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

Mariners 6, RAYS 4 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Steve Pearce is still hot. The Mariners started a lefty, so that meant Pearce was in the lineup and once again he came through with 2 home runs and a walk. In his last 5 starts he has 4 home runs, a double, and 2 walks. During that stretch he has also missed two games entirely because a right-hander was on the mound. At what point does being hot trump platoon status? Yes, he is a better hitter against lefties, but it is not like he can’t hit righties. In his career he hits a home run every 19 at bats against lefties and once every 29 at bats against righties. Meanwhlie, Pearce has a career .710 OPS against righties and the Rays’ starting first baseman against righties, Logan Morrison, has a .332 OPS this year and no home runs and his career .748 OPS against righties is not much better than Pearce. Yes, at some point you need to get Morrison going. But Pearce is red-hot right now and Morrison is as cold as polar bear’s ass.

THE BAD: Drew Smyly wasn’t good, just ask him.

There was also this weird sequence with the umpire in the first inning in which he called a balk, which would have scored a run and then later reversed his own call. In defense of the ump, Curt Casali asks for time first and I think what the ump was thinking was that Smyly stopped before the umpire had called time himself. Remember, a player can’t call time. So the ump starts to call time and grant the request and then thinks/realizes that Smyly had actually stopped before the ump actually called time. If you slow it down, Smyly does stop his leg before the ump raises his hands. In a completely technical sense, it might have actually been a balk. But the point was simply to call time and the ump was going to grant it. There was no “deception” on the part of Smyly, so it was a good reversal. Still, the entire sequence was just ugly and could have easily been avoided.

THE TELLING: Tim Beckham got the start at second base with Logan Forsythe day-to-day after being hit by a pitch…The Rays will need a fifth starter again on Saturday. Presumably it will be Matt Andriese again…Brad Boxberger is closer to a rehab assignment as he will pitch in an extended spring training game later this week…The Rays are now 15-16, 4.0 games behind the Orioles and Red Sox.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • It sounds like Logan Forsythe will be out a couple more days. [TampaBay.com]
  • Willy Adames, despite being one of the youngest players in double-A, is impressing folks with his bat. [MiLB]
  • The Rays are never going to be forgiven for passing on Buster Posey. [TampaBay.com]
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11 Comments

  1. doug says:

    Heard an interesting and I think valid criticism of how the Rays are determining lineups...they are overthinking. In other words the statisticians are managing the lineups and not the field manager. Playing the #'s and not the hot guy...in other words play Pearce and not Lo Mo without hesitation or righty/righty analysis being involved.
    Also personally I find the swing and miss rate to be unacceptable and inexplicable. Sure take a hack when you get the chance. But a hitter should not be excused for not placing a ball in play somewhere. Strike out rates in the Majors has reached unprecedented levels...all resulting from the McGuire syndrome I guess...nobody seems to care about that any more. Truth is things can and do happen when a ball is in play. I doubt seriously a guy's home run rate would fall if after taking the big hack and missing, the hitter would just put a less desirable pitch in play somewhere..all it takes is a slight cut back on the swing and keeping the head on the ball...oh well!

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  2. Sideline Redwine says:

    The lineup needs fixing is right. Guyer every day--Jennings, a guy I have always liked, is a bust. Longo is no longer a number three hitter. Hank Conger has been a disaster--I would take defense at that position all day. Forsythe is our best hitter, thus he should bat third. Ugh, and the strikeouts. And the first-pitch swinging. The hitting continues to get worse...

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  3. Ken says:

    Lately much has been written about the effect of picking Beckham over Posey in the 2008 draft. Yes, the pick cost the Rays a franchise saving catcher. It also caused an 8 year search for a capable SS. Barlett was at SS for 2008, and once he left the Rays have paraded a bunch of players into that position much like they have at catcher. Brignac, Johnson, SRod, Zorilla, Escobar, Caberera, Franklin and now Miller. I'm sure I missed a few. That draft produced only two MLB SS's, B. Crawford and M. Siemien, and I'd take either over what we have now. Talk about a monumental whiff.

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    • Gus says:

      You could add Hak Ju Lee to your list.

      Zobrist was a perfectly competent SS -- would have been Top 5 in the league for 5-6 years -- but the mad scientists preferred to move him around to enhance their own genius labels. For those who have been here a long time, you'll know I was an advocate for Zobrist the SS forever and with the exception of the last 3rd of a season (2011 maybe?), they never would do it. Frustrating.

      Morrison is as broken as Pat Burrell (and lumbers around like him too). Sad to see, but he can't be playing everyday.

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      • Ken says:

        ...and the Rays are just as broken. Our failure to keep inexpensive players has come back to haunt us. Rivera now a backup with the Mets and performing. Same can be said for Jaso and SRod. For every good trade or signing there three or four terrible decisions that tilt the balance sheet. Dietrich is a gamer for Miami. Vogt has proved his worth with the A's. Karns doing well for the M's. Navarro still better than anything we have at C. The Rays problems are many. Coke-glass eggsperts determine our lineups, Cash totally handcuffed, can't even bitch Jennings out for trotting to first after going 0 for 20 something. Shelton? Ugh. I know I've missed others. We, at this point, are not a contender.

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        • OriginalTom says:

          Rivera is 1 for 11for the Mets, how is that performing?

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          • Ken says:

            Compared to Conger, he has a couple of RBI's, an assist, a DP, no steals allowed, no passed balls. Yeah 1-11 typical for him but we're paying him not to perform here so...I'd take him over Conger in a heartbeat.

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  4. OriginalTom says:

    Exciting news about Adames. Jake Bauers is younger than Adames and is also playing well in Montgomery.

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    • monte says:

      I don't get all the excitement over Adames, whom I hope ends up being a star with the Rays, but a .266 batting average is not superstar performance at Montgomery. He does have 4 homeruns to go with that average. Let's play Pearce at 1B and also teach Guyer how to play that position. Then bring up Mikie Mahtook to play LF.

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      • OriginalTom says:

        He has a .366 OBP and a .478 SLG due to 18 walks and 15 XBH in 31 Games. Also the average player in Double A is 24 YO and he is 20. He is still a year or two away from the Majors of course and much can go wrong in that time span but his future looks promising.

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  5. Brent says:

    "a great columnist slacking on his pimping. We remember the glory days of getting the low-down before the day's ballgame AND the scoop the following day..."

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