs one decent year which still wasn't even that good and never shows any improvement in defense. They criticize Jaso's defense and yet every year we watch Navarro miss balls in the dirt that an average catcher would block. Where's his criticism from Maddon. It'll never be there because Navi is Maddon's little boy. Just like Burrell was last year, Greg Norton, Shawn Camp, Thomas Perez. No matter how crappy the performance they gave, Maddon was always there to pat them on the back and throw them back out their.

    I'm sick of watching this crap from him every year. End rant.

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    • Thad says:

      24-10.

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      • Alex says:

        Yes we are 24-10, but as I point out every day every team has flaws. No matter their record. Navarro is one of them. Zobrist batting 3rd for so long is another....

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    • If you missed it last night, Maddon pulled Soriano for Navi in the bottom of the ninth. That speaks volumes to me that Maddon still doesn't quite trust Jaso yet in the real pressure situations. I expect that Jaso will probably go down after Shop gets better and then be called up late as a 3rd catcher.

      If you read Maddon's comments, it tells the story. It's not so much about the quality of catcher as it is about the quanity of catchers. The Rays like having 3 quality major-league catchers on the 40 man. There's no way they get rid of one of them just so the other can stay up. The guy with the options will be the odd man out.

      I wouldn't get into too much of a tizzy over it. It's just the facts of life. Sometimes the better man has to wait his turn.

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  3. Amanda says:

    You're missing a point, here. Sometimes they have to tell white lies about how they feel about players. If Maddon or the front office start saying, "We think Navi is crap and we can't wait to get Shoppach up here to be the Kelly and Jaso show," or, "We're desparate to shop Navi or Kelly so Jaso can finally be the star catcher," they've totally blown any chance to get value out of either two of them. Jaso could be going down so that Navi or Kelly can be showcased for a trade.

    Although I do think Maddon is overly loyal many times, don't look for him to be publicly trashing any players who may be on the block.

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    • Alex says:

      Obviously they won't trash a player publicly but do you honestly believe for one second that they won't send Jaso down?

      What exactly do we have to lose by DFA Navarro. I mean honestly think about it. If some other team is foolish enough to pick him up then they pay his salary (~$2 million). If he clears waivers he'll go to AAA.

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  4. Don says:

    Maddon has a new book out:
    "HOW TO WIN AT BASEBALL INSPITE OF WHO THE MANAGER IS"
    Reminds me of a guy in a card game who doesn't know much about the game, but he keeps winning against more experienced players!
    Do you know what happens in the long run...he loses all his money!
    Anyway, Girade recieved a copy of the book... and Jeter and A Rod have the day off tomorrow.....Girade wants to... "get them off their feet"

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  5. Amanda says:

    Cork, check it out:

    http://www.lostlettermen.com/2010/05/top-10-mlbs-top-10-football-players/

    They've got a picture of CC playing football in high school.

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  6. Indiana Rays Boy says:

    Down on the farm: Montgomery defeated Huntsville 5-3 yesterday. Montgomery Biscuits closer Matt Gorgen recorded his seventh save of the season. After a leadoff single, strikeout, double and walked a batter to load the bases, he rebounded with back to back strikeouts to end the game. Gorgen's numbers in AA, 1-1 with a 2.16 ERA, 7 saves, 16.2 IP, 16 K's, 9 BB's and .219 opponents BA (hasn't give up a run since his second appearance in early April). Rays should consider this guy as the closer of the future along with Jake McGee.

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    • Alex says:

      He would have to up his strike outs and majorly cut down on his walk rate. That's horrendous

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      • Indiana Rays Boy says:

        That is true, remember he is only 23 years old and he will get better as the season goes along especially with his potential. He is one of the few current minor leaguer pitchers that were closers in college. Despite of his arm problems, Jake McGee was tagged to be the Rays closer of future by the front office and coaching staff. This season, Jake has not light the world on fire down in AA either. During spring training you heard his name more than you hear guys like Matt Gorgen. Jake McGee numbers in AA, 0-2 with a 4.00 ERA in 5 starts, 18 IP, 17 K's, 9 BB's and .246 opponents BA. It is no knocking on McGee, at this point, I would take Gorgen over McGee. Then again, they both have potential to become major league pitchers.

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