Your 2009 Tampa Bay Rays Spring Storylines

There's not much to analyze from today, so instead how about a change-up. Let's take a look at some of the storylines in camp in tiered form.

If the world ever wants to build a genetically perfect baseball team, these guys will contribute DNA samples

Evan Longoria is entering his first season entrenched as the Rays starting third baseman. Despite a nearly flawless rookie season, Longoria does have a few things to work on. Most notably, pitch recognition - or at least an improved sense of plate discipline. Ideally Longoria's walk and strikeout rates head in the right directions beginning this year.

B.J. Upton is recovering from surgery to repair a torn labrum while Carlos Pena recovers from a minor abdominal surgery. Pena does not figure to miss any of the regular season, however Upton's timetable is a bit more fuzzy.

David Price attempting to win a rotation spot.

Tim Beckham's first spring camp.

Guys with affection for the disabled list in the past.

Pretty much everyone over 35 years of age in the bullpen. Joe Nelson has torn his labrum three times. Troy Percival is recovering from back surgery. Brian Shouse has went on the disabled list in the past for left-arm related injuries. J.P. Howell bit his tongue. Grant Balfour underwent UCL surgery (Tommy John) in 2005. Et cetera.

Obviously none of these necessarily mean future injuries, again we're just providing some "recovery" storylines you'll hear about.  

The hapless veterans doing it for desire.

Unless you follow Durham closely, these next few weeks will be the last you hear from Jon Weber, Chris Richard, and Ray Sadler. You can probably toss a few of the pitchers into this category as well, but the blueprint for these articles will be how they continue playing for the hope of that one shot in the majors. Reference Kevin Witt and wrap it with a quote about the love of the game.

Veterans who are hoping for rejuvenation (Ray-Juvanation for those punful copy editors)

Adam Kennedy, Morgan Ensberg, Jason Isringhausen, and maybe Carlos Hernandez are coming off injuries and/or poor seasons. Mention Pena, Eric Hinske, Al Reyes, and Ty Wigginton.

Hey didn't you...? No, couldn't be, quit playing.

2008 Rays running into their old team. Such as: Jonny Gomes, Rocco Baldelli, Eric Hinske, and Edwin Jackson. In some cases sappy, in other cases sappy, in the end it's all sappy.  

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