Sure, it’s still only Spring Training and none of these games even count, but David Price’s outing yesterday has me really excited for his potential this season. Price struck out eight over five innings yesterday while allowing only one run (a homerun to Jason Kubel in the second inning) and three hits, with only one walk in the Rays 7-1 victory over the Twins.
Price told Bill Chastain of MLB.com, "My cutter and my slider were really good -- throwing it to the back-door side to a righty and then throwing it in to a righty as well. It's something I've been working on that was really good today. And my curveball, it's definitely the best it's been in six months." Confidence.
#Rays Price said it's best he's felt in spring since like 2009— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) March 11, 2014
Price also told Topkin,
At this point everything feels really good and I feel like I'm right in line with where I need to be. It's definitely a good feeling. I definitely haven't felt this good in spring training since 2009, 2010, somewhere along those lines. It's definitely been a while. It feels good to feel this good at this point in spring training, but we're still a couple weeks away, and that's when it matters.
Yunel Escobar received a lot of praise from Joe Maddon and fellow teammates yesterday. Evan Longoria told Marc Topkin that he tried not to have any preconceived notions when Escobar first joined the team, mentioning, "the more I got to know him, the more he was around, the more I was able to appreciate the way he played the game. As opposed to when you're on the other side, you were kind of like 'This guy is jumping all over the place, he's whistling, he's loud.'
The "Father of Utility", Ben Zobrist will return to the Rays lineup today as the DH. Bill Chastain talked to Zobrist about becoming a utility player, and Zobrist mentioned that Chone Figgins served as an inspiration want to become more effective for his team’s roster.
Of course, the Zobrists make Spring Training a family affair!
Don Zimmer doesn’t need a flex pack to get into the Rays game, or his parking spot! Watch Zimmer’s reaction when a Rays staff tells him about the new flex pack cards that he’ll be using this season instead of a ticket:
Nathan Karns takes the mound today for the Rays as the face the Blue Jays in Dunedin at 1:05 PM.
Today's lineup at Dunedin: Zobrist DH, Jennings CF, Joyce LF, Forsythe 3B, J. Moore RF, S-Rod SS, Betemit 1B, Nix 2B, Solis C, Karns SP.— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) March 12, 2014
-Jonah Keri stopped by the Rays, among four farm systems. He chatted with Andrew Friedman, and discussed the Rays' thriving atmosphere.
-21 year old Manny Machado is disappointed with his $513,000 contract.
-If you know an "all-star" teacher (paging Hatfield), you can nominate him or her to be honored at the 2014 MLB All-Star Game!
-From Deadspin, Ron Washington once paid a $200 fine in all pennies and shipped the box to MLB headquarters.
-If teams continue to move out of Florida for Spring Training, the Braves may follow suit when their lease ends with Disney in 2017.
-It appears that the Braves have signed a one-year deal with Ervin Santana, the day after Kris Medlan’s MRI exam showed ligament damage. Medlen is set to undergo another exam later this week to determine if surgery will be necessary.
Ervin Santana and #Braves agree 1 year deal, pending physical. Santana arriving to Braves park in Orlando right now.— Enrique Rojas/ESPN (@Enrique_Rojas1) March 12, 2014
-Over at FanGraphs, Jason Collette talks about the pitchers who are adding new pitches this spring. Former pitcher, Jensen Lewis, told Collette, "the art and craft of pitching is ever-evolving and thus breeds multiple avenues to get hitters out. Remember, deception is the common theme every pitcher is trying to accentuate."
-How would you feel about the PA announcer calling every ball and strike during a live game? The Red Sox are testing this out to see if this is something they’d want to do at Fenway.
-Climate change and steroid usage, basically the same thing according to one politician.