I went to see the Vero Beach Devil Rays faceoff against the Tampa Yankees at Legends field(sorry George, after watching many state championships there, it will never change). One odd thing throughout the night was hearing the stadium announcer saying Devil Rays...it didn't take long for me to adjust to the name change. I didn't stay for the whole game, but my main reason for going was to check out the recently red-hot Jeremy Hellickson. The best part of the game may have been the promotion going on tonight, which was $1 tickets if you brought a canned food item for a food drive. Since nobody goes to the game, I was able to pay with pocket change and sit in the front row behind the catcher to watch one of the most promising pitchers in a stacked Rays system.
Hellickson did not look like the pitcher that his stats say that he have been. Most likely I just caught him on an off night, as he is due for one, but I was a little let down at what I saw. He did show off his impeccable control by not walking any batters, but he only went 5 innings with 3 strikeouts and 2 homeruns allowed. The thing that worried me was the amount of fly balls. He allowed the 2 homers, but also allowed a couple other deep fly balls to the warning track. He letup 4 groundouts to 7 fly outs, which isn't exactly dreamy. I didn't see the dominate strikeout pitcher that has had simply staggering statistics so far.
One person who was in attendance tonight was Rays first round pick David Price. Price was sitting in the crowd in the first base side and he was video taping the Rays at bats. It makes sense for him to be following the team, as he is expected to join the squad this week. I also was able to attend some of the team's batting practice on the backfield before the game and noticed a couple of things. Chase Fontaine was taking some reps over at first base, as well as every other infield position. I don't see him playing first in the longterm due to his size, but his position flexibility can't hurt. Willy Aybar was also playing for the Devil Rays again tonight, and he seemed to be 100% from what I saw.
Other than these notes there wasn't too much going on, but I am pretty sure I got my money's worth.