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Rays News & Notes for Wednesday, May 17th

Chicago 5, RAYS 2

3 Up
SP Seth McClung: 7 IP, 8 H, 2 R (ER), 1 BB, 3 K, HR
DH Greg Norton: 2-4, RS, RBI
RP Shawn Camp: 1.1 IP, 1 H,0 R, 0 BB, 3 K

3 Down
RP Ruddy Lugo, L (0-2): 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R (ER), 2 BB, 0 K
SS Julio Lugo: 0-4, 2 K, 2 LOB
1B Travis Lee: 0-3, 2 LOB

Extra, Extra, Read All About It

Yet another writer singing Scott Kazmir's praises [SI.com]
Chastain: Kazmir is Good [DevilRays.com]
Delmon Young is actually third on a prospects list, one that ranks outfielders no less [FOX Sports]
Tribune Game Report [The Tampa Tribune]
Other Tribune Game Report [The Tampa Tribune]
DevilRays.com Game Report [DevilRays.com]
Tribune Notes Column [The Tampa Tribune]

Down on the Farm

AAA Durham-W, 8-2:
SS B.J Upton: 3-5, RS, 2 K, PO
RF Elijah Dukes: 4-4, 3 RS, 2B (10), RBI (19), BB
1B Kevin Witt: 3-5, 2 RS, 3 run HR (9), 3 RBI (23,24,25)
SP Chris Seddon, W (4-3): 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R (ER), 0 BB, 3 K, HR, pick off

AA Montgomery-W, 2-0:
DH Elliot Johnson: 1-3, RS, BB
SP Andy Sonnanstine, W (2-3): 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K

A+ Visalia-W, 6-3:
SS Reid Brignac: 1-3, RS, 2B (10), BB, CS (4)
DH John Jaso: 1-4, 2 run HR (4), 2 RBI (16,17)
LF Patrick Breen: 3-3, RBI (23), BB
SP Brandon Mann, W (2-3): 8 IP, 3 H, 2 R (ER), 2 BB, 6 K

A- Southwest Michigan-L, 2-6:
DH Alex Jamieson: 3-4, 2 RS, 3B (1), solo HR (1), RBI (3)

Chicago 5, RAYS 2
Jermaine Dye had three hits and three RBI Wednesday night as the Chicago White Sox beat Tampa Bay, 5-2.

A.J. Pierzynski hit a two-run double, Scott Podsednik had one run and two hits, and Rob Mackowiak had two hits for the White Sox (26-13), who have won three times in their last four outings.

Winner Jon Garland (3-2) surrendered two runs and six hits in seven innings with no walks and five strikeouts. Closer Bobby Jenks notched his 12th save.

Greg Norton had two hits, including a homer, and Jonny Gomes homered for the Devil Rays (16-24), who have lost three of their last four games.

In relief, losing pitcher Ruddy Lugo fell to 0-2.


[United Press International]

-A fifth straight strong start from Seth McClung was wasted, the offense returned to normal, and the Rays lost for the third time in four games, 5-2 to the White Sox. Ruddy Lugo gave up the winning three runs in getting just two out while taking the loss, however the offense did little to support McClung and the pitching staff, as only Greg Norton had more than one hit, as Jonny Gomes, along with Norton, drove home the game's only runs on solo shots off of Jon Garland. The White Sox were lead by a strong day from Jermaine Dye (points for my fantasy team), as he went 3 for 3, scored twice, and drove in all three runs, and if that wasn't enough, he added a solo home run for the South Siders. Rob Mackowiak and Scott Podsednik both had two hits to comppliment Dye's effort. Garland went seven strong innings for Chicago, surrendering just the two runs and no walks on five strikeouts, while Neil Cotts and Bobby Jenks each pitched an inning to close out the ballgame. The game was seen by 11,607 at the Trop, 41 more than last night's 11,566.

Game Reports
Tribune Game Report I [The Tampa Tribune]
Tribune Game Report II [The Tampa Tribune]
DevilRays.com Game Report [DevilRays.com]

3 Up
SP Seth McClung: 7 IP, 8 H, 2 R (ER), 1 BB, 3 K, HR
DH Greg Norton: 2-4, RS, RBI
RP Shawn Camp: 1.1 IP, 1 H,0 R, 0 BB, 3 K

3 Down
RP Ruddy Lugo, L (0-2): 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R (ER), 2 BB, 0 K
SS Julio Lugo: 0-4, 2 K, 2 LOB
1B Travis Lee: 0-3, 2 LOB

Rays Reads

-FOX Sports writer Dayn Perry ranked the outfield prospects in major league baseball, and in what I think is the first prospect ranking since Young struggled somewhat to start the year, not to mention the bat toss, he came in third.

We know all about Young's gifts at the plate (coming into this season, Young was a career .317 AVG/.370 OBP/.531 SLG hitter in two minor league seasons), his speed on the bases and his cannon arm in right. However, he's currently serving a 50-game suspension for flinging his bat at an umpire. Suffice it to say, that raises serious concerns about Young's makeup. The lost development time--particularly for a player who's yet to hit for power at the Triple-A level--is another concern. Young has all the tools to his .300 in the majors with 40-homer power, but he's got to his head screwed on straight.

-I bring this piece up not to argue, but to lead the way, so to speak. This is the most up to date ranking on prospects of any sort since Young's incident, and it is interesting that they don't even place him among the top two outfielders. I generally respect any columnist who refers to AVG/OBP/SLG in talking about a player, especially minor leaguers, and this is not surprising, coming from Dayn Perry, who also writes for Baseball Prospectus. This is what happens, I guess, when you are suspended for 50 games, and are seen as a nutcase. It will be interesting to see what other prospects lists in the future will say after all of this, but you can bet that if Young tears up the International League when he returns, this incident will go the way of your daily afternoon newspaper in many a memory.

