The Rays Tank: Spring Training Day Two

We're all happy baseball officially started yesterday, but unless you like to watch pitchers take fielding practice there isn't much happening these first few days. All 38 pitchers and catchers reported for workouts today, with 13 of the 21 position players also showing their faces according to Mark Topkin. He provides some pictures from the workouts which you can find here. You'll notice Jose Molina is featured a lot in the photos, once first bumping Matt Bush and another giving some tips to Jeff "The Big Nyquil" Niemann. He was brought in for what he can do behind the plate and if today is any indication he's already showing off those skills.

Now, if only there were actual games to report on, then it'd really be exciting.

  • On MLB.com Bill Chastain gives a rundown of the Matt Moore story, recapping how the kid from nowhere New Mexico rises to the top of baseball's prospect leader boards. He buries the lede in not talking about Moore's place in the rotation until the 18th paragraph since the piece is titled "Moore in mix, but may not land spot in rotation." With the extension he signed I don't see any way the team can justify keeping him in the minors. There are no arbitration games to play and he's currently better than either Wade Davis or Jeff Niemann. Speaking of Moore and the rotation, Steve had a nice write up of the situation on FanGraphs.
  • Joe Maddon always gives some sort of motivational speech on the first day of workouts. His message this year? Keep the momentum going from 2011. From mlb.com:

"We've created a lot of offseason momentum," Maddon said. "... With that, I really would like to see a high-energy Spring Training. I think if we just go through the motions, it's going to diminish our chances of getting off to a good start. I think if we get after it, we have a good chance for a good start, which I think is really important."

A better start than 0-6 would be nice.

  • Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of the classic Simpsons' episode "Homer At The Bat" and over at Erik Malinowski has a beautiful write up at Deadspin of what went in to making the episode. If, like me, you're a huge Simpsons nerd then you'll absolutely love it. Of course, that episode also spawned the greatest song ever created from a television show, the immortal "We're Talkin Softball." I dare you to not hum that the rest of the day. Go ahead, try.
  • Boston finally received compensation from Chicago for in exchange for Theo Epstein in the form of reliever Chris Carpenter. The 26-year-old averages 95mph on his fastballs but comes with control issues. The deal also includes a player to be named later. All told, not a terrible haul for the Red Sox.
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