The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

Tigers 5, RAYS 2 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Brooks Conrad. Conrad had just 3 hits in 40 at bats with the Brewers this season. After 2 more hits last night, he already has 7 hits in his first 20 at bats with the Rays…The Trop. I am definitely among those that think the Rays need a new stadium. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like the Trop. And the last week has emphasized just how great it is. While most of the Florida State League was rained out for several days, and while the Rays played in triple-digits weather in Kansas City, the Trop was a comfy 72-degrees and dry last night.

THE BAD: James Shields. We noted last night how nasty James Shields’ changeup looked early in the game. And he did get 7 swing-and-misses on that pitch. But his problem last night may have been his fastball. It was 93-94 early in the game. But by the middle innings, it was just 89-92. And in fact, in the middle innings, he almost completely abandoned the fastball and was throwing more sliders. It is good to give hitters a different look the 2nd and 3rd time through the order, but a good changeup pitcher still needs the threat of a fastball or the change becomes less affective. And Shields gave up several big hits on his changeup.

THE TELLING: Luke Scott was activated from the DL and batted cleanup…Desmond Jennings was back in the leadoff spot…Jeremy Hellickson will start tomorrow…The Rays are now 6.5 back of the Yankees and alone in 4th place of the East.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Both Joel Peralta and Kyle Farnsworth are expected to be activated tomorrow. [TBO.com]
  • Sounds like the Rays may go with yellow socks under their stirrups on tomorrow. I’m crossing my fingers. [@RaysGameDay]
  • Don Zimmer talks about the Zim Bear: “What are you going to do with this face?” [TampaBay.com]
  • And a lot of people (especially in the media) seem to think the Rays have stumbled on a new type of giveaway with the Zim Bear. And while it is rare, it is not unique. Here is the Edgar Martinez bear we wrote about back in February. [Rays Index]
  • I am a big fan of the charts at WatchingDurhamBullsBaseball.com. You should be also. [WDBB]
  • Have you seen the catch Mike Trout made? [BI Sports]
  • James Wilder was indeed the ultimate workhorse. [JoeBucsFan]

DOWN ON THE FARM

Syracuse 14, DURHAM 3. Jim Paduch gave up 12 runs (10 earned) in 5 innings…1B Henry Wrigley was 3-5 with his 7th home run in 40 games since being promoted…Tim Beckham was back at SS and had a double, but also committed his 7th error…Reid Brignac DH’d and had 2 hits.

MONTGOMERY 8, Jacksonville 3. Jacob Thompson gave up 3 runs, 2 on solo home runs, in 6.1 innings…SS Hak-Ju Lee had a double, a triple, and a walk. He now has a 9-game hitting streak and 4 straight multi-hit games. During his hitting streak, he is 17-43 (.395). He also has 3 walks during that stretch and 9 stolen bases in his last 10 games. His 27 steals leads the SL.

CHARLOTTE 7, Fort Myers 5. RF Mikie Mahtook was 1-3 with a walk…SS Derek Dietrich had 2 singles in 5 at bats.

Lansing 8, BOWLING GREEN 3. DH Drew Vettleson hit his 7th home run and added a single in 4 at bats. He also stole his 10th base…LF Josh Sale was 0-2 with a walk. He struck out twice.

HUDSON VALLEY 9, Staten Island 3. Jeff Ames, a first-round pick in 2011, allowed just 1 unearned run in 5 innings. He struck out 5 and walked 1. His ERA is now 1.29.

PRINCETON 9, Bristol 4. 1B John Alexander had 3 hits including a double and a walk.  He drove in 3…LF Granden Goetzman had a single, double, and 3 stolen bases.

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20 Comments

  1. Hal says:

    The Oscar - 3 for 5, now hitting .333.

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  2. Maddon will get us out of this slump. He is the best manager in Baseball, and we have had a lot of Injuries.
    It is a long season, Tampa will be back!

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  3. Tone says:

    Absolute garbage. <----- That's the brand of baseball Rays fans are being treated to lately. Oh yeah, how about those encouraging comments from Maddon regarding Longoria's status? He did not re-injury his hammy, nooooooo, just a small setback. I think Longo was being a little less than truthful about the extent of what ended his rehab. Maddon's comments confirm, in my humble opinion, that he's not coming back for a loooong time at best and the organization understands what that means to contention hopes in 2012(move on to 2013+). Sucks.

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    • Rob says:

      If this were a movie I would walk out in the middle of it and request my money back. The games have been miserable. Oh well, I guess that is the risk you take when buying season tickets.

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  4. s says:

    1st in the AL in walks

    14th in AL in total bases

    This should completely discredit ANY theory that walks or OBP means jack shit.

    13th in AL in BA, 27 in entire MLB(half of the teams have pitchers batting)

    13th in AL in hits, 28th in entire MLB(once again, ½ with pitchers batting)

    Players that shouldn’t be in the majors isn’t an excuse anymore. Injuries aren’t an excuse anymore. This isn’t a new issue. If Derek Shelton isn’t capable with getting us out of the cellar in these stats, then what purpose does he serve with the Rays. The Rays are always going to have borderline players stepping up to the plate, and are always going to have injuries. Jesus, we made it to the WS with Carl Crawford missing a lot of games due to injury. It’s time to make a change, what is there to lose?

    A team that depends on "timely hitting" is a team that is destined to fail. Consistent hitting is 1000x better that walks and timely hitting.

