After Jeff Niemann got roughed up and the Rays offense couldn’t find clutch hits, Joe Maddon was predictably and rightfully upbeat tonight.

The Rays bested the Twins and White Sox in respective home series’ and, well, you can’t win every game. The good guys sit 2.5 back of the Yankees and two games out of the cellar.

Maddon was unusually plainspoken talking about Niemann, pretty simply saying he’s just not there yet with all aspects of his pitching. Really? Thanks, Skip.

Maddon went on to praise Casey Kotchman for some good at bats. His average dipped to .318 after going o-for-2 with an HBP and a walk.

Before the game, Tampa Tribune beat writer Roger Mooney told J.P. Peterson on WQYK-AM 1010 that he was sure Kotchman would be the odd man off the roster when Evan Longoria returned next week.

Mooney explained that the Rays would show extreme patience with Dan Johnson whether he was still hitting less than Sam Fuld’s weight or not.

Here’s to hoping Kotchman makes that call nearly impossible.  Surely, Jake McGee or Andy Sonnanstine is developing a mysterious ailment that needs to be attended to for 15 days.





  1. Lopez?

  2. Tone says:

    I don't like either Johnson or Kotchman. 1st base is a gigantic black hole. That being said, Kotchman is a better defender and Johnson does not look good at the plate lately. Johnson has zero value if he can't hit(especially for power). I wish they had done something for 1st base in the offseason. I think Johnson would clear waivers, he would be my choice to clear a spot for Longoria. At least with Kotchman the pitching and infielders have solid help. I would like to see how the line up with both Damon and Longoria produces; likewise, the defense of Kotch, Ben, Reid, and Evan. Jeff Nieman looked terrible. His pitches were up WAY too much. His command and composure suck. Hope he can turn it around, but I would rather see anyone in his spot right now. One more start like that and hopefully they pull the plug, find a reason to DL. Jake looks bad so far too, he should go down when JP gets back. No consistency in his pitches, fastball velocity varies and they are straight.

  3. Don says:

    I liked mr. Defense (CRotchman) pick up of that lopez throw..on the 1st bounce...which lead to the WHite Sox taking the lead...thats "good defense" but defense aside IF Dj doesn't HIT then thats his problem...
    I couldn't stand Pena and his .200 BA... can't take another....DJ or CROTCH

  4. Alex says:

    I'm sure other teams are just dieing to get a shot at Dan Johnson. Why would they send McGee or Sonny to the DL you idiot? Ramos has been horrid and we need Sonny for Niemman.

    • Joe Rays Fan says:

      @Alex - That's for calling me an idiot. If you think Maddon is going to give up on Niemann anytime soon, you're not paying attention.


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