USATSI_7795725_154511044_lowresThe GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

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…

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8 Comments

  1. ken says:

    The 5th spot in the rotation race appears eerily similar to last year. Then it was a choice of Fausto/Niemann/Archer. Archer clearly had the most impressive spring, Niemann got hurt and Fausto won the job??, giving the Rays a 6-12 season. He wasn't the innings eater as advertised, I doubt Bedard will be much better. What does Mgt. see in him that I'm missing? As for Ramos, Maddon wouldn't give him the ball last year unless it was a blow-out. What's changed? I don't get it. Odorizzi must be in Maddon's doghouse.

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  2. Alex says:

    Ramos is not going to get the 5th spot in the rotation. The Rays are just stretching him out for emergency purposes only. He will remain in the same role he had last year Long relief and mop up duty. Berdard will be handed the 5th rotation spot. We will all be in an uproar. He will be really bad/mediocre (4.5 era +) and he will be cut by May

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  3. Ken and Alex are, both, correct. Shame on Andrew for letting the 5th spot in the rotation come down to a competition between these three sorry candidates. If it has to be one of the three, just go with Odorizzi and find out once and for all if the throw-in in the Myers deal adds any value. Rays' minor league pitching quality hasn't been this weak in the longest time.

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    • OriginalTom says:

      "Three Sorry Candidates"
      I do not get this Odorizzi is a highly rated prospect and Bedard has had quite a bit of success throughout his career (although I fear he may be nearing the end of his career) when healthy. If you look at the 5th starters in our division you see guys like Dave Phelps, Felix Doubront, Esmil Rogers, and Bud Norris . None are great which is why they are 5th starters.

      Rays’ minor league pitching quality hasn’t been this weak in the longest time.

      This is indeed true- the Rays have been developing high quality pitchers over 2012 (Archer, Moore, Cobb) but they still have some excellent young arms in the minor: Odorizzi, Colome, Romero, and Guerrieri.

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  4. Dave L says:

    Ok I will be the Friedman apologist again.

    Here is the logic O-mar, Ken and Alex.

    Last years use of Archer has been misinterpreted or forgotten by you all. Many clamored for Archer to start early and he was held back, but even after being held back he was virtually spent by mid Sept and unusable for our last 15 or so games and he had no injuries to explain it

    Odorizzi is developing and is going to get better. They want to continue to work with him. A 2014 July-August-Sept Odorizzi is > a April- May-June Odorizzi. You cant say that about the older guys, they is what they is.

    There will be injuries.

    We wont get 30 starts each out of Cobb-Price-Moore-Archer and 20 more from Helli don't kid yourself.

    I'd rather have a healthy fresh Odorizzi and some spot Colome late in the season than have to fall back on a scary Bedard or Ramos as the race winds down.

    Let Bedard and Ramos between them have 10 starts and let the chips fall where they may. If they both really suck look for us to pick up a late March castoff to fill in until Helli returns.

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    • ken says:

      Dave, I respect your opinion but beg to differ here. I get the Rays cautious approach regarding young pitchers and agree that 30+ starts for our top four is very optimistic. But really, Bedard and Ramos? We'd be left hand heavy in a division that has plenty of RH power bats. I had more confidence in Fausto than either of these guys. We lost the division early last year, I hope were looking at castoffs now. I don't expect Hellboy back until the AS break.

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  5. Alex says:

    Odorizzi has pitched 150 innings two years in a row. It's not a stretch to imagine him being pushed to 175-180 innings. With the All-Star break, 5th starter being skipped and the other young talent we have (Colome, Hellickson etc...) there is no reason Odorizzi should only be a Sept call up. Bedard is going to be exactly like Fausto was last year. The Rays hope he gives them innings and a 4-4.5 era. Here's the issue. Berdard is a walking injury himself. He has control issues which have been evident this spring. He is essentially a what 35 year old version of Matt Moore with worse stuff. We'll be lucky if he makes it past 5 ip each start

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    • Sarah says:

      Are we all forgetting that Hellickson comes back in late May? So we're talking about who will get about 10 starts in April and May, not about who will be the #5 pitcher all year. With that in mind, considering a Bedard/Ramos combo may make sense. Do you want Odor up for two months and then you send him down in June?

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