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

RAYS 2, Rangers 0 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Matt Moore. His pitch count was out of control meaning he had to be pulled with just one out in the 6th inning. But considering the conditions (very cold and very wet), Moore did great to keep the Rangers off the board. And after struggling in March, Moore has now thrown 11.1 innings and has not allowed a run…Gold Glovin’. With the tying runs in scoring position and just one out in the 8th inning, Ben Zobrist caught a flyball in right field and fired home to double up the runner tagging from third. In addition, Jose Lobaton made a perfect play, shielding the plate with his left leg and executing a perfect tag. It was the Rays’ third double-play of the day…Marty Foster. Rangers fans were calling it a make-up call for the missed strike call on Monday night. But his interference call in the 6th was absolutely the right call (see slide below). At the time, the Rangers had the bases loaded with just one out. If the call is not made, the Rangers score one run and the inning is still alive.

THE BAD: Left-Handed Lineup. There is something very wrong with the roster if Sean Rodriguez is hitting second just because a left-hander is on the mound. Joe Maddon did try to compensate by moving Evan Longoria up to third. But wouldn’t it make more sense to move Ben Zobrist up to second, followed by Longo and then Shelley Duncan? Maddon did say he wanted Zobrist behind Longo in the hopes that Longo would get better pitches. But it also leaves a big hole in the lineup at the top.

THE TELLING: Evan Longoria served as the DH, essentially giving him two straight days off from the field with today’s off-day…The game was delayed by rain for more than an hour…Fernando Rodney picked up the Rays’ first save of the season.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • The Rays added some catching depth by trading for minor leaguer Juan Apodaca from the Rangers. He will go to triple-A. [Marc Topkin]
  • Jeff Niemann had his shoulder surgery yesterday and like every other surgery in the history of sports, it was described as “successful.” [TampaBay.com]
  • Along the same lines as the K-9 District, the Durham Bulls now have a special section called “WilVille” in honor of Wil Myers. It comes with a t-shirt. [MiLB]
  • A Jets blogger has lost his mind. [JoeBucsFan]

DOWN ON THE FARM

DURHAM 10, Gwinnett 6. Chris Archer struck out 7 in 5 innings, but gave up 4 runs on 7 hits and a walk…Leslie Anderson was 3-4 with 2 home runs. He also had a walk…CF Jason Bourgeois had 3 doubles and 2 walks…LF Brandon Guyer went 0-4 and RF Wil Myers had a pair of singles and a walk. He is 9-25 (.360) in 6 games…SS Hak-Ju Lee went 2-4 and is 7-20 overall (.350).

MONTGOMERY 4, Jackson 3. Matt Buschmann threw 6 shutout innings. He struck out 5 and walked none.

CHARLOTTE 4, Bradenton 3. RF Drew Vettleson was 1-5 with a double.

BOWLING GREEN 10, Lansing 1. Blake Snell struck out 9 and walked none in 4.2 innings. He allowed 1 run on a solo home run…LF Marty Gantt had 3 more hits and is now 10-19 in 6 games.

HUDSON VALLEY.

PRINCETON.

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18 Comments

  1. Don says:

    Repeat: Without Zobrist the Rays are Nothing..
    The ONLY pitcher Moore the coaching staff worried about in spring training was moore???kind of ironic or____?

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  2. Chris D says:

    A note on Hak-Ju Lee. He's 7-20, but 3 (maybe 4?) of those hits are bunt singles. I realize maybe they're telling him to work on that or something like that, but it would be good to see if he can actually truly hit AAA pitching rather than just being a speedster.

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    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      Thanks for adding that caveat. I was finding myself very impressed with his numbers, but I had no idea they were padded by so many bunts.

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      • Slacker775 says:

        I can think of many times the past few years where a bunt single would have been much more awesome than the useless strike out.

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        • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

          Fact.
          I'm just as happy with a bunt as a blooping single, it just helps to know that a good portion of his hits were via the bunt.

