Rays vs Nationals
Today is finally the day as the Rays will play their spring training game of the season as they'll take on the Nationals at 1:05 in Port Charlotte. The Rays will be sending out Jake Odorizzi to the mound and he'll opposed by Tanner Roark. The game isn't being televised, however it can be listened to via MLB.com
Also today, the Rays will be hosting 'Military Appreciation Day'
The USSOCOM Parachute Team will deliver an American flag and first pitch ball as part of a pregame presentation. The Rays have donated 300 tickets through Charlotte County Veterans Services for local veterans and their families to attend the game, many of whom will receive special recognition. The Rays will also be assisting veterans in their efforts to construct the Vietnam Wall of Southwest Florida in Charlotte County, a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Starting Lineups & expected pitchers:
Lineup for #Rays spring opener:— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) March 1, 2016
Andrew Bellatti, Enny Romero, Blake Snell, Taylor Guerrieri, Mark Sappington and Eddie Gamboa will pitch after Odorizzi on Wednesday, #Rays— Josh Vitale (@JoshVitale) February 29, 2016
This Date in Team History!
Tow current members of the Rays organization were born on this date as Jared Sandberg (1978) and Nick Franklin (1991) were born on this date. Sandberg had one solid year in the majors, sandwiched between two not-so-good ones. Overall, he slashed .221/.297/.406 with 25 home runs over 196 games, accumulating 2.5 WAR (1.8 in 2002). He has since moved on to coaching and has moved up the ladder in the Rays organization and is currently serving as the manager of the Durham Bulls.
One of the players he'll be managing is Franklin, who turns 25 years old today. The jury is still undecided on him, but judgement day is coming fast. An exceptional player in the minors, Franklin hasn't been able to translate that success to the majors. Acquired in the David Price deal, that only raises the expectations farther for Franklin, who has slashed .203/.275/.348 with 16 home runs over 174 games, actually producing negative WAR (-0.2), thanks in large part to the -0.8 he put up in 2015.
The stat line;
Hint; the Rays acquired this player for an all-star
There are 32 days until Opening Day!
That's the same number of runs scored by Ben Zobrist during the 2008 season.
One of those runs scored on this two-run shot that gave the Rays the lead and eventual victory, snapping a seven game losing streak.