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