Joe is back with his post-game thoughts…
Given the punchless Rays offense is in a desperate need of Viagra, Joe got to thinking: Is the Rays minor league development really that good?
Oh, sure, the Rays develop pitchers better than any team in the major leagues. Everyone working for the Rays from Port Charlotte to Montgomery to Durham to St. Petersburg to the scouts beating the bushes deserve a standing ovation for that. But good grief, can the Rays minor league guys develop a stick for a change?
Joe really likes Desmond Jennings and believes he will be a stud. And who doesn’t worship Dirtbag? But geez, outside of those two hitters, name a guy in the past five years who the Rays drafted, groomed and advanced through their minor league system who is a decent hitter?
This is why the Rays offense is as impotent as Connie Chung after a rash of injuries has decimated the team. If not for the superior Rays pitching, this team would be in an ugly tailspin.
What exactly has happened to Ben Zobrist? When the Rays finally mounted an offensive attack late in the game — largely on a pair of walks, naturally — Zobrist only needed to get a walk or punch the ball into the outfield with the bases loaded to tie the game.
But Zorilla swings at the very first pitch and grounds into a rally-killing, inning-ending double play! It really looked like Zorilla was trying to hit a ground ball by reaching out for a pitch. My goodness, he had to know better than that, shouldn’t he?
Zorilla is hitting a Karlos Pena like .205. Despite his solid defense and his versatility, it’s awfully hard to keep a guy batting that bad in the daily lineup.
Unless your minor league staff can’t develop hitters.