RAYS 4, Orioles 3 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Going Bald. The Rays are shaving their heads for charity again today. Fans can also participate with a $100 donation. And “Fortune Favors the Bald” t-shirts will be available for $15.99. Roger Mooney has more details here…Luke Scott’s Bat. With so little power on this club, the Rays need Luke Scott to be healthy and to hit for power. Yesterday he hit his second home run of the spring and it was a no-doubter.
THE BAD: Jeff Niemann. The Giraffe was only throwing in the mid-80s for most of his start and topped out at just 88. That’s not good for a pitcher that already doesn’t have an overpowering fastball. He says he is fine. Joe Maddon says he is not hurt and noted that Niemann got better as the game moved along…Bizarro World. Not only did Fernando Rodney pitch again last night in the World Baseball Classic, but he faced Ben Zobrist in the 9th inning of the Dominican Republic’s win over Team USA (see picture here). Zobrist struck out and Rodney got the save (see GIF below).
THE TELLING: Things are a little less clear for the Royals, who have an off-day early on, but if their pitchers stay on normal rest, James Shields will start opening day and Wade Davis will be their third starter…Sam Fuld is still out with hamstring tightness and might not return until next week…David Price pitching against a bunch of 19- and 20-year olds just seems kinda mean.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Further evidence that Roberto Hernandez is the 5th starter and will start the 4th game of the season is this line from Marc Topkin: “Also, Maddon said the pitcher who wins the fifth starter job won’t necessarily be fifth in the order, especially if it’s Hernandez, who has been an innings-eater.” [TampaBay.com]
- As a follow-up to the concerns I expressed earlier this week about Fernando Rodney’s WBC workload, Joe Maddon says he will scale back the “innings intensity” once Rodney returns to the club, but still isn’t sure exactly how he will handle Rodney. [TBO.com]
- The radical realignment in the NHL is probably the future of all sports leagues. By dividing teams (mostly) by timezones, it keeps more games in primetime and makes television packages more valuable. [BI Sports]
- Wil Myers talks about heading back to the minors. [TampaBay.com]
- Pricey, but this is an impressive collection of Rays cowbells for sale on ebay. [ebay]
- Don’t forget you can catch up on all the Bucs free agency news over at JoeBucsFan. [JoeBucsFan]