• 16 runs and 29 hits in two days after the Rays 9-2 victory over the ‘Stros, and all of the sudden the Rays have won 4 of 6. James Shields struck out 6 in 5.1 innings but struggled with his control, walking 4. Seth McClung looked better, giving up only 1 hit to the five batters he faced. Chad Orvella pitched yet another scoreless inning. At the plate, Carl Crawford, Ty Wigginton, Delmon Young, B. J. Upton and Elijah Dukes all had multiple hits. Don’t look now but Dukes is all of the sudden hitting .314 and with Rocco Baldelli’s tender hamstring, he is just about a lock to break camp with the Rays.
  • Rocco Baldelli is day-to-day at this point. Does that mean that his hamstring is not serious and we will see him soon? Not necessarily. Here is a telling tidbit from the piece:

Since Baldelli’s had so many different issues with his legs over the last couple of years, he has a hard time analyzing the extent of his leg problems. So when Baldelli was asked whether he feared missing a significant amount of time time, he shrugged his shoulders

  • Interesting news here…Papa Joe announced that Akinori Iwamura will probably only start against right handed pitchers basically dropping him into a platoon situation, B. J. Upton and Ty Wigginton getting the starts versus left-handed starters.
  • Unless the Rays make a trade in next 10 days, the Rays will open the season without a lefty in the bullpe. The Rays optioned Jeff Ridgway to Durham, the only legitimate left handed candidate to make the roster. And, no, we do not consider Jon Switzer a legitimate candidate.
  • In 2006 the Rays lost 61 games in which they held a lead. To quote Jim Leyland…If you want to win, have a good bullpen. If you want to lose, have a (bad) bullpen.
  • Jayson Stark in his latest “Rumblings and Grumblings” lists James Shields as one of 12 players that scouts have mentioned as a player that is “ready to explode to a whole new level.” Stop teasing us Mr. Stark.


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