Kevin Kiermaier

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

RAYS 11, Twins 3 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: So Jake McGee looked like the old Jake McGee pitching the 7th inning for his first appearance of the season. McGee hit 97 twice with his fastball and was consistently 95-96 showing no signs of any lingering effects of surgery. One thing to keep an eye on that may mean something or it may mean nothing. McGee is as much of a one-pitch pitcher as there is in baseball. Last year he threw 40 non-fastballs (3.5% of his pitches, all curveballs) in 73 appearances. Yesterday he threw 2 curveballs. Statistically, it proves nothing. But it is interesting that in his first game back he went to a pitch twice that he often doesn’t use at all. It could be a sign that he plans to unleash the curve a bit more often this season…Chris Archer had one of those starts that great pitchers have more often than other starting pitchers. At no point did Archer look like he was dominating the Twins. It was very workmanlike. At yet, at the end of the day he pitched 6 innings and allowed just 1 run without his best stuff. You would prefer to get 7 innings out of Archer, but he was only at 87 pitches and with the safe lead and the off-day Monday, the bullpen could afford to go 3 innings instead of 2…Kevin Cash won a challenge and is suddenly on fire with challenges winning 2 of last 3 after missing the first 10 of his career.

THE BAD: Not too much to harp on in what was the rare easy win for the Rays. But did you see the Rays score a touchdown when Bobby Wilson hit a wide open Nick Franklin deep down the middle? Yeah, that was bad.

THE TELLING: Nick Franklin and Jake McGee were the 39th and 40th players used by the Rays this season, an MLB high. McGee was the 21st pitcher…Erasmo Ramirez will start Tuesday  and Jake Odorizzi will start Wednesday. The move pushes Nathan Karns back giving him extra rest before his next start… The Rays improved to 6-16 when the other team scores first. They are 15-2 when they score first…The Rays are 21-18, 1.0 game behind the Yankees. All 5 teams in the division are within 5 games of each other…The Rays have the day off before an odd 2-game series in Atlanta before coming home for a 7-game home stand against the A’s and M’s.


  • How often did Joe Maddon flat-out point the finger at himself and say, “that was my fault.” Not often. That’s not to say Maddon never thought so or that he blamed the players. Rather, Maddon always had a reason (some like to call them “excuses”) for everything even when it didn’t work. In that regard, Kevin Cash is proving to be the anti-Maddon as pointed out by some commenters. The latest was on Friday night when he basically blamed himself for leaving Jake Odorizzi in too long. []
  • The Rays have several pitching prospects performing very well at the lower levels and one of the best appears to be Brent Honeywell (Rays’ No. 5-ranked prospect) who is on fire to start the season. []
  • The Rays have the 13th pick in the upcoming amateur draft. Baseball America’s latest mock draft has them taking RHP Jon Harris from Missouri State. [Baseball America]
  • Remember when the Rays traded Stephen Vogt to the A’s for what amounted to a bag of balls? He’s hitting .337 for the A’s and leads the AL with 30 RBI. []
  • Somebody on Reddit recently rediscovered an old piece from The Hardball Times on Rene Rivera’s talents behind the plate. [The Hardball Times]
  • DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscores] Everett Teaford gave up 5 runs in 5 innings as the Bulls lost 5-0. The offense had just 5 hits but Hak-Ju Lee had one and collected his 9th stolen base…Richie Shaffer had the go-ahead RBI-single in the top of the 9th inning as Montgomery beat Chattanooga 2-1. Tyler Duffey struck out 12 and walked 3 over 7 innings, giving up just 1 run. His ERA is now 2.56…Charlotte lost 4-0 and the offense collected just 3 hits…Brent Honeywell continued his hot start to the season with 7 no-hit innings. He struck out 8 and walked 1. In 38.0 innings this season he has a 1.66 ERA with 46 Ks and 7 walks. Casey Gillaspie hit his 7th home run and drove in 3.




  1. Political_Man says:

    I seem to recall McGee trying to go to the curve or a slider in past seasons only to abandon it after tossing rocket fuel on the fire in a handful of outings. Here is hoping the experiment is successful without too much pain.

    It's interesting to me that McGee threw anything other than a fastball last season. I honestly don't recall anything other than the heat from him in 2014.

  2. Charles says:

    I was at the Durham/Scranton-WB game in Durham on Friday night (8-4 loss in 11 innings). It was my first time there, but here are a few observations:

    1. Grant Balfour looked unfortunately bad. He topped out at 90 according to the stadium gun and was giving up solid contact in his one inning.

    2. Jim Miller was the most impressive Bulls pitcher of the night. He had the Railriders hitters off-balance his entire outing.

    3. I have no idea where Taylor Motter ranks on the prospect scale, but that guy can play. He seems to have a little Zorilla in him.

    4. Mikie Mahtook looks like a big league ball player. He didn't have a good game, but he looked comfortable and very consistently smooth at the plate, even when he was striking out.

    5. The Bulls could teach more than one major league team about how to put on an entertaining game experience. The stadium staff was great, parking was a snap, the seats were really comfy for stadium seats, and the fans were 100% amazing. Everyone in our section was having a blast, the stadium was loud and full of energy, and it actually outdrew the Cleveland Indians game I went to a couple of weeks ago.

  3. Josh Callahan says:

    If we recall, what made Rodney so, so, so dominant was the fact he could light a 97-99 mph FB and w/ the next pitch throw an 85mph change. Keeping hitters off balance the entire at-bat. If McGee finds a solid off-speed pitch and can use it consistently he will continue to move into the realm off dominant closers... yes, I said it, closers! 🙂

    My only concern is the amount of additional stress throwing a breaking pitch will have on the newly constructed elbow... :/

  4. Ken says:

    At 21-18 the Rays enter the quarter pole with their best record since 2012 (24-15). Starters then were Shields, Price, Moore, Hellickson, and Niemann with Cobb waiting in the wings. Kudos to Cash, the Kids and the Vets for their performance thus far. Let's take two from the Braves now. Go Rays.

  5. Gus says:

    1/4 season observations:

    1. This may be the best bullpen the Rays have had ever. Assuming the McGee return is where he'll be velocity wise, he and Boxy can shorten games. And Brandon Gomes' resurrection came in handy when they really needed bullpen innings.

    2. The rotation is the shakiest since the Sonnanstine-Kazmir grab bag of 2009. Just hoping that the Matt Moore return will give them the stability. Erasmo has been battling, but those short starts are wearing out the bullpen. Not sure what to make of Colome (do I hold the unfulfilled career of his brother/uncle? against him? Probably yes).

    3. Hard to say the .150 catcher is an upgrade, but he is.

    4. The middle infield is sooooo much better without the chrome of Escobar and the OF defense is sooo much better without Myers. Major upgrades.

    5. Dejesus and Forsythe are having the type of veteran seasons that great teams who go deep in the playoffs often get.

    6. That Butler is more valuable than a sore-kneed Des Jennings is a sad turn for Des. But he has to get right health wise or he is otherwise of little use.

    7. Keirmayer is a player worth watching; not always all good, but I feel the effort is there.

    I really enjoy this team. Waiting on MattyMo for now.

  6. monte says:

    Whatever happened to Jeff Niemann., is he out of baseball?


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