FT. MYERS FL - FEBRUARY 22: Brandon Gomes #47 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays Photo Day on February 22 2011 at the Charlotte Sports Complex in Port Charlotte Florida. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
- Yesterday, the Rays demoted Alex Cobb back to Triple-A and promoted relief pitcher Brandon Gomes to the majors. This is simply the first shoe to drop, as the Rays still need to clear a roster space for Evan Longoria to return from the DL today. The popular opinion seems to be that Felipe Lopez is going to get DFA'd, meaning he'd be assigned to the minors but would have to clear waivers first, but RJ takes a look at the Rays other possibilities (like placing someone on the disabled list).
Personally, I have to agree with him: I'd prefer that the Rays had just demoted Cobb and called up Longoria instead of cutting ties with one of our bench players right now. Then again, Maddon has worked the bullpen hard over this weekend, and Felipe Lopez is very redundant now that Longoria is back. It seems silly to potentially lose a player like Lopez simply because of an overworked bullpen, so I'm going to wait to see what the Rays do to call up Longoria before passing judgement.
- As Collette pointed out yesterday on Twitter, with Gomes promoted, three of the four players involved in the Jason Bartlett trade are now in the major and contributing to the Rays. Talk about a quick return.
- Gomes has only pitched a few innings in Triple-A this season, but it's enough to get me excited to see him in the majors. In 13.1 innings, he's struck out 22 batters (14 K/9) and walked only 5 (3.3 BB/9). He's let up 10 hits, but he still has a sparkling 1.35 ERA, 1.02 FIP. We'll see how it translates to the majors, but he's a really intriguing bullpen arm.
- For some reason I hadn't noticed this, but the Rays are straight platooning DanJo and Kotchman - Johnson plays against lefties and Kotchman against righties. It makes somewhat sense, at least when you consider that the Rays probably want to know what they have in Kotchman and DanJo before deciding to give either one the most playing time.
- Ben Zobrist won the AL Player of the Week award for last week. I find this amusing as Shields won it last week and Damon the week before; who's going to win it for the Rays this week?
- Rays Prospects has lots of great reads - as usual - but check out their breakdown of Rays hitting prospects. It's also worth checking out their post on pythagorean records across the Rays' organization. Very cool stuff.
- In case people didn't see our Facebook/Twitter note last night, we changed the prize on the Sam Fuld promo due to popular request. Since the winner may not be able to attend one specific game, we changed it to a $35 gift card (the full monetary value of the original prize package). You can still participate here.