Kevin Kiermaier

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

RAYS 5, Twins 2 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: The Rays are 2-5 and yet lead all MLB teams with a 2.15 Spring Training ERA. Only 2 other teams have an ERA under 3.00 (Pitt 2.44, Twins 2.80). The Rays are also tied with the Cardinals with just 2 home runs allowed. Oddly though, the Rays’ pitchers are 28th with just 38 strikeouts, less than half of what the Yankees’ pitchers have (87) and their 1.7 strikeout-to-walk ratio is 27th. A good ratio is about 3.00. The Rays were 7th in MLB last year at 2.98. Who knows what this all means so early in the Spring. But the pitchers look good so far and yet there are reasons to be a tad bit concerned. Even that may be too strong. More like, it is just something to keep an eye on.

THE BAD: Unfortunately, the Rays also lead alL MLB with 16 errors defensively this Spring. The good news is that they also lead with 15 double-plays and the catchers are 5-10 throwing out base stealers. Only 2 teams have been more successful gunning down runners…At the plate, the Rays are dead-last with a .207 team batting average, 29th with a .260 OBP, 28th with 2.6 runs scored per game, 29th in walks, and 29th with a 4.6 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Again, it is early. But that is alarming and is also exactly what a lot of experts are expecting.

THE TELLING: The Rays signed reliever Jonny Venters to a 2-year minor league deal. Venters had Tommy John surgery in September and hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2012…Alex Cobb will be the honorary starter for the St. Pete Grand Prix on March 29…Alex Cobb will start today and Chris Archer gets the ball tomorrow…The Rays are 2-5 in the Spring. The Cubs are 1-6.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Kevin Kiermaier will be the team’s main center fielder this season and Desmond Jennings will play left field. Jennings will fill in for in center when Kiermaier is not in the lineup. [TampaBay.com]
  • Diamondbacks catcher Oscar Hernandez has a broken bone in his wrist. Hernandez was a member of the Rays organization who was selected by Arizona in the Rule 5 draft. They have to keep him on the big league roster all season or offer him back to the Rays. If he is on the DL, that counts as being on the roster and the D-Backs would not have to offer him back. [@NickPiecoro]
  • Here is an in-depth review of the Rays’ off-season moves. [MLBTR]
  • Kirby Yates’ fiance has started a business babysitting the children of pro athletes and it sounds like business is going very well so far. [TampaBay.com]
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  1. Dave L says:

    Regarding KK now CF and DJ now LF

    Well lets see how it goes

    Cash likens the arrangement to BJ and CC. I was never a BJ basher so I wont categorically blast that. BJ had his pluses and minuses as did Carl.

    For me DJ and KK have relatively equal range with regard to speed and though with effective speed due to breaks kevin is not as advanced as DJ but is younger so cag BJ and DJ I will take the more conservative ability to hit the cutoff mann improve.

    IMO after watching a glass armed DJ (like CC) over the 'cannon' of BJ who, for every runner gunned down or made gunshy to try to even advance produced 3+ errant or airmailed moonshots which simply allowed the inevitable run scored or third taken while allowing a single to become an easy double.

    KK's arm in a small sample size is more accurate, discriminatory and effective than BJ's so far. Whether he is Adam Jones or BJ 2 is still to be seen.

    One facet that sets Kevin apart is his gambling Fuldian, some would say reckless attitude to make every possible play, his body be damned. The other three exceedingly cautious to a fault and who can blame them?

    If he plays CF exclusively the other OF will must be vigilant to backup the gaps for the balls that a heroic Outlaw misses in 162 games. Certainly DJ Souza and the others can do it

    Its a small sample size for Kevin.

    I expect Desmond will log more innings at CF for the 2015 Rays than KK in a showhorse/plowhorse scenario but I would love to be wrong

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