11-17-2014 8-58-13 AM

Ben Zobrist did it again. While playing for the MLB team in Japan, Zobrist went to bat in the sixth inning of a game and used the wrong helmet. Batting right-handed, Zobrist wore his left-handed hitting helmet which of course has the flap on the wrong side.

Zobrist faced three pitches before Evan Longoria eventually got Zobrist’s attention and gave him the correct helmet.

11-17-2014 9-01-45 AM

This is not the first time Zobrist has done this. I can’t find it in the archives, but I believe it was a Rangers game in either 2012 or 2013. Zobrist wore a right-handed helmet batting left-handed. Very few people noticed at the time because the network (ESPN Sunday night game maybe?) came back from break late and Zobrist was leading off the inning and grounded out on the first pitch.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • The Rays have completed their initial round of managerial interviews. Rays have not ruled out adding more names to the list. This is just speculation, but I can’t help but feel the Rays have something up their sleeves that they are not telling us, maybe a candidate who agreed to interview but didn’t want his name made public. [TampaBay.com]
  • Rays reliever Jeff Beliveau suffered a minor injury while pitching for the MLB team in Japan. He will not pitch again as a precautionary step. [MLB.com]
  • Marc Topkin speculates on some players who could be on the way out to make room on the 40-man roster this week, including Sean Rodriguez, Jose Molina, and Tim Beckham. Rodriguez is certainly an obvious name but it is also the most interesting. I would think the Rays would want to keep two of Rodriguez, Ben Zobrist, and Nick Franklin. If Rodriguez is moved, makes it more likely that Zobrist stays with the team at least to start the season. [TampaBay.com]
  • In the same column, Topkin has this quote from a scout on infielder Andrew Velazquez, acquired in the Jeremy Hellickson trade: “Best prospect there, by far. … Super impressive … He’ll move to 2B … Top of order … Fearless … Advanced.” [TampaBay.com]
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10 Comments

  1. Gus says:

    Beckham on the 40-man is kind of humorous and now that Friedman is gone, we can blame that one on him (fair or not) and make the move. The Molina reference made my heart leap. Cut him or put him on the coaching staff and be done with it.

    I wonder if the concern/paranoia over the 40-man roster is because they fear Friedman-Maddon know exactly who they really treasure and feel vulnerable for another Josh Hamilton theft in the Rule 5 draft. Clearly, pursuing the tampering charge with such vigor has hard feelings (see Maddon's interview with Topkin over the weekend where he is visibly trouble by that dispute) and you have to know that the Cubs would love to poach somebody from the Rays as retaliation.

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    • christopher says:

      Did we ever figure out if Wade Townsend over Andrew McCutchen was Friedman or Naimoli? They had that weird transitional year there, & I remember rumblings that people in the org. wanted McCutchen but were overruled (signability?) Heck, I'm still irked at Brazelton over Teixeira ;o).

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      • NC says:

        Townsend was a Chuck LaMar pick. Friedman wasn't with the organization at that point. This was just me thinking, but it always felt like a lazy pick. Like we had scouted Niemann so heavily the year before at Rice, and since Townsend didn't sign with Baltimore we just went ahead and picked him too the following year. As for Brazelton I'm going off memory but we did not draft him because his agent made it clear he would not sign if we drafted him.

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        • Gus says:

          Townsend pick wasn't so much lazy as it was cozy and cronyism -- LaMar grew up in Houston around Rice and knew that program (which was the top NCAA program at the time) all too well.

          Knowing so much, he should have accounted for those guys getting their arms pitched off. But at least Neiman made the majors and was a good player when healthy. May not be able to say that about the 2008-2012 No. 1 draft picks who seem to prefer trouble to baseball.

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    • Dave L says:

      Rule 5 requires that a team keep the draftee on its 25 man for the entire season or he will be returned.Hamilton was an obvious MLB talent who's head was the question.

      What non 40 man players are in the Rays org who would make what teams season long roster? Certainly no position players. I dont think we have some overabundance of talent. I suppose some team could take a flyer on one of our young arms and stick him in their pen but I wouldn't think thats a concern at this point.

      I dont think we have some unique embaressment of riches which invites poaching --- we have much greater concerns of the opposite nature

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      • Ted Sheckler says:

        Mahtook could easily stick with someone as a 5th outfielder. He's on par with Guyer.

        O'Conner isn't ready yet, but he's a plus defender with some power. I could see someone with a catcher who plays almost every day using him as a backup. It would stunt the progress he's made with his bat but he's still pretty young, especially for a catcher. They could send him back to AAA the next year to develop more if he needed it, and he'd still only be 25. I'd be pretty pissed if the Rays left him exposed.

        Brett probably wouldn't stick with anyone, but he can steal bases, so you never know. He would at least be able to contribute something. He has more to offer than Felix Escalona did, and the Rays held on to him way back when.

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        • Dave L says:

          Mahtook certainly would warrant protection.

          O'Conner is has never had an at bat past AA. To think he could last an entire season on an MLB team is to put it graciously, optimistic. We are not the birthplace of catchers.

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          • Gus says:

            Actually, we are the birthhplace of catching careers(they just don't play for the Rays anymore):

            Jaso
            Vogt
            Chirnos
            Lobaton
            Navarro

            All came through the Rays system and were major leaguers last year (in some cases, pretty decent major leaguers). But we got 90 games of Molina.

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          • Ted Sheckler says:

            I wouldn't bet money on O'Conner being taken and sticking all season, but it wouldn't be shocking. Casali only had 14 more games above A ball going into last season than O'Conner does, and Casali spent a good chunk of time with the Rays last year. O'Conner is a much better prospect and a much better defender. There's no reason to risk losing him when he's not that far from the majors. His defense is ready right now. Depending on how much you value defense from a catcher, he's probably already the 2nd best catcher currently in the Rays organization. That may not be saying much, but still.

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          • Ted Sheckler says:

            O'Conner is actually a year younger than I thought. He doesn't turn 23 until March, which only increases his value.

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