The Blue Jays continued their excellent start to the extremely meaningful Grapefruit League as they rolled over the Rays by a score of 5-1. Most of the players expecting or hoping for a spot on the Rays opening day roster got a start, other than James Loney (flu-like symptoms) and Steve Pearce (calf soreness.)
Chris Archer struggled in his second start of the spring, giving up two runs, both on wild pitches, on three hits, pitching an out into the third. He also walked two and struck out three. Ryan Webb gave up two runs of his own during his inning on the mound. One of those was unearned, thanks to yet another error from Brad Miller, his third of the spring.
Three players ticketed for important roles this year got their first games of the spring as Xavier Cedeno, Steven Souza, and Alex Colome all made their spring debuts with the latter two having days to forget. Souza struck out in his first two plate appearances during 0-3 performance and also had a miscue in right field. Colome gave up a leadoff triple which led to a run. He also walked one and struck out a batter. Cedeno pitched a scoreless inning, allowing a hit, but also striking out two.
- Archer whips a 3-2 slider on Casey Kotchman with the bases loaded and freezes him.
- Not sure if it's just me, but sure looked like Casali could have done a better job blocking the two wild pitches
- Yeah, it's his first spring game, but Souza looked over-matched on the Happ breaking ball.
- The Taylor Motter-Curt Casali combination worked well on offense, as Motter continuously got on base, while Casali was able to knock him once. Also, note Rocco Baldelli pulling out the stop watch.
- Last year, Xavier Cedeno was unwanted by multiple organizations until he found a home with the Rays. Now he's going to be looked to in high leverage spots.
- Tim Lincecum is preparing to put on a showcase to display his remaining talents in hopes of landing a major league deal with an organization and resurrect his career. He has been doing his training in a secret location, but members of the Royals organization stumbled upon him and were escorted off the premises.
- The Rays as a whole, have made 14 errors this spring, Brad Miller can account for three of those. However, the Rays brass aren't too worried about it. Plus, plenty of other nuggets from Topkin's writeup.
- Logan Forsythe, the Rays 2015 MVP, looks back at his breakout campaign last season.
- Jonny Venters is the most distinguished non-roster invitee in the Rays camp and is hoping to resurrect his career playing under the Trop as many other relievers have done. He is also the next player featured on Neil Solondz's Getting to Know' series
- Topkin has an article on Logan Forsythe and his transformation into an everyday player. Good quotes in there.
- From Topkin's notes, Brad Miller says he wants to throw better (he had a throwing error in yesterday's game).
- Jason Collette at The Process Report has the Kevin Kiermaier player card ready.
- Owen Watson wrote about the 2015 Cleveland Indians place in history by league-average-adjusted strikeout rate. It's not as high as you might think. Linked here, though, because the Rays have been near Cleveland these past few years with the high K%, which, is actually not all that historic when adjusted for era.
- Michael Wenz reviews an article from Jim Albert on the run expectancy matrix from the new Journal of Sports Analytics.
- Harry Druschel of BTBS calculates that the Rays were the third-most depressing team of 2015.
- There will be a few familiar faces in Port Charlotte today: