Red Sox 6, RAYS 2 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Ben Zobrist. Zorilla went 3-5 in his first action for Team USA at the WBC. It might have been better, except Joe Torre (and his need to over-manage) had Zobrist attempt a sac bunt at one critical point in the game. Zobrist, who had just 2 sac bunts in 2012, popped up (see image below)…Chris Gimenez. Gimenez is raking with the bat, as he now has 11 hits in 22 at bats with just 2 strikeouts. Unfortunately, it probably doesn’t matter what Gimenez does in the Spring as Jose Lobabton is going to be the second catcher. Gimenez’ best hope might be if Maddon decides to carry three catchers (highly unlikely)…Sean Rodriguez. Hot Rod looked comfortable at first base where he is expected to see playing time this season (especially if Shelley Duncan doesn’t make the team).
THE BAD: Power Outage. The Rays have just 10 home runs in 16 Spring games. Only three teams have hit fewer home runs. And it feels even worse if we look at who has hit the 10 home runs. Half have been hit by players that won’t be on the opening day roster (Shelley Duncan has 2. Leslie Anderson, Chris Gimenez, and Mark Thomas each have 1). Of the other 5, 4 have been hit by players that are not likely to be starting most days (Sean Rodriguez and Ryan Roberts have each hit 2). Yunel Escobar is the only starter that has hit a home run this spring.
THE TELLING: Andrew Friedman told Todd Kalas that it “remains to be seen” if Evan Longoria will be used at DH this season…Desmond Jennings sprained his ankle on Saturday, but Joe Maddon expects him to play today or tomorrow…Luke Scott is also expected back today after straining his hamstring and Sam Fuld is on track to return later this week…Tim Beckham got hit in the face with a ball during a fielding exercise. He needed stitches underneath his eye and will be out a few days…Cecil Fielder (right) was in uniform for the Rays as part of their “Adopt A Veteran” program…Fernando Rodney picked up the save for the Dominican Republic last night and his cap seemed a little less crooked than the other night (see image below).
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- One of the Hooters ballgirls had an oops in the Rays game on Saturday. [BI Sports]
- It is odd that Jim Hickey isn’t in bigger demand with the high payroll clubs, not only based on success of Rays pitchers, but based on how the Rays can keep pitchers healthy. Even if Hickey isn’t the only reason, he knows the secrets. [TampaBay.com]
- How is Ben Zobrist not considered one of the top 100 players in MLB? Evan Longoria (16) and David Price (12) do make the list. [Baseball Nation]
- Joel Peralta sounds like he has a future in coaching. [TBO.com]
- Solid look at why strikeouts are so much more common these days. [LA Times]
- If you haven’t seen video of the ugly World Baseball Classic brawl, here it is. [BI Sports]
- Carl Crawford called the Boston media “the worst thing I’ve ever experienced in my life.” [CBSSports.com]
- And of course the Boston media had a field day with this. It was almost as if they took his comments as a compliment. [Boston.com]
- Don’t forget to check in with Joe Bucs Fan as free agency arrives in the NFL. [JoeBucsFan]