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

Reds 12, RAYS 4 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Ben Zobrist. The Rays need to score more runs and Zorilla is proving to be one of the only consistent bats early on. He hit his 2nd and 3rd home runs of the season (one from each side of the plate) on Sunday and is getting on base at a .382 clip so far.

THE BAD: Cesar Ramos. After such a strong spring, it was disappointing to see Ramos get pounded in his start on Sunday. But the most disappointing aspect was that he didn’t even last 3 innings. Certainly he was going to be on a short rope. But with so many injuries to the starting pitchers, the Rays needed more innings from Ramos. The Rays will have an extra arm on Monday, but 5 relievers pitched at least an inning on Sunday…Offense. The Rays won 2 out of 3 from the Reds, but it wasn’t because of the offense. In fact, they were outscored 13-7 in the series. So far this season, the Rays have an OPS of .680, ahead of just 4 teams in the AL. Their 11 home runs are better than just 5 teams in the AL and their 4 stolen bases are better than just 2 clubs…Heath Bell. Bell pitched for the first time since hitting a batter in the face a week ago and this one didn’t go much better. Bell faced 8 batters in 1+ inning and gave up 3 hits, walked one batter and hit another…Jose Molina. Funky Slow Molina is on this team for his defense. But he needs to get on base more than once in the five games he has played so far this season.

THE TELLING: If you missed it yesterday, Alex Cobb injured his oblique muscle and is expected to be out 4-6 weeks. He was replaced on the roster by reliever Jeff Beliveau who was sent back to Durham after the game…The Rays will call up a relief pitcher before today’s game. Early speculation is Brad Boxberger or Kirby Yates…The Rays would save a lot of money if they moved their triple-A club to Tampa or maybe built a teleportation device. There are a few clubs that keep their triple-A teams within driving distance, including the Red Sox, the Braves, and the Mariners…Sam Fuld was designated for assignment by the A’s. A return to the Rays would certainly be possible, but other teams may be more desperate for an outfielder.


  • Alex Cobb actually injured his oblique in the first inning of his start on Saturday and Joe Maddon said he thought it was just a cramp. As careful as the Rays are with their pitchers, it is curious that Maddon let him stay in the game for 6 more innings, especially knowing he had to bat multiple times and potentially run the bases. [TampaBay.com]
  • Free agent closer Joel Hanrahan, who is returning from Tommy John surgery, will work out for teams next week. The Rays are one of several teams believed to be interested. [Jerry Crasnick]
  • No, not every pitcher is using pine tar and yes, it is still a big deal. [BI Sports]
  • Several Rays players shared stories about Don Zimmer and what he means to them and the team. [TBO.com]
  • MINORS [boxscores]: Nate Karns had his best start of the young season, striking out 7, walking 2, and giving up just 1 run in 5 innings. Mikie Mahtook had 2 hits and is hitting .275 early on. However, he has just one extra-base hit and has 12 strikeouts with just 2 walks in 40 at bats.




  1. Chris Wise says:

    Re nearby minor league team: And how would they have saved money on recent flurries of promotions/demotions? They were playing in KC and Cincinnati. In fact, Durham is closer to both. And now Rays in Baltimore, even closer to Durham.

  2. Drew says:

    this month+ of having Moore, Hellickson and Cobb out could derail the entire season.

  3. ken says:

    For all of you who bemoaned the decision of Ordo as the 5th starter: you now have the chance to gag on your words twice weekly. Ramos and Bedard will drive attendance and the teams' record historic lows. The Rays bats must man up and carry this team for the next 2 months.

    • Rob says:

      I've never understood what the Rays see in Ramos.

    • OriginalTom says:

      I do not remember anyone on this site bemoaning Ordorizzi being named the 5th starter. I though must of the reaction was pleasantly surprised. Am I missing something?

      • ken says:

        I do. There was a lot of debate over holding back Ordo. In fact, half way through the spring Bedard was all but a lock according to most Rays blogs.

