Battling to win the fifth starter's job, Roberto Hernandez pitched well yesterday in Port Charlotte. One run and two walks in 2.1 innings doesn't seem like a good outing, but he did record four ground ball outs and got through the second inning on just four pitches.
It was Matt Moore and Jake McGee, two important cogs in the 2013 machine, that pitched poorly. Moore lasted 1.1 innings and gave up three hits and two runs while walking two. With the team trailing 7-2 McGee came on to pitch the ninth, five batters faced and one out later he was pulled after allowing three runs.
The offense didn't fare well either. Evan Longoria and Leslie Anderson were the only ones to collect multiple hits and the team's two runs came off a Sam Fuld triple, which momentarily tied the game in the fourth.
Today the team travels to Dunedin to face the Blue Jays. Newly acquired Jake Odorizzi will square off against veteran Mark Buehrle.
Matthew Leach of MLB.com wrote a good piece yesterday about the Rays recent acquisitions of players with less than sparkling pasts, i.e. Yunel Escobar, Josh Lueke, Roberto Hernandez and Juan Carlos Oviedo. Here are two money quotes from Andrew Friedman.
"Over the last few years, we've definitely taken some calculated risks," Friedman said. "And we're much more comfortable taking them now than we probably were in '07, just having more of a developed culture. So we go through things very methodically in great detail. And there have been guys we have determined wouldn't necessarily fit in, and others that we feel like the reward far outweighs the risk. And those are the moves we've made or at least attempted to make."
"We have to get really creative in terms of our player procurement," Friedman said. "When we have specific needs, we cast a very wide net and do exhaustive due diligence to try to find the right subset of players to bring in that complement one another and give us the best chance to win 93-95 games in this division. It's just casting a very wide net and then sifting through that to try to find guys that we feel like make sense for us."
-To bring your glove to a game or not? That is the question Craig Calcaterra poses. I'm on the "hell no" side of the fence.
-We're going to see a ton of these types of articles this season. Jayson Stark asks if David Price's days in Tampa Bay are numbered. Yes, yes they are, Jayson.
-FanGraphs has an interesting take on Ricky Romero, his sinker, and his struggles last season.