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: Sean Rodriguez. Rodzilla was 3-3 on Sunday to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. In that span, he is 21-49 (.429) with 5 doubles and 3 home runs. We think the Rays are running out of excuses to *not* have a Brignac-Rodriguez starting middle infield…Carlos Pena. Unfortunately, Pena did not homer on Sunday. But that marked the first time he failed to homer in a game since last Saturday a streak of 6 straight games with a home run. During that span, Pena was 10-27 with 7 home runs and 10 RBI.
THE BAD: Nobody To GTMI. Of Carlos Pena’s 7 home runs in 6 games, the grand slam against the Blue Jays was the only one that wasn’t a solo shot…Bad Inning James. On Friday, James Shields walked 3 batters in the Marlins 5-run 3rd inning. How rare was that? Only 6 times in his career has Shields walked more than 3 in an entire game. And only 1 time has he walked more than 4…Bobblehead Bartlett. Sunday was Jason Bartlett Bobblehead day. Unfortunately the Rays didn’t trade those bobbleheads and substitute a Reid Brignac Bobblehead...Kevin Kennedy Hurts My Brain. On one particular play Saturday night, a play Dewayne Staats and Kevin Kennedy spent way too much time praising, a ball hit high off the wall and past BJ Upton. Kennedy noted that Upton “would have caught that if it wasn’t so high up.” Yeah, and I could do a 360° dunk if the rim wasn’t so high.
THE TELLING: Jason Bartlett will play rehab games for Durham today and tomorrow. He will likely be activated on Wednesday. At that point the Rays will likely place Dioner Navarro on the DL with a sore left roster spot. Navi hasn’t played since Wednesday. After his DL stint, Navi will almost certainly need an extended “rehab” stint at Durham…Sunday was Jeff Niemann’s first loss at home in over a year…Evan Longoria has reached base in 31 straight games, the longest current streak in baseball…On Saturday, Jeremy Hall of Montgomery extended his scoreless innings streak to 35 before giving up 2 runs in the 6th inning…Pat Burrell hit his first home run for the Giants on Friday. He is 9-24 since switching back to the NL.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are tied with the Yankees at 40-23 and are 4 games ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card. After 63 games in 2008, the Rays were 37-26.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Jeff Niemann talks about yesterday’s performance. [The Heater]
- Roger Mooney reports that Rocco Baldelli threw longtoss prior to Sunday’s game…It has been his ability to throw that has limited his efforts to return to the big leagues. [Tampa Tribune]
- Rays first-round draft pick Justin O’Connor will say thank you to his hometown tonight by signing autographs for free for area little leaguers. [Star-Press]
- Stacy Long writes about how Matt Sweeney has shortened his swing and become more selective at the plate. Sweeney was one of the pieces of last summer’s Scott Kazmir trade. [Montgomery Advertiser]
- Former Rays reliever Joe Nelson is pondering retirement after being designated for assignment by the Red Sox. [MLB]
- A look at how David Price uses his fastball. [DRaysBay]
- Prospect Henry Wrigley won the FSL home run derby. [Twitter]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Carlos Hernandez gave up 5 runs in 5 innings…Desmond Jennings was 2-4 with a triple, 3 runs scored and 3 RBI. He is now 14-26 in his last 6 games and has raised his average to .279…Matt Joyce was 5-5 with 3 doubles and 2 RBI and raised his average to .313.
- MONTGOMERY: Jake McGee struck out 5 and walked 1 in 6 innings. He gave up 1 run on 5 hits for his second win…Matt Sweeney hit a 2-run home run for Montgomery, his first home run since being promoted.
- CHARLOTTE: (no game scheduled)
- BOWLING GREEN: Kirby Yates’ first start of the year was an impressive effort. He struck out 8, walked 3 and allowed just 1 hit in 4 innings…