THE GOOD: BJ Upton. Bossman went 3-3 with 2 opposite-field hits. So far we like what we see. But we also liked the opposite-field power he displayed last spring. So for the time being we are tempering our excitement…Jeff Niemann. 4 shutout innings with 4 hits, 2 Ks and a walk. Very Giraffe-like…Ben Zobrist. Zorilla was back in the lineup, and started at 2B…Robinson Chirinos. Nos Def expanded his repertoire by playing a couple of innings at first base.
THE BAD: John Jaso. Jaso didn’t even enter the game until the 6th inning, but still managed to give up 8 stolen bases. This is the downside that we have to live with when it comes to Jaso. He is just never going to be a very good defensive catcher. He works hard. He never takes a play off. But he also far too mechanical for the position.
THE TELLING: Carl Crawford is expected to play against the Rays today…With Ben Zobrist back in the lineup, he made his first start at 2B with Matt Joyce in right field. Does this mean that Sean Rodriguez is going to be limited to starts versus left-handed starters…Felipe Lopez earned some big-time brownie points with Joe Maddon by starting at 1B, a position that he has only started once before in his career…The Rays also played a split-squad game versus the Netherlands in St. Pete. The game was not an official Grapefruit League game and the Rays sent the “Danny Devito” roster. Port Charlotte got the “Arnold” roster. Well, “Arnold” minus the steroids.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- The Rays were the latest team to face Justine Siegal in batting practice. Siegal is making the rounds trying to promote more participation by women in baseball. [The Heater]
- Troy Percival may finally be paying off for the Rays. [Fangraphs]
- Johnny Damon’s career may be on the line this season. [TampaBay.com]
- Pirates fans taking shots at the Rays fanbase? [Rays Colored Glasses]