THE GOOD: El Chef. Robinson Chirinos capped the latest walk-off win with his 2nd spring home run. El Chef is already a better catcher defensively than John Jaso despite limited experience (Baseball America called him the best defensive catcher in Cubs organization). He is already a better hitter than Kelly Shoppach. Yes, the Rays do want him to season a little more, especially behind the plate. But if Andrew Friedman and Joe Maddon want the 25 best guys on the opening day roster, it is going to be hard to send El Chef back to triple-A…Andy Sonnanstine. Nice to see him bounce back with 4 shutout innings…Reid Brignac. Briggy Baseball was flashing the leather with a diving stop in the 1st inning and another in the 5th, both times getting up and getting runners. He is going to be fun to watch defensively.
THE BAD: Alex Torres. Torres gave up 3 runs in 2 innings. Not that big of a deal for a guy that will likely be in triple-A. But while Andy Sonnanstine is the “backup” starting pitcher, Torres is probably Sonny’s backup.
THE TELLING: Rays starting pitchers threw 999.2 innings in 2010, one out short of Joe Maddon’s goal…Jeremy Hellickson is expected to make his spring debut today.
RANDOM THOUGHTS: Starting to worry that this year’s Rayhawks will be beards and mullets. Some Rays fans better start now…Spring Training is so incredibly important for the Rays. 63 guys competing for one spot as our new favorite player.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Below, is a video on Derek Jeter’s new house on Davis Island.
- The Rays released Ramon Ortiz. Ortiz, who made 2 starts for the Dodgers last year, was picked up as a free agent by the Rays towards the end of the season.
- Terry Francona sounded like he didn’t want to talk about Manny Ramirez. [The Heater]
- Here is Carl Crawford talking about facing the Rays (video). [TampaBay.com]
- Johnny Damon thinks Carl Crawford will win at least one championship with the Red Sox. [WEEI]
- First Carl Crawford said his “heart is in Boston,” and now Carlos Pena “feels right at home” in Chicago. Actually, that is just the headline. [CSN Chicago]
- Johnny Damon turned down a trade to the Red Sox last fall because he thought the Tigers wanted him back in 2011. [Alex Speier]
- For those of you in the Port Charlotte area, single-game tickets for the Stone Crabs will go on sale Monday. [RaysProspects]
Robinson Chirinos talks about his walk-off home run
Look for the Jonah Keri cameo at the 2:30 mark (via Big League Stew)