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

click above image for boxscore

THE GOOD: PECOTA gives the Rays a 91.2% shot at making the playoffs including a 62.3% chance of winning the AL East. The Red Sox only have a 17.6% shot at making the playoffs.

THE BAD: Ben Zobrist has gone 162 plate appearances since his last home run. He is the only regular #3 hitter in the AL without a home run.

THE TELLING: JP Howell will throw a batting practice session today for the first time since going on the DL.

WHERE THEY STAND: Despite a recent 3-game losing streak that included a perfect game, the Rays still have the best record in baseball at 24-10, 2 games ahead of the Yankees and 4.5 games ahead of the Tigers in the Wild Card race.


  • We have no idea what “Team Supreme” is (are those the werewolves or the vampires?), but Andy Sonnanstine is now an “official” member. [Twitter]
  • Ben Zobrist will continue to serve as the backup first baseman instead of Willy Aybar…The same article also includes quotes from Scott Boras on the value of Carlos Pena. You would think ‘Los was a 6-time AL MVP. [St. Pete Times]
  • Shane Dyer has been promoted to Charlotte. [Twitter]
  • One reason Shane Dyer was promoted was his outstanding strikeout-to-walk ratio. Rays Prospects looks at the ratio for all the Rays minor league starters. [Rays Prospects]
  • Roger Mooney believe the Rays will eventually release Pat Burrell. [Rays Report]
  • If you were wondering what Pat Burrell is doing while he is waiting to be DFA’d, here is your answer. [TAUNTR]
  • Marc Topkin writes about the Rays success in spite of the struggles of some of the team’s best hitters. [St. Pete Times]
  • Despite a recent 3-game losing streak, the Rays are still #1 in Tim Brown’s Power Rankings. [Yahoo! Sports]
  • Drays Bay looks at whether the Rays should promote Hank Blalock. [DRays Bay]
  • Dock of the Rays examines the evolution of Jeff Niemann. [Dock of the Rays]


  • Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
  • DURHAM: Carlos Hernandez allowed just 1 unearned run in 7 innings on 3 hits and 1 walk. He struck out 5…Dan Johnson continues his torrid pace with 3 more hits including a double and his triple-A leading 11th home run. His 1.037 OPS ranks second in the IL…Desmond Jennings was 3-5 with a double and his 8th stolen base.
  • MONTGOMERY: Alex Torres pitched 7 shutout innings. He allowed 3 hits and 2 walks with 3 strikeouts.
  • CHARLOTTE: Joe Cruz gave up 4 runs in 5 innings, striking out 4…Matt Sweeney was 2-4 with his 5th home run. He also committed his 8th error…Tim Beckham went 1-5 with a strikeout.
  • BOWLING GREEN: Jason McEachern allowed 4 runs (3 earned) in 6 innings…Tyler Bortnick hit his 1st home run of the season…Mayobanex Acosta had 3 singles and 2 RBI in 6 at bats.




  1. Beth says:

    If Zobrist can hit a bunch of doubles I don't care so much about the homeruns. But it does seem very odd that he went from a guy with no power to a guy with good power back to a guy with no power. Are we going to find out about some "vitamin supplement" he was taking last year that he was sure wasn't on the banned substance list?

    • Brian H says:

      no one is saying it but beckham sucks man. i cant imagine anyone thinks he looks like a 1st round pick. is there a return policy on the draft of 08? where do you think beckham would be drafted now? 7-8th?

      • Cork Gaines says:

        It certainly doesn't look good for Beckham. But he is still just 20 years old in high-A. I really don't care what he is doing right now. What I'd like to see is improvement by the end of the year. And it doesn't even have to be big steps, but we need to see something positive. And I wouldn't even worry if he started next year in Charlotte. But by mid-season next year he needs to be ready to make the jump to double-A. That would keep him on pace for a big league debut when he is 23. That is still a reasonable age even if it seems like a slow progression.

      • Scot (who can't find enough time to respond) says:

        The Prof is correct about Beckham. A 20 year old in High A is pretty impressive. If he were to reach the "show" by 23, that isn't much worse than Longo.

        As for Sweeney, I had the opportunity to watch him last year at High-A in California. He was clearly the only diamond in a pretty bad group in the Angels organization at that level. He can hit, but he is more entertaining as a fielder. If he is half decent at 3b, he has real value. If can he only hit and maybe do 1b, his value is limited. But man, can he hit.

      • Mark says:


        Actually a lot of people are saying it. Obviously he is still very young, but he really hasn't shown any signs of becoming the elite player that the number 1 pick should be. He might not even be able to stay at SS.

        His stock has declined considerably from when he was drafted. If he keeps playing like he has early this year then he won't even be a top 100 prospect next year. I think if that happens it will be fair to label him as a bust.

        What really sucks is all the other top players in that draft are doing so well. Alvarez, G Beckham, Smoak, Matusz, Hosmer, Posey, Alonso.

        • Indiana Rays Boy says:

          In 2008, I wanted the Rays to draft Justin Smoak to be the first basemen of the future but it was too risky to take him number one but Texas took him with the 12th overall selection. As for Tim Beckham, I was not calling for Friedman's head when they took him as the number 1 overall selection. I believed that Beckham missed a couple of weeks of the season with a wrist injury. He has 3 or 4 more years to develop into a quality SS. He has plenty of time to correct his flaws especially with Bartlett, Zobrist, Brignac and Rodriguez providing depth at the INF position for the Rays.

  2. Brian H says:


    Cork, what do you know about Dan johnsons fielding? is he a possible cheap replacement for pena next year? I know the thing on him is that he is AAAA player but I remember him having good months in the majors with the A's. (not that says much)if anybody is gunna be our next pena i think he is a great candidate.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      He wouldn't hurt the Rays defensively as a first baseman, but he might look bad compared to Pena. He's average or slightly above average.

    • Alex says:

      No No No. Unless you enjoy watching guys hit for minimal power and low batting averages. He is a AAAA player. He's pena with less power and a lower OBP

  3. Brixology says:

    Alex Torres was a pretty nice throw-in, huh?


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