THE GOOD: Dan Johnson. We are about to find out what The Great Pumpkin is capable of when given regular playing time. And we are getting a glimpse this spring. Johnson hit his 4th home run last night, and 2nd in 2 days…Reid Brignac. If Briggy Baseball does anything offensively this season it will be a bonus. So it is exciting to see how hot he is right now. Last night he had 2 more hits and is now 15-36 (.417) this spring…David Price. King David was dealing last night. So good, that Joe Maddon let him toss 103 pitches when he was originally slated for 90. He struck out 7, walked 2 and gave up just 1 run in 6.1 innings.
THE BAD: John Jaso. Jaso worked out yesterday, but is still sore and is expected to be out a few more days. With only 9 days until opening day, there isn’t much time left to get Jaso’s bat going. So far this spring he is only 5-27 (.185) although two of those are home runs.
THE TELLING: Ben Zobrist led off, something that will happen a lot during the season. But more interesting was seeing Matt Joyce in the 2-hole. Johnny Damon will probably need a game off every week. Will we see Joyce batting second on those days?…David Price threw his curveball for the first time, but really wants to get his slider back to where it can be, noting that it “wasn’t very good“…
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Three more relievers were cut and reassigned to minor league camp: Chris Bootcheck, Mike Ekstrom and RJ Swindle. None of the cuts are surprising, but Ekstrom and Swindle are a bit disappointing since they might have been favorites for two of the open bullpen slots when camp began.
- Gov. Rick Scott will throw out the first pitch at the Rays season opener versus the Orioles. No word yet on whether Gov. Scott will wear an Orioles jacket or a Yankees jacket.
- Marc Topkin reports that several teams are showing interest in Cesar Cabral, the Rule 5 pick that was claimed by the Blue Jays last week and then returned after the Red Sox objected. [TampaBay.com]
- Rays Prospects has begun their 2011 Predictions series. We participated in the Q&A. Here is who we think will break out in 2011. [Rays Prospects]
- Joe Maddon says Sean Rodriguez must “grow as a hitter against right-handed pitchers” before he can be an everyday player. [TampaBay.com]
- Carl Crawford recalls David Price’s performance in Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS. [WEEI]
- JP Howell says his maturity has taught him to not rush his return to the mound. [TBO.com]