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    • Sam says:

      Consistent hitting is timely hitting. If you're hitting consistently then you're going to be hitting no matter the situation. Getting on base is required to score runs, it's what you do to get those base runners moving. A problem for the Rays is actually getting on base and making good contact with the ball when no one is on base. Once that starts to happen, things will change.

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      • s says:

        correct, but timely hitting is not consistent hitting.

        Getting on base is not required to score runs. It's called a HR. But fact is that it takes 4 walks to score a run, yet only 1 or 2 hits.
        We sit back and "work the count" over, and over, and over, with RISP. we look like a bunch of little leagues trying anything to get someone across the plate. What generally happens? we walk, strike out, or get to 3-2 and have to make a bad decision trying to defend the plate. That results in the lack of making good contact that you are referring to.

        When Carlos hit the big HR the other day, what was the count? 0-0. First pitch is going to be a whole lot better than a 3-2 pitch.

        Once again, if Derek Shelton isn’t capable with getting us out of the cellar in these stats, then what purpose does he serve with the Rays. The Rays are always going to have borderline players stepping up to the plate, and are always going to have injuries.

        .

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        • Sam says:

          But hitting a home run is considered in OBP, Slugging, wOBA. So it is considered "getting on base" in the fact that a home run does not lead to an out.

          But what I'm saying is consistent and timely hitting should not be considered two different components. Getting on base (aka not producing an out) is the most important thing you can do offensively. Working the count is a surprisingly important part of the game. If you can work the pitcher up to a certain number of pitchers per at bat, guess what, you have tired out the pitcher that by that number of pitches, now granted once it gets later into the game, that method won't work. The Rays need to strike early in order to get anywhere. They need to get on base (no matter what it takes) when no one is on base.
          They are ranked the 4th worst team in wOBA when it comes to the bases being empty. They move up to the middle of the pack with men on base, and stay there and are tied with the Yankees with RISP.

          The fundamental problem is not getting on base in the first place, no matter the issue. In that case, the situation the batter should be thinking about, do not produce an out and get on base. That's also timely hitting, and therefore consistent hitting.

          I have only taken a brief look at the Derek Shelton's numbers with the Rays and to be honest, he is not the overwhelming problem with the offense. His numbers tend to fluctuate with the rest of MLB when comparing between seasons. However, an extra hitting coach could be what the Rays need in order to jump start the underlying issue these past 2 months, where the Rays have gone 3-7 in their last 10 games. The Detroit Tigers did it.. and they hit the crap out of the ball yesterday but only scored 5 runs (which could be argued is hitting consistently but not timely).

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          • s says:

            so you completely disagree with this?
            "we look like a bunch of little leagues trying anything to get someone across the plate. What generally happens? we walk, strike out, or get to 3-2 and have to make a bad decision trying to defend the plate. That results in the lack of making good contact that you are referring to."

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          • Sam says:

            I don't disagree at all. I'm confused where you're going with that.

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          • s says:

            where am i going with that? swing the bat, try to actually get hits and score runs to knock the pitcher out of the game. actually try to produce runs vs TRYING extend the starting pitcher a couple of pitches every inning.

            we're more concerned about getting to the bulpen than we are about actually producing. our theory is get the starter out and we're OK. yet our BA is .251 before the 7th and .195(last in AL) after for the 7th,8th and 9th. sort of makes that theory a little flawed.

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    • Rob says:

      I would like to take this sign to the Trop:

      Salary = 25th
      BA = 27th
      Attendance= 29th
      Stu, you get what you pay for.

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  5. Sam says:

    Also, the Rays are still tied for 3rd with the Red Sox. Thanks to former Ray John Jaso, the Red Sox lost to the Mariners in walk-off fashion last night. What a great trade that turned out to be... how's Lueke doing again?

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    • Rob says:

      It was clear that Maddon never liked Jaso for some reason. I always thought it was his lack of defense, but Molina is worse, so I am not sure that rationale holds any water. I didn't like the Leuke trade from the beginning since he had a controversial past.

      Jaso - .275, 3HR, 18 RBI, 109AB, 19BB, 18SO, .840OPS, 1PB
      Shoppach - .276, 4HR, 12RBI, 87AB, 7BB, 34SO, .904OPS, 4PB
      Molina - .200, 4HR, 13RBI, 120AB, 10BB, 29SO, .614OPS, 3PB

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      • Sam says:

        I definitely think I was more upset losing Shoppach, just because he calls an amazing game behind the plate. I understood from the business aspect why they did what they did, but we should have expected the Red Sox to snatch him right up.

        Molina was more brought on to be a coach/mentor than anything. He's definitely old and you can see it in his play, but still considered one of the best defensively (in the past at least, and the fact that he is a Molina holds a lot of weight). It didn't help matters much that almost the entire platoon of catchers went on the DL early. No one expected much from him offensively.

        Jaso has the potential to be really good (much like Lobaton) and it was definitely a gamble to try and get another bullpen arm considering Farnsworth's injury and the fact no one expected the performance from Rodney. So in hindsight, not the best trade, but no one expected the bullpen performance this year (except for the beginning of April).

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  6. Drew says:

    We are currently below the league average wOBA at 7 of 9 positions on the field. Catcher and DH have been the worst by far.

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  7. I agree that it is good to give hitters a different look the 2nd and 3rd time through the order, but a good change-up pitcher still needs the threat of a fastball. Shields gave up several big hits on his change-up.

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