THE GOOD: Manny Ramirez. File this one under “things that Dodgers and Red Sox fans will not understand”: Manny requested to be in yesterday’s lineup so that he could get more work in left field just in case he is needed there during the regular season…Alex Torres. Part of the next wave of pitching talent after Jeremy Hellickson, the lefty got the start and pitched 2 scoreless innings, with a pair of strikeouts and 1 walk…Rob Delaney. Delaney got another look early in a game, this time pitching a 1-2-3- 4th inning.
THE BAD: Mike Ekstrom. At one point early in the off-season we had Ekstrom as a near-lock for a bullpen spot. But 832 minor league contracts later and now some shaky spring performances, and we are starting to think it is a long-shot at best. Yesterday Ekstrom allowed 1 run in his 1 inning of work. He has now allowed 6 runs (5 earned) in 1.2 innings.
THE TELLING: Jeff Niemann pitched 2 innings in a “B” game on a side field. He allowed 6 runs (4 earned)…Ben Zobrist was originally in the lineup but was scratched with a sore ankle…Jeremy Hellickson will throw two batting practice sessions prior to making his spring training debut next Friday.
RANDOM THOUGHTS: The Rays are still hacking away. Six regulars played yesterday and they drew no walks…We really wish Joe Maddon wouldn’t have placed BJ Upton at the top of the lineup on the same day that we ripped ESPN for projecting Upton as the leadoff hitter (among other things). Way to have our backs Joe. Sheesh.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Chris Richard, the Durham Bulls all-time home run leader (84) has retired. [IndyWeek.com]
- Jason Isringhausen announced that he will retire if he doesn’t make the Mets opening day roster. [StlToday.com]
- Prior to last season, the Rays had tentatively accepted an offer from the Red Sox to trade Carl Crawford for Victor Martinez. But the Rays needed to make one or two other moves first that never happened, so the Red Sox deal fell through. [SI.com]
- Joe Smith spoke with several members of the Rays about their impressions of Desmond Jennings. [TampaBay.com]
- Roger Mooney writes about what it will take for lefty Alex Torres to make get what Joe Maddon calls Torres’ “high-end stuff” to the big leagues. [TBO.com]