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: The Offense. Despite yesterday’s performance, the Rays still rank 3rd in the AL with 555 runs scored. Of course that is also 3rd in the AL East, but that’s just crummy luck.
THE BAD: The Offense. That being said, something needs to change. The Rays were struck out 17 times on Sunday and did not get their only hit until 2 outs in the 9th. This was the 4th time this season the Rays had no hits in the first 8 innings. This was also the 5th time this season the Rays failed to get more than 1 hit in a game. No other team has 2 such games. In the first 12 seasons of this franchise, the (Devil) Rays were only no-hit or 1-hit 5 times. And yet it has happened 5 times this season! But what can be done? Is firing Derek Shelton the answer? We don’t know. We have never thought hitting coaches made much of a difference anyway. But maybe this group needs a fresh voice. If Shelton is let go, it probably wouldn’t happen until after the season. What about hiring Cliff Floyd as a special assistant just to have his presence in the clubhouse on a daily basis? Many gave Floyd a lot of credit for the day-in and day-out effort by the position players. We don’t know what needs to be changed, but something needs to be done, and it needs to be done now.
THE TELLING: Jeremy Hellickson missed his scheduled start on Sunday in case he is needed to start for the Rays on Tuesday…On Saturday, James Shields tied a MLB record by allowing 6 home runs. He now leads all MLB with 28 home runs allowed this season…On Friday, Carlos Pena was placed on the DL (a week too late, but hey who needs a full bullpen?) and replaced by Dale Thayer. Thayer was then demoted on Sunday and replaced by Andy Sonnastine who is coming off the DL and made his first start of the year…Former top pick Matt Bush is back on the DL.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 67-44, 2.5 games behind the Yankees (3 in the loss column) and 4.5 games ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card (5 in the loss column). After 111 games in 2008, the Rays were 66-45.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Both Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis were sent home from Toronto to see a doctor due to “shoulder sourness.” Joe Maddon called it “a precautionary thing.” [The Heater]
- Jeremy Hellickson, who could start Tuesday for the Rays, will be limited to 3 innings and 45 pitches in any remaining minor league starts this season. [St. Pete Times]
- James Shields blamed John Jaso for at least part of his performance on Saturday. [St. Pete Times]
- In reference to our story last week about the possibility of cups being re-used at Tropicana Field, SB Nation Tampa Bay explains why this may have happened. [SB Nation Tampa Bay]
- Rays prospect Andrew Bellatti will stand trial for his involvement in a car accident that left another driver dead. [Rays Prospects]
- JB Long spoke with John Romano and Gary Shelton about The Trop’s catwalks, Joe Maddon and the wild card race (VIDEO). [Bright House Sports]
- MLB Trade Rumors looks at the teams that may go after Carl Crawford this winter. [MLB Trade Rumors]
- Prior to this season, Chad Qualls was considered part of a very elite group: Consistent relief pitchers. [Baseball Prospectus]
- The Rays are still #2 in the latest ESPN.com Power Rankings. [ESPN]
- Former Devil Ray Joey Gathright has signed with the Independent Long Island Ducks. [Twitter]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Aneury Rodriguez threw 4.1 shutout innings with 6 strikeouts and 4 walks. He allowed just 1 hit…Jake McGee (2004-5) pitched 2 innings of relief. He did not allow a baserunner and struck out 5 of the 6 batters he faced…Desmond Jennings (2006-10) was 1-3 and stole his 28th base…Leslie Anderson went 2-4 in his 2nd game at triple-A.
- MONTGOMERY: Justin Garcia (2007-25) made his first start of the season and gave up 5 runs in 7 innings…Henry Wrigley (2005-14) went 2-4 with a home run, his 7th of the year. He drove in 3.
- CHARLOTTE: (no game scheduled)
- BOWLING GREEN: Albert Suarez gave up just 1 hit in 4 shutout innings, striking out 4 and walking none…Ty Morrison (2008-4) was 0-5 with 3 strikeouts.Brett Nommensen (2009-8) stole his 25th base.
- HUDSON VALLEY: Jake Thompson (2010-2) with yet another strong start, giving up just 1 unearned run on 3 hits and no walks in 5 innings. He struck out 2 and his ERA is now 0.29 in 26.0 innings…Steven Tinoco (2010-34) hit his first home run of the season.
- PRINCETON: Andrew Bellatti (2009-12) lowered his ERA to 2.55 after holding Bluefield to 1 run in 5 innings. He struck out 6 and walked 1…Cesar Guillen was 0-1 but did walk 4 times.