The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

click above image for boxscore

THE GOOD: Reid Brignac. On the same day his family served up a cajun feast for the players and staff, Briggy Baseball went 2-3. He is now 13-30 this spring. His .433 average is the best among players with at least 20 at bats…Filling Out The ‘Pen. Two of the leading candidates for the final spots in the bullpen, Rob Delaney and Cory Wade have combined for 19 Ks and just 2 walks in 20.1 innings this spring.

THE BAD: Adam Russell. The reliever acquired from the Padres continues to struggle this spring. This time he gave up 3 runs on 4 hits, retiring just one batter. This was Russell’s 8th appearance. He has allowed at least 2 hits in all but one…Mike Ekstrom. It could be argued that Ekstrom has had the worst spring of any player on the Rays. He entered March with a good chance of being on the opening day roster. And now we are not even sure he is a candidate. The latest implosion was giving up 2 runs in the 9th inning, blowing a 1-run lead. He has now given up a run in 5 of his 7 appearances.

THE TELLING: Other than Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez swapping DH and LF, yesterday’s lineup could be the one used on opening day with Ben Zobrist at 2B, Dan Johnson at 1B and Matt Joyce in RF…John Jaso won’t be back behind the plate until at least Thursday after taking a foul tip to the family jewels…Reminder: Todd Kalas will host a 30-minute season preview tonight on Fox Sports Florida at 6:30.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Joe Maddon had a fan in an Orioles jersey ejected from Port Charlotte stadium after the fan yelled a racial comment at BJ Upton…We spoke with somebody at the game that was told what the fan said. There was no grey area. It was definitely bad. [Marc Topkin]
  • In addition to letting his hair grow long, Joe Maddon has dumped his iconic glasses. [TampaBay.com]
  • The scary history of designated hitters that have played for the Rays. All 102 of them. [The Heater]
  • Joe Maddon on Adam Russell: “We’ve got to get him straightened out…I don’t have any good answers right now.” [TampaBay.com]
  • Jim Hickey feels Jeremy Hellickson can replace Matt Garza’s production of 200 innings and 15 wins. [TampaBay.com]
  • Reid Brignac’s family served up a feast for about 100 players, coaches and staff. [The Heater]


Jim Hickey on pitcher most likely to hit a HR 

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23 Comments

  1. phil says:

    If Not Russell ...Wade or Delaney

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  2. Tone says:

    Adam Russell needs to find himself a reason to go on the DL before opening day. I am not confident in Farnsworth as the closer, hopefully they try someone else first. Ekstrom is just plain garbage, never liked him. I have not liked what Dan Johnson has looked like on defense or the plate; a trade for a solid 1st base prospect would be nice. Anyone have thoughts on pieces that could be moved? Is there a position with depth that a prospect for prospect swap could occur. Is Beckham worth enough to get a quality 1st base prospect? I have seen a little of Alonso from the Reds and he looked good; is there any match? I like the line up and the fact that both Lopez and Kotchman could chill a bit in the minors; some temporary depth. Ahhh baseball, even if it's meaningless, it feels good.

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    • phil says:

      Farnsworth could close until McGee is ready and JP howell comes back. No way Ekstrom makes this team anyway so no worries!

      Chris Davis Rangers is available...

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      • Derek says:

        Alonso would be great, and no, Beckham would't get him, nor should he be traded at this point. The only position we are in the position to trade is pitcher. Cueto is out with an injury, so maybe now would be the time to make a trade, but the Reds need someone now, so they would have to be convinced that one of Cobb, or Torres is ready.

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        • Derek says:

          replied to the wrong post.

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        • Indiana Rays Boy says:

          I would rather hold on to Cobb and Torres because James Shields won't be in a Rays uniform down the road. Chris Davis for the Rangers is available but he strikes out too much; he is a poor's man Carlos Pena. Dan Johnson is a role player and Kotchman is a below average hitter but he is excellent defensively. Pretty much first base is a lose-lose situation. The brain genius manager wants to play Zobrist at first base vs. lefties scratches my head. WOW!!! It is going to be a disaster like 2009, a lot of holes at 1B, LF and closer. As for Brignac, if he hits .260-.265 BA with 10-15 HR's with 60-65 RBI's is fine with me.

