The Rays 25-man roster has almost been whittled to its final form. It appears Elliot Johnson, on the merit of a Rays Spring Training record 8 steals, has -- quite literally -- stolen the bench role. Meanwhile, Casey Kotchman's strong performance thus far has caught many eyes, but not dethroned Dan Johnson at first base.
Spring Training stats are hard to come, but maybe that's a good thing. Frankly, these statistics don't matter. I think many of us remember Akinori Iwamura inaugural spring with the team. He went something like 0 for 70 billion, and then promptly began the season with a hit streak.
Well, with that caveat given, here's the 2011 spring's statistics through yesterday's 11 run drubbing.
NOTE: I've manually calculated BABIP, wOBA, and FIP. Since I originally took the data from CBS's website, I did not have IBB (for FIP and wOBA) or RBOE (for wOBA). Not that it really matters -- RBOE has a VERY small affect on wOBA, and I don't think there are usually many (if any) IBB in the spring.
- First of all, it's hard to miss the BABIPs in the first baseman battle. Johnson, despite slugging .543, has an unluckily low BABIP, while Kotchman's BABIP looks pretty fortunate. This maybe played into Maddon's calculus when he proclaimed Johnson the early leader.
- Ben Zobrist?! Man he's hit well. I feel like he's had a quiet spring, but it surely doesn't look like it from here.
- Also, a bad BABIP hasn't hurt Kelly Shoppach's spring. I think there's little doubt his 2011 season should improve our perceptions of him.
- Is anyone else excited about Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez?
- Joel Peralta and Rob Delaney have both exceeded my expectations thus far. Let's hope they keep it up.
- And, wow, Jeff Niemann has looked pretty slick thus far. If he can keep healthy this year, he's going to be one of the best #4 starters in the AL, say I.