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  3. Gus says:

    If Joe Maddon is worried about getting Longoria better pitches to hit, than he better ditch the quadtoon and get Myers called up and move Zobrist back to the infield. The lineup is just short on hitters.

    I know Derek Shelton gets no love here, but I have to say whatever they (or perhaps Loney himself figured it out) have done with Loney and getting him to go opposite field and not roll over on everything is very commendable. If Loney can not be an automatic out, that greatly improves their chances.

    Des has been hitting the ball hard all over the place.

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    • Beth says:

      Surely they need to let Myers stay in Durham long enough for that team to recoup their investment in "Wilville!"

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      • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

        I know that comment was tongue-in-cheek, but it is curious that despite knowing that his days there are numbered (theoretically) they still set up Wilville... he could be up in The Show before the ink on the flyers dries.

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        • Beth says:

          I think the marketing departments of minor league teams are keenly aware of this, and they get what they can out of these stars as they make their way up the hierarchy. Evan Longoria was a Durham Bull for 37 games, and I'm sure their marketing office made good use of every one of them. Add to that the fact that Myers is a local boy, and I'm sure he's a huge boon to their attendance and merchandise sales.

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          • Chris D says:

            Ya know, actually they did a terrible job with Longoria and Price. I think the Bulls front office has learned its lessons since then though. They over-promoted Matsui last year and even made a big deal about Luke Scott on rehab. Myers is an opportunity to draw in some fan support and it started during the off season with their "Will He or Won't He" promotion.

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      • Gus says:

        Brendan-burg will take over nicely for Will-Ville when it is time.

        Sadly, no matter the needs of the big club, I think Meyers is down for an extended period no matter what he does. Interesting contrast to see Durham's offense on fire while the Rays struggle to produce any offense most days.

        As bad as Escobar has hit in late spring and early part of season, you do wonder if there is a possible call-up at SS at some point this season too.

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        • Beth says:

          Sorry, Gus, but the idea that the offensive success of the Durham Bulls means that the Rays' need only make a few call ups to produce a better major league line up is just wishful thinking. Dan Johnson....Elliott Johnson....Rich Thompson....

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          • Gus says:

            You just named 3 career minor leaguers. The 2013 Bulls have Myers, Lee, Guyer who are legit prospects, plus Giminez who has shown he can maybe hit at the MLB level (at least better than what we have up there now). Not to mention "Slow Bat" Anderson, who I'd still love to see get a shot in the bigs. 5 guys who could potentially help this season. Not to mention Buster Beckham . . .

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    • Ken says:

      Myers still needs to work on bat control. 9 K's in 25 AB's is too many. Translates to 150 K's over a full season. Guyer is on fire and right now may be the first call up if he continues to play at a high level.

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      • Lane Meyer says:

        That's a good observation Ken. We need to remember that prior to this season, Myers had only played about 90 games at AAA, all last year. He probably needs to get the equivalent of a full season at AAA which would mean about 70 games at Durham this year to work on his pitch selection, defense, etc.

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        • Dave L says:

          70 games......hmmmmm.......its my understanding if we wait till some time in mid June, no one knows what date for sure except Andrew and Keennesaw Mountain's ghost, then we get the magical fourth year of arbitration!

          Nice aligning of the stars Lane. I think you nailed it.

          Just let the kid marinate a little more. Patience is in order here.

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          • Ken says:

            Note that the Red Sux rushed Jackie Bradley to the Bigs where he is presently batting .120 out of the nine hole. Bradley never played above AA. Patience is the name of the game.

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  4. Ken says:

    Gotta agree with Gus' comment on L. Anderson. Hopefully he gets a shot at some point this year. I believe that this is the final year of his signing deal with the Rays and he's 30. He's been a pretty consistent player at AAA. The crap about not enough power for a corner OF or 1B is curious when you consider Fuld and Loney aren't that "powerful" either...and he did have a hell of a spring.

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