It's been a fairly uneventful first weekend on camp. Nonetheless, there are a few morsels to chew on while we continue the painful march to Spring Training games:
- Despite everyone being in the best shape of their lives, the first weekend wasn't without a few mishaps. New $7 million closer Rafael Soriano left early Friday with a chest cold. It could be worse - reports surfaced that nearly signed Kelvim Escobar allegedly couldn't grip a baseball due to a weak shoulder, yes shoulder. In the interest of fairness, it turns out he can grip a baseball but the shoulder is sore already. Poor Mets.
- Joe Dillon is perseverance. Last season I wrote: "Joe Dillon is 34 years old with 137 games on Major League experience under his belt. No other 34 year old American Leaguer has fewer than 700 games experience." This year the infielder is working out with the catchers, an experiment that apparently was discussed last season. Average Joe, doing whatever it takes to help out his team. Now if only he were a lefty....
- People question why the Rays keep signing relievers, but these specialists can hardly survive their physicals. Aside from Soriano's cold, J.P. Howell is sporting an ice pack on his arm already. Fatigue carry-over from last year? Hardly. The lady drawing blood from his right arm (sigh of relief) apparently got a bit spastic with the needle.
- Dioner Navarro left practice on Saturday after not feeling well. Jake McGee was excused with a family issue. He's expected to possibly be back today.
- Per Joe Maddon, the Rays have not ruled out Andy Sonnanstine for the final bullpen spot or the final rotation spot. Unseating Wade Davis seems unlikely, but the pen could be an option. A key piece in this decision will be how MLB-ready the Rays view "The Narwhal" Jeremy Hellickson. If they view him as needing more seasoning, they will want the Duke to be stretched out and ready in Durham.