6-5-2013 7-41-57 PMThe GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

RAYS 3, Tigers 0 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Alex Cobb. Write. Rinse. Repeat. That’s what it feels like when Corn Cobb pitches. It feels like I am a broken record. He’s great. He’s the Rays’ best true pitcher right now. And he just seems to be getting better. He went even more changeup-heavy than usual. Of his 108 pitches, 42 were changeups (39%). Typically, 29% of his pitches are changeups. But it was a strong strategy against the aggressive power-hitting Tigers. Of those 42 changes, 34 were strikes and 9 were swing-and-misses…Sam Fuld. That 9th inning rally doesn’t happen if Fuld doesn’t lead off the 9th with a gorgeous drag bunt and an even more gorgeous slide to avoid the tag…Joel Peralta. After intentionally walking Miguel Cabrera, putting runners on 1st and 2nd, my initial thought was to walk Fielder also. With two outs in a tie game, there is not much difference between 1st and 2nd, and bases loaded. Instead, Joe Maddon called on Joel Peralta to face Fielder, and he struck him out. What an at bat.

THE BAD: Yunel Escobar. I feel like I am starting to pile on Escobar and I don’t mean to. There is clearly a lot of talent there. But some guys are just prone to brainfarts on the field. The latest was when Jose Lobaton got caught in a rundown between third and home. Escobar broke for third (smart) but hesitated halfway there (not smart). There is no way he is making it back to second at that point. So he needs to run hard. Instead he hesitates and ends up being tagged out at third on an awful double play in a tie game. Replays showed that he was probably safe. But it shouldn’t have been close.

THE TELLING: David Price is expected to throw a bullpen session on Friday, a good sign that he is closer to returning…Torii Hunter on Alex Cobb: “You would think Bugs Bunny was pitching”…Amazingly, that was the 6th time the Tigers have been shutout this season. That’s a lot for a team with some of the best hitters in baseball…The Rays are now 32-26, 3 games behind the Red Sox. According to CoolStandings.com, the Rays have a 50.7% chance of making the playoffs, better than both the Yankees and the Orioles, who are ahead of the Rays in the division.


  • Baseball popularity is dropping. Here are 10 things baseball can do to change that. You’ll hate at least half of them. [BI Sports]
  • Here’s one from the way-back machine. It’s a Shopp-a-copter! With a great catch by a fan (thanks, Andrea). [Big League Stew]
  • Here are some mock draft projections for today’s draft. [TampaBay.com]
  • Alex Rodriguez will lose at least $15.4 million if he receives a 100-game suspension. [BI Sports]
  • Are you a Josh Freeman hater? [JoeBucsFan]


Indianapolis 1, DURHAM 0. J.D. Martin allowed just 1 unearned run in 7.2 innings with 2 Ks and 1 walk…Wil Myers went 0-4 and Shelley Duncan was 0-3 with a walk.

MONTGOMERY 4, Pensacola 2. Merrill Kelly allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks in 7 innings…Mark Thomas hit his 2nd home run and added a triple.

CHARLOTTE 7, Dunedin 4. Drew Vettleson went 2-4 with a double and an RBI. He’s hitting .257.

Dayton 5, BOWLING GREEN 3. Blake Snell gave up 4 runs (3 earned) in just 3.2 innings to raise his ERA to 4.14…Andrew Toles stole his 34th base.





  1. Josh says:

    Alex Cobb is on fire. And he HAS replaced James Shields as a true work horse pitcher. It is remarkable how Shields-like he is. Even his delivery LOOKS like Shields'.

    However, the nicest thing about last night's win from my point of view is Joe Maddon. I am a huge Joe Maddon fan, but in the last few weeks I have really questioned some of his moves. Last night was not one of those moments. We won last night because Joe Maddon OUTMANAGED Jim Leyland. End of story. Intentionally walking Miguel Cabrera to get to Prince worked (Joel Peralta=Cobb of bullpen). Twice. (And Leyland left Fister two batters too long.

    Let's hope Fausto can get us a win today before heading home. If the rain allows them to come home.

    • reeni645 says:

      Somewhere online, there is a great slow motion, next to each other windeup by Sheilds and Cobb. Their windeup is exactly the same! Cobb obviously learned from the best. Great for him. He will be a great asset for the team.

