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

Indians 3, RAYS 2 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Help Is On The Way. Matt Joyce sent out a tweet last night saying he would be back in the Rays lineup tonight. The Rays say they have not made a decision, but Joyce seems to have his mind made up.

THE BAD: Alex Cobb. Since the start without a bullpen, in which Cobb had to throw 8 innings despite giving up 8 runs, he has pitched just 14.2 innings in 3 starts with an ERA of 5.52. And last night he was lucky he only gave up 3 runs (2 earned). Of the 18 batters he faced, he gave up 5 hits and 5 walks…Not So Sweet Swingin. The Rays struck out 10 times. It was the 7th straight game in which they have struck out at least 9 times…Not Shelton’s Fault. Out of 316 hitters with 110 ABs (prior to last night), Will Rhymes ranks 284th with a .601 OPS. And he was hitting leadoff for the Rays last night. It’s not Derek Shelton’s fault that Rhymes is not a good hitter. And it’s not Shelton’s fault that Rhymes is hitting leadoff. He went 0-3, but did walk twice. Meanwhile, the Rays regular leadoff hitter, Desmond Jennings, did hit a home run.

THE TELLING: Last night’s game actually took the same amount of time (3:36) as the Josh Beckett game on Sunday…The Rays are now one game behind the Detroit Tigers for the 2nd Wild Card spot, one of 7 teams within 2 games of each other.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • If you missed it yesterday, you can win a fun prize if you can guess when Longo will play his next official game with the Rays. You just have to head over to our Facebook page. Don’t be scare. [RI Facebook]
  • Joe Maddon says he would prefer to keep the Rays core intact and not trade a player like James Shields. [TBO.com]
  • The Bucs are valued at almost $1 billion. [JoeBucsFan]

DOWN ON THE FARM

Lehigh Valley 6, DURHAM 3. C Chris Gimenez went 2-3 with a walk and a double. He’s hitting .338…SS Reid Brignac went 1-4 and is hitting .231…DH Stephen Vogt drove in 2, had 2 singles, and a walk.

Mobile 8, MONTGOMERY 7 (14). SS Hak-Ju Lee had a single and 2 walks in 6 plate appearances. He also stole a base, his 32nd.

CHARLOTTE 5, Daytona 3. SS Derek Dietrich was 1-5 and RF Mikie Mahtook went 1-4 with a triple and a walk.

Peoria 8, BOWLING GREEN 3. In an odd boxscore, the Hot Rods had 9 hits, 1 be every batter in the lineup. 2B Ryan Brett also walked twice and stole his 33rd base.

HUDSON VALLEY 3, Mahoning Valley 2 (game 1). 2011 first round pick Jeff Ames struck out 7 and walked 2 in 4 innings. He allowed 1 unearned run and now has an ERA of 0.96.

Mahoning Valley 10, Hudson Valley 6 (game 2). 3B Leonardo Reginatto had 2 hits (4 in the double-header) and is now hitting .313.

Burlington 10, PRINCETON 3. SS Brandon Martin went 1-5 with a double.

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12 Comments

  1. s says:

    is it shelton's fault that he has yet to advance the development of the hardly any of our young hitters?

    you say the strikeouts aren't shelton's fault, yet when the count goes deep or you get behind because you're told to work the count, and then are forced to swing at anything near the plate, then is that shelton's fault?

    once again cork, maddon says that at this level a pitching coach really doesn't do much. then why did we fire henderson? he took us to the WS and produced record numbers?

    and back to maddon's statement. on a team filled with vets and real MLB players, his statement might be true. that's not the "rays way" though. we will always have marginal players taking at bats, so we need a hitting coach that can help these kids advance.

    so if a hitting coach doesn't do much, then why not send him on his way to see if the next guy can do a little more. where's the risk, are you seriously suggesting it could get worse? once again we fired a hitting coach that was able to push this team to the WS, so why not fire a hitting coach that is questionable at best and got ran off from Cleveland?

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    • franco says:

      What young hitters do we have to really hang our hat on? we have done a great job of developing pitching depth throughout the system, but have consistently failed to develop any elite offensive players. Longo is the exception, but he was a top pick and I think its safe to say that he was destined to be a great player. when was the last high school batter we developed? i cannot think of one and i dont see any on the horizon any time soon. Our hitting is brutal and very embarassing.

      Where are the elite position players to create balance in our system? our low minors have a bunch of promising bats, but AA and AAA are pretty bare of difference makers. To me the biggest blunder was the Wade Townsend pick in 2005 with McCuctheon and Jay Bruce staring us it and the Tim Beckham pick instead of Posey. I know Beckham was highly regarded, but a catcher with the skillset of Buster Posey has to be considered just as valuable as an elite shortstop. I still get queasy everytime I see Posey highlights on ESPN.

      Yes, pitchting and defensive are key, but some decent offensive ability would be nice. Our style of play leaves virtually no room for error and when we have all these injuries and 10+ strikeout games how do we expect to be competitive?

      I love our front office and their overall approach, but I do feel the evaluation of offensive players has been disappointing and in the end it goes to our scouting department as they appear to make the calls.

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  2. Hal says:

    Not so sure I "blame" Shelton, but I do think that you can at least observe that very few (if any) hitters have shown improvement since Shelton became hitting coach. Isn't that the measure?

    And I love Maddon. I am in the camp that he does more with the line-up that he is given than any other manager in the game. The old-timers hate him and he does not care. But these line-ups? Really? Rhymes leading off is bad, but Carlos 2nd is worse. Keppinger, EJ, and Ben are the only guys that even seem to have an approach right now. How about Carlos 6 and Kepp 2?

