This Date in Team History!
The answer to yesterday's question, which no one answered correctly, was Grant Balfour.
The long list of wrong answers included Lance Cormier, Tanyon Sturtze, Juan Cruz, Jason Isringhausen, Danys Baez, Joaquin Benoit, Jason Hammel, Rafael Soriano, Chad Gaudin, Jake McGee, Josh Lueke, Seth McClung, Alex Torres, and Esteban Yan.
He has the gritty intensity and take-charge attitude that teams value in catchers. His arm strength is well-above average and he showed good hands and quick feet behind the plate. His challenge will be to maintain enough offensive production to allow his defensive and athletic skills to carry him to the big leagues. He has a fundamentally sound, line-drive swing but just fair overall bat speed. With him, and other top prospects, catching in the low minors, Tampa Bay feels confident as an organization can be about its catching future.
Hint; he was once ranked 8th in the Rays system in the late 90's.
There are 36 days until Opening Day!
That's the same number of runs knocked in by Sean Rodriguez during the 2011 season.
Two of those runs scored on this two run shot.
Spring Training Coverage!
- We all wanted the season to start as soon as possible, but perhaps it came on too quick as Chris Archer surrendered two home runs during the first rounds of live BP yesterday. This is surely a sign of things to come and we find it highly significant..
We're 10 minutes into live BP and we've already got a bat flip after Tim Beckham took Chris Archer deep to left center.— Josh Vitale (@JoshVitale) February 26, 2016
#Rays Archer with mock angry reaction as Beckham takes him deep during BP. Funny moment.— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) February 26, 2016
#Rays Longoria with a drive down the LF line and over fence that Archer insists was foul— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) February 26, 2016
#Rays - Watch Chris Archer's reaction when @T_Beckham22 hit a home run off of him at 1st day of live BP pic.twitter.com/tu1KQGNzmj— Chelsa Messinger (@ChelsaMessinger) February 26, 2016
- Archer, perhaps feeling disillusioned, took some time to watch another potential ace work.
#rays Archer watches Blake Snell throw live BP this morning. pic.twitter.com/EyuOxcjL9k— Roger Mooney (@RMooneyTBO) February 26, 2016
- Archer then questioned why no one could hit the top prospect
Archer watching Snell throw live BP.— Josh Vitale (@JoshVitale) February 26, 2016
Archer: "I thought we were swinging today?"
Guyer: "I don't want to mess with the kid's confidence."
- Elsewhere on the diamond, defensive drills were taking place.
#rays Loney fielding grounders at 1B this morning along with Morrison pic.twitter.com/lTlEIANveE— Roger Mooney (@RMooneyTBO) February 26, 2016
#Rays Longoria grabbing a grounder at start of infield drills pic.twitter.com/7xRNLK8gDA— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) February 26, 2016
- And off the diamond, Chris Archer appreciated Kevin Kiermaier's glove behind him last season so much that he commissioned a painting for him.
Sarasota artist John Reynolds' painting will remind @KKiermaier39 how much his teammates appreciate his hustle. pic.twitter.com/DFLdW9WamX— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) February 26, 2016
- Neil Solondz spoke with Matt Andriese and the day before, he chatted with another trade acquisition, Mark Sappington.
- Neil also spoke with Chris Archer, Kevin Kiermaier, Evan Longoria, and Kevin Cash following the team's first full squad workout.
- The Rays radio team hosted their weekly 'Countdown to Opening Day' podcast and were joined by Jim Hickey and Logan Forsythe.
- The Cubs are deciding to sign any available outfielder on the market as they have now also added Shane Victorino. Speculative rumor sources claim they may have interest in Austin Jackson, with Ian Desmond not far behind. However, Grady Sizemore is a pipe-dream, one source claims.
- Grant Brisbee looks at how the Orioles are now unofficially the strangest team in all of sports.
- This is a couple of days old, but MLB instituted several new rule changes. Most of them are minor, however, there is a major change involving the 'neighborhood play'.
- A team at the collegiate level unveiled their new team name, logo, and mascot and it's completely bananas.Actually they're called the Savannah Bananas
- Fans have been clamoring for the Rays to add a lazy river for year and now there's finally going to be one...just at the Frisco Rough Riders' home stadium.