Red Sox 6, RAYS 2 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Jerry Sands. Competing for one of the final bench spots, Sands is having a strong spring early on. He has 7 hits in his first 18 at bats which is nice. But more importantly he is hitting the ball hard with 3 doubles and 2 home runs.
THE BAD: Erik Bedard. Joe Maddon is not going to react to one or two bad spring outings. He keeps repeating that he just wants his pitchers to work on things if they have something to work on. But at the same time it would be nice to see a little more from the pitcher that is the favorite to be the fifth starting pitcher when the season starts. Yesterday he gave up 3 runs in 3 innings on 5 hits. But maybe the biggest red flag so far is that Bedard has walked 5 and struck out just 4 in 7.0 innings.
THE TELLING: Logan Forsythe started at first base. This is important because if somebody like Jerry Sands jumps up and grabs one of the final bench spots, Joe Maddon may prefer to keep Brandon Guyer leaving the final spot as a choice between Forsythe and Sean Rodriguez, two players that have similar skillsets…Cesar Ramos, who appears to be one of two favorites for the fifth spot in the rotation (along with Erik Bedard), pitched 4.1 innings in a minor league game striking out 7 and walking 1. He gave up 2 runs on 5 hits. Heath Bell also pitched in a minor league game striking out 1, walking 1, and giving up no hits in 1.1 scoreless innings…Attendance for home games is averaging 5,398, up 15% from last year. The Rays lead all teams in average road attendance (8,838)…David Price will start today. Alex Cobb, in line to start the second game of the regular season, will miss tomorrow’s road trip and instead will start in a minor league game. Nate Karns will start in the big league game. Matt Moore will start on Thursday, still in line to start the third game of the regular season…David DeJesus is expected to be back in the lineup today.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- On Sunday, Rays players, coaches, and executives will shave their heads for charity in their latest Fortune Favors the Bald to raise funds and awareness for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation.
- Joel Peralta and Ben Zobrist are both expected to miss a few more days. [TBO.com]
- Joe Maddon challenges Wil Myers to win a Gold Glove, which is code for “your defense is not as good as we were hoping and I want you to get better.” [TBO.com]
- Joe Maddon on Jake Odorizzi’s new changeup he’s learning from Alex Cobb: “As we say, he’s been Cobbed, and that’s where that split/changeup, freakazoid pitchis coming from, and it looks pretty good.”
- The Toronto Blue Jays have spent $1.3 billion (with a B) on player salaries since the last time they made the playoffs. [BI Sports]
- If you haven’t seen Giancarlo Stanton’s 500-foot home run, it is here. [BI Sports]
- Jake Odorizzi and Hak-Ju-Lee discuss spring training…