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          • Derek says:

            Chris Davis is making 16 million this year. He has hit for average too, Pena is a bad comp for him. What's wrong with Zobrist getting a start at first here and there? Cobb won't make this rotation. Torres or Archer will take over for whoever gets traded in the offseason, and Moore will take Price's job when we can't afford him. Dan Johnson doesn't need to do anything special. He just needs to go out there, walk, hit a home run here and there, and play the same first base he has his whole career. With Evan, Manny, BJ, Joyce, and Rodriguez, this lineup will have plenty of pop, without asking Johnson to hit 35 homers.

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      • Derek says:

        He is too expensive, and if they are willing to pay half his salary, that just means they will want more prospects for him.

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        • JMS says:

          Chris Davis is making barely over 400,000, he is only in his 3rd year, under team control, but no way would we want him, he is another strikeout king with no average.

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          • Derek says:

            Rangers dealing someone, and my mind went to Young. You're right. Davis wont give us anymore than Johnson at this point.

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    • Derek says:

      Dan Johnson is this teams 1st baseman. Like it or not, Kotchman is horrible. Johnson has shown a better eye, and has hit for power this spring, what don't you like? It's spring training. Brignac is hitting .400, let's not pretend that will happen in the regular season. If Brignac hits for .260 I'll be happy.

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      • Tone says:

        I have seen Dan Johnson, as most here likely have, play for the Rays in a variety of roles. After watching Pena take away a lot of hits and errors I am concerned with the defensive fall off in Johnson. He is not a good defender(seen him suck first hand) and he is an average hitter at best. Kotchman sucks, not a fan of him either. To carry a defensive liability like Johnson who will not hit much is a weakness. Leftfield and 1st base are much weaker defensively and that is not cool. At least leftfield is held by a proven MLB performer, albeit old, but Johnson is just AAAA. There is no one in the system who is primed for 1st and like the bullpen it is a BIG question mark that could effect the season's chances.

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        • Derek says:

          I think the gap between Johnson and Pena is smaller than you are implying. Johnson is worse, but he isn't terrible. We don't have what it takes to trade for Davis, and I don't want to pay 16 million for what will add up to one or two runs on defense.

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    • John S says:

      I am surprised Alonso hasn't been linked to the Rays more often in the last 10 months. The Reds and the Rays match up very well.

      The Reds need young pitching in their farm system (Double AA and Triple AAA). The Rays have a luxury in having a surplus.

      The Rays have no viable long term answer at 1st base, anywhere in the system. The Reds have 3 actually and 1 is signed to a extension and plays on the parent club and is going no where.

      I am actually shocked that this did not happen. If the Rays are going to trade away prospects it would be for a young guy that the Rays would have control of for a while. Alonso has all these things. He has dominated Triple AAA for more than 1 year now and is a solid defender. Maybe not Pena but better than Dan Johnson.

      A cheap, young and talented 1st baseman could be had and we have the parts to do it with the Reds.

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      • phil says:

        The Rays do not have any first baseman in the farm systems so i hope they go out and get a young stud!

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        • Derek says:

          This is because 1st is the last place you want a guy to play. People want to move Beckham to the outfield, but the Rays wont do it, because SS is more valuable.

          I'd rather see Johnson lose the job, then trade away depth for something we might not need.

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  3. Hans says:

    Ekstrom pays bad indeed. Johnson deosn't hit very wel either, don't know about his defense. Zobrist can play there, with Briggy and S-Rod that'll work fine for me.

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  4. Joe says:

    Russell still has lack of options on his side. DL visit coming me thinks. Then we can carry Cruz, McGee, Ramos and Wade/Delaney.....hell carry both and put Sonny on the DL also

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  5. John S says:

    Russell to the DL or he gets cut. No reason to keep subpar goods around just because your pride gets in the way. We win some and we lose some.

    Ramos pitched well this spring, so there could be a promising arm a year away.

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    • John S says:

      Gomes I mean sorry

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    • Joe says:

      I am a huge fan of Gomes but we won the deal even if all 4 players are a bust because now we have Brignac's glove playing daily.

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      • JMS says:

        Damn Skippy Joe, got that right, saved money and get to see Briggy everyday finally. Bartlett isn't nearly as good as Briggy with the glove

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      • Derek says:

        We won the deal because we were paying Bartlett way too much. Brignac will be terrible against LHP, and everyone will cry about it.

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