        • Dave L says:

          I was for holding him back so we could use him when the next starter got hurt and/or to get more use out of him in Late 2014 instead of early 2014.

          Nobody argued Ramos or Bedard were better in the long run, just hopefully a short term -buying us time solution.

          Injuries made it moot.

  4. Rob says:

    Doctor said Cobb should expect to be out 4-6 weeks

  5. Gus says:

    You have to wonder if they'll look elsewhere in Durham (Romero?) for a stopgap starter. You also wonder if this accelerates Hellickson's timetable.

    Not mentioned anywhere: Is the oblique strain on the same side as Cobb's surgery that ended his 2012 season (something with the rib cage as aI recall). That would worry me a little bit more.

    For a guy with a bad side, Cobb actually got pretty good wood on a ball in his second at bat. I thought he might have hurt it there.

  6. ken says:

    Food for thought: the way the rotation is now set up Ramos and Bedard now follow Price. Sooner than later all three will pitch in the same series. Scary.
    Lueke and Bell: Can anyone offer a glimmer of hope on why they are both wasting spots on the 25 man roster? Bell and Molina should cameo on World's Biggest Loser. Lueke is certainly not molesting MLB batters with the assortment of crap he throws.
    Losing 3/5ths of a rotation this early will be tough to overcome. Fortunately, other AL East teams are suffering from major injuries as well. Hunter S. says that when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. Take note Rays.

  7. Geoff Peterson says:

    Ramos is fine as a lefty specialist but should not be starting. Either Karns or Romero seem logical for spot starts until someone is back. They should really be talking to Niemann too as he is still a free agent as far as I know and should be close to 100% soon.

  8. Dave L says:

    Every team every year has about 10 stinker games and that was one of ours. You can't start drawing conclusions. and its not like everyone here didnt think it was coming.

    We basically trotted out 6 of the 8 or so least talented pitchers on the 40 man so the results werent surprising. The Reds offense isnt as bad as the first 2 games of the series. Lucky for us they had three big innings in 3 games and they all came in the finale against our crappiest pitchers and that only accounted for 1 win.

    Yeah we got injuries everybody does. Now we face the O's who think they have bigger problems than we do. Thier rotation is in shambles as well.

    Our defense played well yesterday again. That double play in the second inning I could watch on continuous loop for an hour. The Myers error was a joke. Escobar tried to make a hero play when desperate measures were in order anyway and failed, no big deal.

    We have been hitting a zillion atom balls. We aren't fanning alot. Before yesterday picthing has carried us. Now its decimated going forward for the next month at least. We are still over .500 and tied for first. Don't pass me the purple Kool Aid yet. The whole AL east kinda looks flawed right now and the fans are all worried not just us.

  9. Kevin says:

    I'm new to this site, and mostly follow football. But I have been wondering for years why the rays haven't hired a new hitting/batting coach. Is that position over rated on the coaching staff. I mean last year seams to be the first in recent years to have had some kind of positive improvement at the bats....but was it a fluke? And it STILL wasn't good enough. Input anyone?

    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      Shelton (the Rays' hitting coach) has been the topic of debate since the day he took over. He's never gotten much love around here (and rightfully so), but to be fair he didn't get much love when the Rays' bats caught fire last summer either... I think it's time for a change, because hitters with beautiful natural swings (ie Joyce) or hitters advertised as way above average (ie Upton) have made little to no progress under his tutelage, or have arguably even gotten worse.

      • Dave L says:

        On the other hand most every hitter who left here still in his early to late prime after 2010 have regressed hitting wise, while upon later reflection their career years were with the Rays.

        i.e. Upton, Kotch, Kepp Pena, CC

        You could say Shelton 'ruined' them i suppose like a thoroughbred or greyhound.

        I can't think of anyone who left and flowered elsewhere. Lets see what Kelly Johnson does with the Yanks. I think Shelton hasn't had very fine clay to mold.

        • OriginalTom says:

          To continue where Dave left off...... Kotchman, Iwamura, Bartlett all had the best years of their career with the Rays and Loney had one of his better years last season.


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