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 was 0-3, but he drew 2 more walks. And in 3 games as a leadoff hitter, Bossman has been on base 6 times. Even when Bartlett returns, we have a feeling Upton will remain the leadoff hitter versus lefties…Kelly Shoppach. One reason Shoppach was brought back early was undoubtedly due to the lefty on the mound for the Rangers on Friday. He had a single and 2 walks. The prospect of having a Shoppach-Jaso catching platoon makes us giddy as a schoolgirl.
THE BAD: Wade Davis. If your team stakes you to a 4-0 lead, you can’t lose that game. And Big Dub didn’t just lose, he imploded giving up 8 runs in 3.1 innings, including 6 in the 7-run 4th.
THE TELLING: Today was supposed to be Brian Anderson’s game in the booth, but Kevin Kennedy is suddenly available since the game is on national TV…Hank Blalock pinch-hit and played right field. It was his first appearance as an outfielder, ever.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 36-19, 2 games ahead of the Yankees in the East and 4.5 games ahead of the Red Sox and Blue Jays in the Wild Card. After 55 games in 2008, the Rays were 33-22.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- The Rays signed another Cuban defector. This time it was first baseman Jorge Julio Ruiz. Even more amazing is that the Rays are only committed to pay Ruiz $20K a month until November. At that point, the Rays have an option for 4-years and $1 million per season. [MLB Trade Rumors]
- Rays Prospects wonder if Jose Julio Ruiz could replace Carlos Pena and note that his contract was substantially less than many expected for Ruiz. [Rays Prospects]
- Here are two videos of Jose Julio Ruiz. His hands are held higher, but his swing reminds me a little of Eddie Murray. [Cuban Ball Players]
- Jake McGee is still on a strict 6 inning (or 90 pitch) limit but that doesn’t keep him from the top spot in this weeks “Prospect Hot Sheet.” Also on the list is Jeremy Hellickson (11). Bowling Green center fielder Ty Morrison gets “in the team photo status.” [Baseball America]
- MLB Bonus Baby has the 8th version of their first-round mock draft. They have the Rays taking Josh Sale, a high school outfielder and Asher Wojciechowski, a college pitcher. [MLB Bonus Baby]
- Minor League Ball posted their final mock draft for the upcoming Rule 4 Draft. They have the Rays taking high school RHP Stetson Allie with the 17th pick and Taijuan Walker, another high school RHP, with the 31st pick. [Minor League Ball]
- Rocco Baldelli is still having trouble throwing a baseball, but says his shoulder is “definitely improving,” and he still wants to play. [Herald-Tribune]
- Aki Iwamura has been benched by the Pirates. [ESPN]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]