THE GOOD: The Bullpen? Are we the only ones that think a huge bullpen implosion is just waiting to happen? Yesterday, four relievers combined for 4.2 innings, 3 hits, 1 walk and no runs, while striking out 5. The bullpen now has an ERA of 2.70, a number that is unfathomable for a Tampa Bay relief corps.

THE BAD: Edwin Jackson’s last two starts. Since pitching shutout ball for 8, 2-hit innings against the M’s, Nuke has allowed 11 runs on 11 hits and 7 walks in 9.1 innings. That line looks an awful lot like the ’07 Jackson…The offense. 9 strikeouts and ZERO walks. After Sunday’s shutout, their second of the year, the Rays have now been held to 2 runs or less in 6 games.

THE TELLING: Since the 4th game of the year the Rays are averaging only 4.2 runs per game. The offense is supposed to be catching up to the pitchers not losing ground…The Rays are now 2-5 in their last 7 and 5-10 in their last 15…The Rays have used 5 people in right field but so far they haven’t been too terrible. So far Rays right fielders have hit .281-4-9 with an .854 OPS. Delmon Young is hitting .236-0-6 with an .559 OPS…Jonny Gomes is hitting .304/.429/.565 versus right handed pitchers.


  • The Rays finally added Dan Johnson to the 25-man roster with Jeff Niemann being optioned to Durham giving Justin Ruggiano a stay of demotion until Matt Garza is promoted on Friday to start that night. With the off-day, Andy Sonnanstine will move a spot and make the start on Thursday. Marc Topkin also suggested that Mike DiFelice will be DFA’d on Tuesday to make room for Dioner Navarro. [The Heater]
  • Rays of Light questions the move of adding Dan Johnson, noting that he adds less flexibility to the roster, not more…We have to agree that the Rays won’t be printing any Dan Johnson jerseys as his tenure with the Rays is likely to be a short one. Look for Johnson to be DFA’d once people start returning from injuries. [Rays of Light]
  • MLB Trade Rumors has a bunch of links and discussion on the Evan Longoria deal. [MLB Trade Rumors]
  • Fanhouse thinks the new deal for Evan Longoria is a bad deal for the Rays because of the risk that Longoria will be a bust. We don’t have a link, but if you go back and look at the top hitting prospects in Baseball America’s annual lists you will see that hitting prospects almost never bust. The worst they become is usually an average player. Pitching prospects on the other hand bust all the time. This is a great deal for the Rays. [Fanhouse]
  • wonders if the Evan Longoria and Troy Tulowitzki deals signal an end to baseball’s mega-deals…That may be a little extreme considering the Mets just gave Johan Santana $137.5 million. []
  • Rays Digest wonders if the Rays would be interested in Frank Thomas…Thomas is angry and he would very likely welcome another AL East suitor for a chance to play the Jays 18-19 times this season. And he is sufficiently motivated to resume his role as the “Big Hurt”. He would also certainly be cheap as the Jays are still paying his $8 million salary this year. Still, we have to wonder how Thomas fits with the Rays who already have Cliff Floyd and Jonny Gomes at DH. Thomas is less of a fielder than Barry Bonds. And is Thomas really that much better than Floyd? [Rays Digest]
  • Beyond the Boxscore also takes a look at the Rays as one of several potential suitors for Frank Thomas. [Beyond the Boxscore]
  • We love that the Yankees super-duo of Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes is struggling so far this year. As much time as we spend in New York, it was starting to reach ludicrous levels this off-season with Yankees fans and Red Sox fans fighting over which team had the best rotation in baseball. And time after time, Yankees fans would talk about Kennedy and Hughes as if they were locks to win 17-20 games this season. [Baseball Musings]
  • Our new friends at Hugging Harold Reynolds are having a fundraiser to try and get enough money to “hire” the real Harold Reynolds to blog at their site. [Hugging Harold Reynolds]
  • One blogger compares Stuart Sternberg to Barack Obama, both beacons of change. [The Year Is Coming]

Now, if Obama could be as successful turning our country around as Sternberg and Matthew Silverman (president/GM) has been turning the Devil Rays around, I wouldn’t be surprised if within three years, we all have global health care and Iraq has a settled, stable government.



  1. WiNKy says:

    Still trying to figure which one exactly is the Bizarro Jackson? Much like I'm wondering which one of Sonnanstine's ego is alter? But this is most definitely the bizarro bullpen (tampa having reliable relief pitching is surely one of the seven signs of the apocalypse).

  2. DirtbagFan says:

    Jackson almost had me fooled into thinking that he was finally "coming-of-age", but now i'm re-convinced that he'll never find the control.

    Hopefully he doesn't totally implode so that he'll still hold some semblance of trade value down the line.

    As a side note:

    Despite his masterful performance the other day (for which i give him- oh how do they say it now-a-days... props)I think Sonny is still headed for the pen sooner than later.

  3. Jake says:

    Not sure why people think little of Dan Johnson, seeing as his bat probably is better than Hinske. His OBP may not show it, but he's better at drawing walks and he'll be of use as long as they don't put him before Bartlett in the line-up.

    I personally think the Johnson pick-up is more of a precursor to a Hinske trade myself.

  4. The Professor says:

    a hinske trade is really the only reason to keep Johnson and that is def a possibility.

    and before the season i would have agreed with you about Johnson being a better bat than Hinske, but Hinkse seems to have rediscovered his power and he is getting on base. Can it last? maybe not, but he is a big guy and there really is no reason why he shouldnt hit 30 home runs with fulltime duty.

    and i am not so much against Johnson. i think he is a solid bat. i just dont see where he fits IF hinske is still around.


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