The Rays played in their first night game of the spring last night in Fort Myers against the Twins. As per usual, Joe Maddon tinkered with the leadoff spot in the lineup and placed Wil Myers there, a first for Wil. Like most instances in the past, the leadoff hitter found success at the plate.
Just look at that goofy grin. In his first three at-bats, Myers hit three doubles. Desmond Jennings, batting seventh in the lineup last night, also hit two doubles of his own last night. James Loney continued to stay hot, driving in three runs, bringing his total for the spring up to 11 RBI’s. He went 2-for-4 with a double, as well.
Matt Moore started the game for the Rays last night, lasting 4.2 innings while walking six batters, but allowing only one run. His velocity was strong though, hitting 96 MPH throughout.
@A_Katzman83 I saw a number of 96's... @RaysRadio saw a 97.— Steve Carney (@stevecarney) March 19, 2014
Bill Chastain of MLB.com wrote about Brandon Guyer. Maddon offered these words about Guyer, "You've got to consider the option situation. There's no question. There's no denying that, it's true. It plays into a decision sometimes. But when you've got a guy like Brandon, who you perceive to be ready for the big leagues, it makes it a little bit easier to work with." Guyer told Chastain that he just wants to make the team, stating:
"If that means platooning or if that means whatever situation it is -- defense, pinch-running late in the game -- I'm willing to do whatever it is, because I feel like I've done whatever I can in the Minor Leagues. Now it's my time to show what I can do in the Majors. And if that means not playing every day in the beginning, or whatever happens, I'm all for it."
- The Rays plan to watch the 5th starter candidates once more before making a decision, and according to Topkin, Erik Bedard plans to invoke his March 31 opt-out clause if he is not chosen. He will pitch on Friday, while Ramos and Odorizzi are scheduled for Thursday. With several teams losing arms this Spring, Bedard feels he won't have an issue finding a job elsewhere. As Topkin notes, Bedard is owed $100K if he's on the roster by March 25, so that is a date to watch, but the Rays could inform him even sooner if he is not chosen "as a courtesy."
- The Hardball Times released a decision tree for pitch prediction.
- FanGraphs released their projections for the 2014 season and the Rays are projected to go 85-77, which is good enough for the first Wildcard slot. The Red Sox are projected to take the AL East with a record of 88-74. Tony Blengino also wrote about the Red Sox," which is useful in a know-thy-enemy sort of way.
- Talk about tough… Francisco Rodriguez has returned to pitching with cactus spines still in his foot. Yikes!
- Jimmy Rollins has no plans on leaving the Phillies anytime soon. Their manager seems to feel differently, but the player has a 10-5 no-trade clause. So how will Rollins and Ryne Sandberg get through the season together?
- The Dodgers got their first look at Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday and they think that the field will be good for offense. Their first game against the Diamondbacks will be at 4:00 AM ET on Friday.
- MIT’s Pantheon Project ‘seeks to quantify an individual's contribution to our shared culture on a global scale’. Five MLB Players made that list. Can you guess who they were? Hint: Only one is still active.
- Adam Dunn does not share the same affinity for books that Chris Archer does.
- There was a bee delay during the Red Sox/Yankees game yesterday. Thanks Oprah!