      • Brandon Rays Fan says:


  2. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    Alex Cobb is a world-beater right now.

    For all of the JoMa haters last game will be hard to explain. He managed very well and all of his decisions worked. Good. For every one of his decisions that backfires there seems to be 2 that work well.

    Before I left for Mexico last week I posted here on RI that I hoped the Rays would get through my absence with only 2 losses and lo and behold they went out and did it... I guess, for the sake of the Rays, I'll have to go back to the same all-inclusive resort for another week in September (let's see if Mrs. DirtbagFan goes for that logic).

  3. Don says:

    Laughable: Boy Genius Friedmans ML Draft history on Front page(sports) of Tampabay Times....synopsis: He Has not drafted one(1) player that has made it to the Big leagues in 5 years.....
    and don't give me the "Scouts did it story" he has to approve EVERY signing or Not- signing that is Done.......HIS JOB...... but true "genius" for sure

    • OriginalTom says:

      What about Dietrich who was drafted by the Ray's in 2010 and is now playing 2nd for the Marlins? I know the Marlins are putrid but they are still technically a Major league team.

    • Dave L says:

      So what? Since 2009 the Rays have had low draft picks. How many guys in the last five years taken late in the mid to late first round have made it to the bigs?

      Not many

      2012 - Zero in the entire first round
      2011- 1 guy past the 14th pick Rays first pick was 24
      2010 - 2 guys past 13, Rays pick 17
      2009 - only 7 guys out of picks 21 to 39 Rays picked #30

      So thats 10 guys out of about 169 picked where the Rays picked who made it.

      2008 - Rays bust with Beckham so what get over it. After the Price/Longo home runs I'll take a bust.

      Longo and Price were spectacular picks and not just no brainers.

      • Cork Gaines says:

        I guess that's one way to look at it. But I can also say that 12 guys have made the big leagues that were drafted in 2009 after the Rays 1st rd pick and before the end of the 2nd rd. And 3 of the 4 players taken immediately after the Rays' 2nd round pick in '09 have made it. And I have no idea how many were drafted after the 2nd round. Obviously the draft is a crapshoot. But it is not good that they have zero products from a draft that was 4 years ago. And I dont think any have even reached triple-A.

        • Gus says:

          The real problem is that nobody even appears to be a future big-leaguer 3-4 years in. Beckham will make the bigs because the org. won;t want the stigma of an overall No. 1 not making it, but other than that, not much in Topkin's list looks too promising until you get to the draft with Hager in it.

          The one thing I will note of Lamar's D-Rays v. Friedman's Rays: the size and athleticism used to be Chuck's big thing; the Rays would have 5-6 top QBs in camp every year, very big OFs. Even the catchers were big dudes. Friedman's Rays picks seem a lot smaller/scappier -- guys like Vettleson, Hager and Mahook. I think the years of dealing with high ceiling studs who struggled like Dukes, Baldelli, Young, Upton and Beckham have scared them away a little from drafting on athletic potential. Not sure if that is right or wrong, but the Rays are pretty small now in spring training with the bigger squads when you see them next to teams like the Orioles and Phillies and Yankees.

        • Dave L says:

          Yes I agree. But many often look at from a strictly Rays point of view. My point is very few have made it. "Making it" means exactly what.

          After the Rays picked at 30 some Rockies pitcher named Rex Brothers has a 4.3 WAR. Jason Kipnis in the second round is a nice player with a 6.5 WAR the other 10 have a combined WAR of 5.5. Plus the other 40 who never made it.

          It takes more than 4 years to evaluate a draft.

          For me the 2011 Draft will be the one to watch, where we had all the picks. Talk to me towards the end of the decade.

  4. Gus says:

    Are the Rays alone as the worst in MLB in terms of drafting and developing players to play in the Majors? I need some context for my gut telling me they have been "too clever by half" in the draft (and also cheap, see: Washington, LeVon).

    • Gus says:

      I mean since 2008 . . .

    • Dave L says:

      After the first 6 to 10 picks every year its a real crapshoot. Its alot easier at the top. It takes 6 to 8 years or more to evaluate a draft. Your picking alot of HS kids and an MLB players career peaks at age 29 on average.

      See above for specifics


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