The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
Tigers 10, RAYS 1 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Alex Torres. Torres is pitching like he wants to hang around for a while. And at this point, it would be surprising if he were sent back to Durham. And if he does get demoted, it won’t be for long. In 10.1 innings for the Rays this season, Torres has allowed 1 hit. 1! He has struck out 12, walked 3 and still hasn’t given up a run, often giving Joe Maddon and the rest of the bullpen some much-needed innings…Derek Shelton. Evan Longoria had a bit of a mini-slump recently. Nothing terrible. But he hit just .247 with no home runs over a span of 19 games. Nobody seemed to notice because the Rays were winning. But Longo noticed, and possibly Derek Shelton. In the last 2 games, Longo has a home run and a triple (really a double, played into a triple). And both big hits came to right field, a sign that Longo is trying to break his slump by going the other way. And so far it is working.
THE BAD: Matt Moore. It was just one of those nights for Moore. The velocity on his fastball was fine, averaging 92 mph. But there wasn’t quite as much movement as he usually gets. When his fastball is on, even his 4-seemer will get 10-11 inches of horizontal movement. Last night it was less than 9 according to Pitchf/x. He also went away from his usual gameplay of about 25% curve/sliders (whatever you want to call it). Instead, only 9 (~10%) of his pitches were breaking balls. This may have been a plan specifically geared for the powerful Tigers lineup. But sometimes if you take a young pitcher out of his comfort zone it ends badly. Last night it ended badly.
THE TELLING: The way the Rays have been playing revolving door with their rotation and bullpen, don’t be surprised to see a new face for tonight’s game after the bullpen threw 6 innings last night…Chris Archer will start Friday’s game, followed by Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore…Wil Myers was named the International League player of the week…The Rays are 31-26, 4 games behind the Red Sox and 1.5 games behind both the Yankees and Orioles.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- If you haven’t seen it yet, Alex Rodriguez and a lot of other players are in big trouble. [BI Sports]
- With Chris Gimenez, the third string catcher, on the DL, the Rays have signed Jesus Flores to a minor league deal. Flores has played parts of 5 seasons with the Nationals.
- Tomorrow is the MLB Draft. The last time the Rays drafted a player that has made it to the big leagues with the Rays was 2007. [Adam Kohler]
- This ejection of a Pirates catcher was ridiculous. [BI Sports]
- Nuke is having a rough time in the Durham Bulls mascot races. [WDBB]
- A Q&A with Scott Kazmir about his return to the big leagues. [Fangraphs]
- Joe has everything you need to know about Bucs OTAs. [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
DURHAM 6, Indianapolis 2 (13). Wil Myers was just 1-5, but his lone single led to the Bulls go-ahead run in the 13th inning…Alex Colome allowed 2 runs in 4 innings…Josh Lueke pitched 2 scoreless innings, allowing no hits or walks.
Pensacola 2, MONTGOMERY 1. Game suspended in the 7th inning.
Dunedin 8, CHARLOTTE 5. Richie Shaffer was 1-4 with an RBI. He’s hitting .250…Kes Carter hit his 2nd home run…Jake Hager had 3 hits, raising his average to .284.
BOWLING GREEN. no game scheduled