THE GOOD: Sweet Swingin’. Matt Joyce got the start in right field against Cliff Lee, maybe the best left-hander in baseball. And in his first at bat, Joyce hit a groundball single to right field. Of course, in the fourth inning he went down looking. But we’ll take 1-2…Wade Davis. Big Dub looked strong during a 1-2-3 first inning. But then Ryan Howard showed up in the second hitting a ball that might still be in orbit. But all-in-all, not a bad afternoon with 2 Ks and no walks.
THE BAD: Unbalanced Schedule. It’s what, a 2-hour drive to Bright House Field in Clearwater from Port Charlotte? Well, that is too far for the regulars to travel, so the Phillies got to face a starting lineup that included one guy that is guaranteed to be in the opening day lineup (Sean Rodriguez) and one guy that might be (Matt Joyce). That’s a recipe for disaster.
THE TELLING: Joe Maddon used a 5-man infield in the 9th inning, saying “”You have to work on it some time.” Of course the infield at the time included guys named JJ Furmaniak, Daniel Mayora and Leslie Anderson. But minor leaguers have to work on it also…Ben Zobrist and Elliot Johnson are due back in the lineup tomorrow…Rays have now gone winless in 7 straight games.
RANDOM THOUGHTS: Small correction. Yesterday we wrote that BJ Upton had received the most playing time so far this spring. That should have read “most playing time at one position.” Desmond Jennings leads the way with 41 innings combined at the 3 outfield spots.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- An update for the RI Baseball Book Club. [Rays Index]
- Marc Topkin spoke with Dirk Hayhurst about his road to the Rays and life as a best-selling author. [TampaBay.com]
- Joe Maddon says the only difference between the Rays and Phillies rotations is experience. [TampaBay.com]
- This is a bit quirky, but apparently Joe Maddon is the first manager ever to use a 5-man infield against the same team in Spring Training and in the World Series. [ESPN]
- Gregg Zaun is expected to retire. [MLB Trade Rumors]