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Tampa Bay Rays news and links: "Erasmo and the Minor Leaguers" beat Twins

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Alternate band name: "We didn't go to Cuba"

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

I'm not sure if you knew this, but the Rays played in Cuba two days ago, and came back in the wee hours of the morning yesterday. You can read all of our coverage of the Cuba trip here.

Topkin wrote about the delay, which involved seven hours on planes for a 46-minute flight.

That absence of most of the major league players didn't stop the Rays team from beating the Twins in yesterday's spring training game (although the Rays pitchers weren't typical minor league types). Dana Eveland started and pitched two scoreless innings, David Carpenter gave up one run in one inning of work, and then Erasmo Ramirez came on in relief and gave up one run in the final six innings while striking out eight batters and walking none.

Josh Vitale of Suncoast Sports Now wrote up the game.

Here's video of Ramirez dominating.

Bill Chastain or Rhett Bollinger (the byline is weird) of MLB.com wrote about Eveland, the starter in that game, and has quotes from Cash about how Eveland is in the mix for the last bullpen spot.

And this, from Chastain, is just weird. Minor-league prospect Patrick Leonard started last season off slowly, but then improved, and he credits that improvement to doing pushups. Apparently, Ozzie Timmons, the Double-A pitching coach challenged him, saying that he didn't think Leonard could do 30 pushups. Leonard did them, and then kept doing pushups as part of his warm up. I sort of assume prospective sluggers like Leonard can do plenty of pushups, but hey, whatever works.

Other Links:

- FanGraphs power rankings per position are out now, and they'r fun. Here's third basemen.

- A reminder from Jeff Sullivan that double plays can be as much about the spray chart as they are about hitter speed.

- Seriously fun visualizations from John LaRue at The Hardball Times. Apparently, the Rays this year are like the 1988 White Sox.