As Steve mentioned in yesterday's Tank, there's not toooooooo much going on at the moment. The only thing that seems to be happening are injuries. First, it was Robinson Chirinos, then B.J. Upton, now Reid Brignac is the latest to join the walking wounded. Let's go in reverse order.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Brignac is suffering from what Joe Maddon is calling "a plantar fasciitis kind of a thing" in his right foot. Plantar Fascities is a swelling and irritation of the connective tissue on the bottom of the foot. That's not good for any athlete, let alone a good defensive shortstop. Being quick on your feet is in the job description. There's no timetable for his return and his status for opening day is uncertain. If he isn't ready to start the season the team would be forced to put him on the disabled list. If that's the case then Elliott Johnson would surely make the roster in his place. Brignac was still competing for the starting shortstop position; it'd be sad to see that competition end this way.
B.J. Upton played in both a Double-A and Triple-A game yesterday, going 0-2 with a walk in his first action since experiencing lower back soreness after his outfield collision with Desmond Jennings last week. He's happy with his current condition, so that's good news.
The status of catcher Robinson Chirinos is still uncertain after sustaining a concussion last week when a foul tip hit his mask. The injury likely knocks him out of the competition for the backup catcher position. Speaking as someone who's had a severe concussion, it's a terrible feeling. It was hard to do every day activities without dizziness and headaches. I couldn't imagine catching, or hitting a baseball. Concussions are a much bigger deal now then they used to be, hopefully the added awareness and care will lead to a quicker recovery for Chirinos.
- Despite the injuries noted above, the Rays had enough players to field a team for a game against the Marlins yesterday. They won by a score of 3-2, with Wade Davis throwing the best he has this spring. Competing with Jeff Niemann for the final spot in the rotation, Davis worked five innings, allowing three hits and one run while striking out five and not walking a soul. He was hit by a liner on his left ankle in the second inning, yet pitched better after that, even upping his velocity to the 92-93mph range. The uptick in velocity would be a welcomed sight after he averaged under 92mph on his fastball last season.
- ESPN.com is ranking the top 500 active players in baseball. Numbers 500-401 were released yesterday and quite a few Rays show up. Jose Molina is 491, Reid Brignac is 488, Jeff Keppinger is 479, Sean Rodriguez is 454, Alex Cob is 453 and Jake McGee is 405.
- The Texas Rangers locked up mustachioed southpaw Derek Holland for the foreseeable future, signing the 25-year-old to a five year, $28.5 million deal. He was a three win player last year in his first full season as a starter. At first glance it seems like a steal for the Rangers.