The result feared from John Jaso's opening day slide into Ryan Flaherty's leg at second base has come to pass: the lead off hitter and DH is headed to the Disabled List.
Jaso joins James Loney, Nick Franklin, and a slew of Rays pitchers to sit out significant portions of April.
In the mean time, Mikie Mahtook gets the promotion expected for him in 2015, as Jaso is considered outfield depth on the Rays roster. The 2011 draft pick hopes to be the first of many to redeem what has been a storied class for the Rays farm system.
As for who starts tomorrow, the Rays are passing over starting prospect Matt Andriese and recently acquired longman Erasmo Ramirez for a relief pitcher who's had a great run in the Opening Series, but has no business starting a game with hopes of many innings.
That's no exaggeration. In his professional career, Steve Geltz has never made a start.
It's all a moniker, however, as the Rays will be playing at the National League domain of the Miami Marlins and will likely try and pinch hit every stop along the way. Putting a reliever up front is just a tactical move.
Presuming the Rays are not churning through the batting order (safe assumption), the Rays will be able to pull the pitcher for a pinch hitter - likely an outfielder - and in effect maintain the use of a designated hitter. If the offense is on fire, the Rays may need to keep their pitchers in the line up as to not run out of resources, but chances are they're just looking for an edge.
Letting Geltz, Andriese, and Ramirez take two innings a piece before letting high leverage guys trot out to the mound is not a bad idea for a bullpen day, each are capable of multiple innings and are not priority for end-of-game scenarios.
And if you're going to have a bullpen day, rejoice that it's in a pitcher's park.
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As for what the Rays have in Mahtook, I've called him the heir apparent to the career of Justin Ruggiano, but for now he's a solid piece for the Rays bench, with plenty of speed and an ability to hit for average. Last season he put up 12 longballs in Durham.
Jared Sandberg (@jlsofoly) April 10, 2015
How significant is his promotion?
- Drew Smyly was the Opening Day starter in Port Charlotte, beginning his rehab assignment with his sights set five days from now. Will he be able to make the rotation in time? Videos courtesy of Sports Talk Florida:
Smyly delivered two perfect innings, then wrapped up with a bullpen session, approximately 50 pitches in total.
- Javier Baez will be on a leave of absence after the passing of his sister.
- Papelbon has not changed a bit.
- Finally, this catch by Adam Eaton yesterday was incredible (also in GIF form):