Blue Jays 3, RAYS 1 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Matt Joyce. Don’t look now, but Matt Joyce is hitting lefties. Let’s not go crazy yet. It is just 14 at bats. But he already has 4 hits off of southpaws, including a home run. But Joyce only had 20 hits off of lefties in all of 2011. With BJ Upton on the DL, Joe Maddon has probably played Joyce against lefties more than he would like. But with Joyce hitting, Maddon may have to keep Joyce out there even when Upton returns.
THE BAD: Starting Pitching. The Rays’ starters have a 4.14 ERA so far, 8th in the AL. Sure, it’s early, and it will get better. But to get better, they need to cut down on the walks. The starters have issued 32 walks in 11 games, the most in the AL. And as a result, their 1.4 strikeout-to-walk ratio is also the worst in the AL. That number needs to be closer to 3.0. And until that happens, the Rays are going to struggle…Longo’s Brick Glove. Three errors last night is bad. And if it was just one game we wouldn’t be too worried. But Longo wasn’t fielding well in Spring Training either, and right now he is in a mental slump with the glove.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Joe Maddon has officially “made it.” He is the subject of an article in The Onion. And more importantly, the premise is actually believable. [Onion Sports Network]
- Joe Maddon re-emphasized his love for Fernando Rodney and the crooked cap. [USA Today]
- BJ Upton bought all his double-A teammates an Outback Steakhouse dinner. And before you rag on him for going chain restaurant, keep in mind that they are in Montgomery. We’re sure Montgomery is great. But there might not be a Ruth’s Chris. [Biscuit Crumbs]
- Here’s a photoshoot of James Shields for ESPN the Magazine. [thefoggedlens]
- It is not entirely clear, but it seems like Tom Verducci of SI.com saying the Rays are one team that has reinvented the modern bullpen. But he also notes that Rays closers all break down. [SI.com]
- The Bucs 2012 schedule is out. Here are a few thoughts. [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
Charlotte 3, DURHAM 2. Jhonny Nunez gave up 2 runs in 3 innings…Cesar Ramos tossed 1.2 scoreless innings with 2 strikeouts and no walks…John Gaub retired all 5 batters he faced, striking out 3…SS Tim Beckham went 1-3 with a triple and a walk…1B Leslie Anderson added 2 singles and a double. He has 19 hits in the first 10 games.
Mobile @ MONTGOMERY. (postponed)
St. Lucie 6, CHARLOTTE 1. Enny Romero struck out 5 and walked 1 in 5 innings. He gave up 3 runs…SS Derek Dietrich was 1-3 with a walk…CF Mikie Mahtook went 0-4 with a K.
Great Lakes 1, BOWLING GREEN 0. Felipe Rivero struck out 7 and walked none in 6 innings. He allowed just 1 unearned run on 3 hits…RF Drew Vettleson was 0-3.