    And please let this be the day that the Matsui era ends. Please.

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    • Drew says:

      I think the only position player that has improved his hitting at the major league level since Shelton was hired before the 2010 season is Matt Joyce. While Shelton clearly is not helping the team win, the problem is more with the minor league development and drafting of position players. The Rays are either bad at one or both of these areas. Excluding the most recent draft which occurred a couple weeks ago, dating back to the 2006 draft, we have drafted 4 position players that have seen time at the ML level. Two of those are catchers: Ashley and Vogt, who will never be regulars. The other two are Longo and Jennings. Highly (or somewhat highly) ranked prospects we have gotten in trades have underperformed or fizzled out (SRod, Lee, Matt Sweeney). The list of highly regarded players we have drafted over the years who have been busts is ridiculous: Elijah Dukes, Delmon Young, BJ Upton (to a small extent), Reid Brignac, Tim Beckham, etc. In addition, none of the HS players drafted since '09 have looked very promising thus far in the minors. Rays fans are going to have to get used to below average offense from this team for years to come, unless something changes soon.

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    • Rob says:

      I was sitting at the Trop last night (I tried to give my tickets and parking pass away and nobody would take them, so I got there pretty late due to a conflict last night) and was actually excited about EJ coming to the plate with men on. I think he struck out, but that fact that I was looking forward to EJ hitting is a scary thought that says more about the rest of the lineup than anything else.

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  3. phil says:

    Matt Joyce is back! Yes!

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    • Hal says:

      Yes, indeed. But they sent down Rhymes instead of cutting Mr. Matsui. How does that make sense?

      As I just typed that I realized that I am complaining about losing Will Rhymes over Hidecki Matsui - we are just not a very good team right now. Look at the mess that is our bench. Yucky.

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  4. Dave L says:

    Derek Shelton was brought in by Maddon and Friedman to implement Maddon and Friedman's philosophy of hitting. If Shelton God forbid stepped in front of a bus tommorrow, his replacement would be a guy with a similar philosophy.

    We have likely the worst collection of hitters in Rays history and I doubt Shelton had any input on choosing them.

    With all our injuries and low payroll when a man goes down, we get to choose from a pool of talent to replace them thats so shallow it wouldnt dampen your toenails.

    Thats why we have guys like Rhymes, Oldzilla, Rich Thompson starting multiple games for us when they wouldnt even be the last man on the bench for any other team in baseball.

    It is what it is. Some people need someone to blame for everything.

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  5. Raysfan137 says:

    It's not about whether it is Shelton's fault or not. It's not about blame. His job, as hitting coach, is to help this situation. Even if every comment about young hitters, not having developed hitters, etc. is true. And if all of those comments relieve him of blame for the situation, fine. But his job is to help the situation. I don't think anyone can reasonably claim he is. Do you fire him for that ? Who knows ? They just extended his contract, so it's not likely. But if they do, they need not feel guilty, since he will get paid to go home and watch. I think they should just to send a message to the team and to the market they we are not willing to accept the status quo.

    To be as concise as possible: It's not his fault. But he's not helping.

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    • s says:

      once again we fired a hitting coach that took us to the world series and he was sent packing after the team broke records in many stats. and we replaced him with a coach that cleveland ran out of town. huh?

      shelton hasn't done squat for this team. something is broken when a team is near the top in K's and BB's, yet has no power. typically the leaders in those stats are power hitters. they swing hard and get pitched around, therefore they either prosper or fail at a high rate.

      that's not the case here, and yes that could very well be a direct order from maddon and the FO, but it's not going to work. without the power and constantly taking pitches, the book is out. pound the strike zone, get our batters behind, and watch the rays struggle. and god forbid that we get someone with a wide strikezone.

      something has to change, and shelton is the easy solution. it would send a message to the player and fans alike. it's time to be proactive and actually try to light a fire under everyone. how depressing is it going to be if we make no moves at the deadline, keep the same "take pitches" strategy, keep shelton, and miss the wildcard by a game or two? basically sitting on our hands and hoping the stars align.

      what is going to change going into next year? why should we expect anything different? same people, same theories, same sad offense. yet the fans are supposed to show up to watch some of the most boring and sloppy baseball in the league? yeah that's a winning plan.

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      • Dave L says:

        Well we are 28th in MLB in batting average.

        Yet we are 22nd in OBP

        Out of which we are 17th in runs scored, so we are maximizing our 'points' scored once again from a bunch of crappy hitters.

        You can't compare the starting lineups ability to hit a baseball to the 2008 team its not even close. And when his predecessor left the Rays he left baseball altogether it was my understanding

        My point is you are shouting at the tides to stop rolling in from the sea. This is the managements philosophy not just Shelton's.

        You join some and argue that the whole staff should go. Anything short of that is pointless.

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  6. s says:

    OBP is a farce. once again it takes 4 walks to score a run yet only one hit.

    DEREK SHELTON has done nothing to make this team better. NOTHING. so why not TRY something else. Jim Hickey gets result no matter who we sign in the bullpen, no matter who is catching. why? because he's a hell of pitching coach. Does he get more out of players than their numbers suggest he should? yes.

    Is Shelton to blame? you say no, so i'm ok with him being a scapegoat.

    SOMETHING has to change or we're right back on this merry-go-round again. we're not signing all star during the offseason, so we'd better get someone in here that can get the players that we're going to put out there to improve, or it's more of the same. like i said, no trades, no signing moves, no new hitting coach, no offense. we used to be exciting to watch, but now we're a bunch of little league kids out there working the count and hoping the pitcher can't get it over the plate. that's sad.

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