THE GOOD: Elliot Johnson. Johnson stole 3 bases, including home, picked up 2 hits, made a diving catch in center field, and performed the Heimlich on an old guy behind the third base dugout. OK, we might have made up the last part, but otherwise, kind of an awesome day…Sam Fuld. It was a good day for the two guys that have the edge for the final two bench spots. While Elliot Johnson was 2-3, Fuld did him one better going 3-3 with a double. He also stole a base.
THE BAD: None
THE TELLING: Some of the infielder will go with Tom Foley to get some work on the new AstroTurf at the Trop today (via TBO)…Jeremy Hellickson says he is fine and will likely start Sunday. He had been removed from his previous start due to a blister…This time of spring, after the first waves of cuts, you will start to see some possibly unfamiliar names in the boxscores. The Rays will occasionally use players from minor league camp to help finish games, especially on long road trips. That is why guys like Matt Hall and Reid Fronk were in the game yesterday. Also Chris Andujar, son of former big leaguer Joaquin Andujar, pitched the 9th inning.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Joe Maddon on Reid Brignac: “We just got to get the offensive up to snuff…He’s going to get rested against certain lefties”…Does that mean Sean Rodriguez will start at SS versus lefties on a somewhat regular basis? If so, then Ben Zobrist is at 2B and both Matt Joyce and Dan Johnson are in the lineup, both lefties. [TBO.com]
- Johnny Damon on Manny Ramirez: “He’s scaring me a little bit; he’s swinging a little too good right now.” Damon adds that nobody should worry about the middle of the lineup, but that the Rays need some other players to produce. [NY Times]
- Johnny Damon on the Rays bullpen: ““We’re going in without a closer. That’s a tough thing to do. I’ve been on teams that have done that, and it didn’t end well.” Joe Maddon adds: “One thing I’ve always liked is the 27- or 28-year-old relief pitcher who has not made it yet, and you might be the third team that’s had him. I just think that’s the optimal age to get somebody and maybe that’s when the light goes on and all of a sudden all this unrealized potential goes realized.” [NY Times]
- Rob Neyer will attempt to answer one question about all 30 teams. His question for the Rays: Will Joe Maddon win manager of the year?…Huh? Granted the piece does paint as a bit of a season preview, but is that really the most important question surrounding the Rays right now? [SB Nation]
- The Rays had their annual “talent” show this week. [TampaBay.com]
- Here is video of Manny Ramirez’ bomb from Tuesday. [MLB]
- Wade Davis takes in some Port Charlotte bass fishing with Jeff Niemann and James Shields. [TampaBay.com]
Manny taking BP
Elliot Johnson (via TampaBay.com)