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: 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)

 

 

St. Jetersburg

 

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16 Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    On the Pena article – actually, it just says he feels at home with the Cubs, not in Chicago (which for reasons I can’t explain makes a difference). And the article goes on to talk about his using his leadership skills to address tensions in the dugout. So there’s nothing there to make Tampa Bay fans wince. And besides, how seriously can we take an article that says things are “going good” rather than “going well?” Is CSN a fifth grader’s blog or an actual news site?

    • Don says:

      WHoever said Pena was a leader in the clubhouse with the Rays is Wrong…not one time could/would he help with “tensions”..
      For Example when Crawford/ Burrell got into it Pena never opened his mouth, when Longo /UPton got into it in the dugout he was out of there
      Pena wants to be everybody’s buddy NOT a leader

      • Tom says:

        How do you know Pena was not a leader? Were you in the Rays dugout? Do you know any of the players personally?

        • Boxauthor says:

          Don knows everyone personally.

        • Don says:

          I have two eyes and go to most of the games and WATCHPEOPLE(PLAYERS)…so that leaves you out!

          • Tom says:

            So you can tell he is not a leader because you go to the games and watch people? Do you even know the details of the Crawford/Burrell spat? That did not happen during a game and the media, as far as I know never reported the details.

  2. Derek says:

    How many passed balls does he have? He has like one a game. I’m not sure his defense is where it needs to be. He has the tools, but he needs to work on turning them into results.

    Has he had a hit against a legit major league pitcher, or his he just a 27 year old hitting guys that wont ever touch the majors other than a few innings here and there?

    • Cork Gaines says:

      I’m not sure it is fair to criticize the passed balls that occurred while catching a minor league pitcher (who might have missed his spot by 2 feet), and then dismiss what he does with the bat just because it was against a minor league pitcher.

      Does he still need work defensively? Yes. But so does Jaso. And offensively, I’m basing my thoughts on his excellent command of the strikezone, which typically means his numbers will translate well to the big leagues. The only thing his spring performance adds for me is that it tells me he is mentally ready for the big leagues. He has a lot of eyes on him and he is unfazed. And at age 27, that shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

      • Derek says:

        You’re right to an extent, I mean, if the pitcher missed his spot by several feet, he should get charged with a wild pitch, but people are high on his defense. Which I think has a lot to do with potential. Pop times, great hands. That doesn’t mean he is great at being a catcher. I don’t see him getting an extended look this year unless something drastic happens to Jaso or Shoppach. We are in a position to let his defense progress without rushing him, and I think that’s what they will do.

        The bat is what it is. I love the swing, but I also don’t want to sit here and judge him on such a small sample size. You said yourself you are reluctant to praise BJ’s spring because of how he has teased in the past.

  3. werD says:

    Guys, what are the options with Dan Johnson? Kotchman is flat out playing him offensively, and its not even a question who the better man defensively is. I see a stint on the 60day DL coming up for ol DJ, to start the season. Im sure something is wrong with him, and thats why hes only batting .190, to CK’s .390…

    also, good to see sonny make a strong app. he needed that. (and thats the under stmt of the spring…)

    • Cork Gaines says:

      I’m not 100% sure Kotchman will be the opening day 1B, but I’m definitely inching that way. And I think the Rays will definitely find a way to keep both guys. However, it might be easier to have Kotchman go down with a promise that he will be promoted by a certain date.

    • Derek says:

      Putting him on the 60 day DL would be worthless. He hasn’t done anything wrong. Kotchman can collect all the hits he wants off of scrub pitchers. He wont see the inside of an mlb stadium this year till at least spring.

  4. David says:

    Was Josh Sale invited to ST? Will he get any ABs before ST ends? Just have not heard a lot about him yet this spring. -David

  5. jwgator says:

    Davis Islands. There are two.

    Aside from my nitpicking, thoroughly enjoy the blog. You posted at raysbaseball.com for a bit, right, Cork?

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