(Oh, for reference, the two prospects picked above Young were Justin Upton and Lastings Milledge, while those ranked below him included Billy Butler, Felix Pie, Andrew McCutchen, and Carlos Quentin)

Daily Rocco Update

When Rocco Baldelli finally makes his return from a strained left hamstring, he could do so as a right fielder.

Baldelli, the Devil Rays' starting center fielder in 2003-04, never has played right field in the majors. But he's played there recently in extended spring training games, and could play there when he reports next week for a minor-league rehabilitation assignment - most likely with Triple-A Durham, according to Manager Joe Maddon.

If all goes well, Baldelli could return to the Rays in time to join the team during a three-game series at Kansas City, June 9-11.

-This Rocco update brought to you by US Plastic Bubblewrap, for all of your fragile items!

Back to business, I suspect the Rays want to move Rocco to right so they can keep a Damon Hollins/Joey Gathright platoon in centerfield, and although watching Gathright continue to play everyday may drive me crazy, I suppose shipping Rocco out to right, where there is far less range to cover, wouldn't be a horrible idea. Then again, I would prefer, if the Rays were not going to put Rocco in center, that they move him to left, put Carl Crawford in center, and either Damon Hollins or Jonny Gomes in right. That would be the optimal situation. Then again, with Rocco's injuries, perhaps he would be better suited riding the bench in the opposing team's half of the inning as the DH. And other, nitpicky thing. Maddon says that Durham will be Rocco's rehab destination, I've heard Montgomery in numerous other places. I guess we'll have to wait and see where he goes, though if he were to return to the team in Kansas City, I don't give a damn where he goes.

Short Hops-If you want to read more gushing over Scott Kazmir's incredibly high cool factor, but from a national source, check out SI's take on the lefty...Meanwhile, if you want to read another positive take on Kazmir, but in a notes column from a writer who can't make up anything better to fill space, check out Bill Chastain's piece, and for good measure, the Tribune quoted AL All-Star Game manager Ozzie Guillen about Kazmir, which had mostly praise, in the previously mentioned notes column...If you read any of that Kazmir piece in Chastain's article and scrolled down, you'd know that Carl Crawford will be the focus of the next edition of the newsmagazine show "Inside the Devil Rays" tomorrow night at 6:30 before the game on FSN Florida. To his credit, Chastain does have one useful piece of information in there, concerning Rocco Baldelli, whom he says went 2 for 5 in a simulated game, then again, the Tribune also reported that...Other notes column tidbits included Joey Galloway, the Bucs wide receiver, taking BP today, and to answer the forthcoming question, no he did not hit a home run doing so...Rays catcher Josh Paul threw out Rob Macowiak, and later Pablo Ozuna, his first two thrown out runners this season after nine successful steals, though Scott Podsednik stole one on him later...The Rays record when trailing after eight innings? 0-20 after tonight.

Down on the Farm

AAA Durham-W, 8-2:
SS B.J Upton: 3-5, RS, 2 K, PO
LF Nick Green: 0-4, SAC
CF Darnell McDonald: 1-4, RS, HBP
RF Elijah Dukes: 4-4, 3 RS, 2B (10), RBI (19), BB
1B Kevin Witt: 3-5, 2 RS, 3 run HR (9), 3 RBI (23,24,25)
DH Brent Butler: 1-3, RS, 2B (9), RBI (13), 2 BB, K
3B Sean Burroughs: 2-5, 3 RBI (3,4,5), K
SP Chris Seddon, W (4-3): 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R (ER), 0 BB, 3 K, HR, pick off
RP Scott Dunn: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
RP Tim Corcoran: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Bulls Up Next-at Louisville, 7:15 (Hammel)

AA Montgomery-W, 2-0:
DH Elliot Johnson: 1-3, RS, BB
2B John Raburn: 2-4, 3B (1), RBI (1), K, E (2, fielding)
CF Jason Pridie: 1-4, RS, 2B (3), K
SS Matt Maniscalco: 3-4, K
SP Andy Sonnanstine, W (2-3): 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K
RP Brian Henderson, SV (2): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K

Biscuits Up Next-at Birmingham, 8:05 (Peguero)

A+ Visalia-W, 6-3:
CF Fernando Perez: 1-2, RS, 2 BB, SB (12), CS (7), PO
SS Reid Brignac: 1-3, RS, 2B (10), BB, CS (4)
C Josh Arhart: 2-4, RS, 2B (3), RBI (12), K
DH John Jaso: 1-4, 2 run HR (4), 2 RBI (16,17)
1B Chris Nowak: 1-4, RS, 2B (10), K
LF Patrick Breen: 3-3, RBI (23), BB
SP Brandon Mann, W (2-3): 8 IP, 3 H, 2 R (ER), 2 BB, 6 K
RP Nick DeBarr: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (ER), 0 BB, 0 K

Oaks Up Next-vs Modesto, 9:35 (Houser)

A- Southwest Michigan-L, 2-6:
CF John Matulia: 0-5, K, E (2, fielding)
DH Alex Jamieson: 3-4, 2 RS, 3B (1), solo HR (1), RBI (3)
RF Garrett Groce: 0-4, RBI (14)
1B-SS Ryan Bethel: 2-3, 2B (1), BB
SP Greg Reinhard, L (0-4): 5.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K

M-Rays Up Next-vs South Bend, 6:35 (Kamrath)