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: Long Balls. The baseballs were flying out of the Orioles renovated Spring Training home. Still, it was nice to see Manny Ramirez get his first with the Rays and for BJ Upton to make it back-to-back in the 6th inning. It was also nice to see Kelly Shoppach go deep. He is going to be on the opening day roster, so we have to hope he get the bat going.

THE BAD: Andy Sonnanstine. Well, that was ugly. Sonnanstine faced 12 batters. Five of them hit home runs, including 2 by Nick Markakis…Rob Delaney. After looking strong against the minor leaguers on Saturday, and after a 2-strikeout 1-2-3 3rd inning, Delaney got pounded for 4 runs on 5 straight hits in his second inning of work against the big boys…Matt Bush. After looking good in his first outing, Bush gave up a single, a double and walked 2 batters in one inning.

THE TELLING: Johnny Damon led off and no doubt will see time there during the regular season. But Joe Maddon made it clear that John Jaso will be the leadoff guy most days when he is in the lineup…Felipe Lopez got the start at second base and Elliot Johnson didn’t play…Casey Kotchman started at first base. It looks like the first base job is up for grabs at this point. Ben Zobrist will start at first today.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Over at Business Insider, I put together a chart that looks at the Delmon Young trade tree and how the Rays will continue to benefit from Young for years to come. [Business Insider]
  • Casey Kotchman talks about getting back to what made him successful earlier in his career. Also, Joe Maddon talks about targeting players from the scrap-heap that are 27 or 28, something we discussed recently. [TampaBay.com]
  • Johnny Damon turned down an offer to join the Yankees this winter, because it would have hurt his quest for 3,000 hits. Damon needs 429 hits for the all-important number. [Newsday]
  • Roger Mooney spoke with John Jaso about growing up and about leading off. [TBO.com]
  • Here is your chance to pick Joe Maddon’s lineup. [TampaBay.com]
  • Here is a solid look at the Rays from a first-hand perspective at a recent game. [Figure Filbert]
  • John Romano writes that the Rays will need players to step-up their power this year. [TampaBay.com]
  • A pres-season AL East All-Star team, if you will. [Rays Colored Glasses]

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11 Comments

  1. Don says:

    WHOever told Rays mgt. that Sonnanstine was a MAJOR LEAGUE PITCHER…what is it going to take for them to open their eyes….
    the RED SOXs hitting 11 HRS in 11 at bats…
    That guy is a disgrace and a standing JOke with the Fan regulars….
    we go off the deep end every time he takes the mound….
    Well at least hes good for comic relief…
    KOTchman’s father and MAddon have to be buddies from the ANGELS days..that’s why he getting a long look..no way he can out hit d. Johnson
    and with Zobrist where does that put Kotchman…a 3rd firstbaseman?

    • CC says:

      Could not agree more. Sonnanstine has gotten blasted on a consistant basis now for the past couple of years. Even his outs are hit hard. But not sure what else this bullpen has to offer. Look what we lost and what we replaced them with. Its looks pretty bad. Imo the week link that will cost this team many games.

      • Derek says:

        If you two want to complain about a guy’s first spring training game, you should also look at the “replacements” you spoke about. Farnsworth, Peralta, and Hayhurst have yet to give up a hit. How did Balfour do yesterday? One inning, five hits, three earned runs.

        • CC says:

          We shall see. I hope your right. But the body of work from these guys tells us that what we have in the bullpen does not look to promising. By the way show me any legit playoff team that has closer by committee.

    • Derek says:

      lol “That guy is a disgrace and a standing JOke with the Fan regulars….”

      That’s probably as far from the truth as you can get.

      Considering the path he has taken, he has shown great class and is loved by everyone on the team. He has sacrificed a lot, and hasn’t spoken a bad word about it. Most players would have demanded to be traded, or released. He has stuck around.

      Why are you even mad about this? Come on, it’s one spring training game at the start of the year. Did he not do a very respectable job when asked to be the spot starter last year? How about his 2008? 13-9 that year.

      He explained what happened yesterday, did you not hear him? He is a flyball pitcher who was catching too much of the zone. That usually ends up bad.

      In a real game, where it actually matters. One of two things would have happened, he would make adjustments, or Maddon would have pulled him, but this is spring training, and he didn’t care about the hits he was giving up. All he cared about was trying to locate his pitches.

      • Don says:

        If maddon continues to pitch this guy in anything but batting practice..
        he (Maddon) continues to build his legacy of protecting “over the hill favorites”… the list keeps getting longer and longer…but it just builds my case as “MAddon being incompetent”

        • KillaTapes says:

          Yep. Leading a small market team to 2 division championships in three years in the toughest division in all of baseball = incompetent. You’re spot on as usual.

          • Don says:

            If you don’t think Percy, Kaplar Baldelli, Blalock Hawp, shopp& Sorrenstine
            were /are kept on the team past their usefull playing days…there is no use discussing competency with you because you have missed the train…its left you here…THE RAYS would benefit with having their up and coming prospects play instead of these over the hill “Maddon’s good ole boys”

        • Derek says:

          You should watch Price’s Video from today. He says he threw some changups that he wouldn’t have thrown in a real game. He threw them because Maddon wanted him to work on some things. Sonny was working on something too, but his something isn’t as close to being ready as Price’s. Over the hill guys? There’s like two guys over 30 on this team. (not the real number cork, I know) Guys past their prime that this team let walk, or traded: Pat the bat, Hank Blalock, Carlos Pena, Jason Bartlett, Gabe Kapler, Willy Aybar. This list will keep getting longer and longer, and it just goes to prove the intelligence this FO has.

  2. Hal says:

    OK it was the 6th inning but Archer’s 1-2-3, 3 strikeout inning is fairly “GOOD”.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      It was. I only hesitated to mention it because I think it took him 17 or 18 pitches (the boxscore is inaccurate). He went to a full count on at least 2 of the batters. So he had to work for it.

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