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]