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.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- 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.