Spring Training is officially here, with pitchers and catchers reporting to Port Charlotte and voluntary workouts fully in swing.
You know what that means... BEAT WRITER PHOTOS!
Among the players thankfully reporting healthy to camp are Michael Perez (severe hamstring injury) and Matt Duffy (who added nearly 30 lbs of muscle). That link is below.
- Is St. Pete the new old answer in Rays’ stadium pursuit? - John Romano and Marc Topkin highlighted comments from Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg, who said of Pinellas County, “They want baseball. They see the value of developing the land and the value of baseball.”
- Rays will limit workload for two-way prospect Brendan McKay - in that the heralded Rays prospect to no longer take the field for defense, but will still be allowed to hit on his off-days, as is his preference.
- Bulked-up Duffy looks to sustain at plate in ‘19 - Matt Duffy exceeded his personal goals this off-season in terms of weight gain. Duffy was unable to play for sustained lengths of time last season, but hopes to be a key part of the team in 2019, no matter what position he plays.
- With Tampa Bay’s nontraditional approach, it appears that none of their relievers are locked into a role or leverage situation - Tommy Rancel, writing for The Athletic, dives into the bullpen for 2019, noting on twitter, “Lots of talk about Stanek is an opener, but I wonder for a brief second if I would try to stretch him to 60 pitches ore two times through the order. Then again, if it ain’t broke...”
Giants Jeff Samardzija sounds off on Rays pitchers for going along with opener plan - The Giants
acestarter believes pitchers like Ryan Yarbrough should be implicated in the declining value of player contracts... which seems like a stretch. Said Samardzjia, “When I came up in this game, I was told by the older guys to value your value. Understand what you bring to the team and let them know that, too.” The Giants will consider using The Opener strategy this season.
- Brent Honeywell is officially listed as Brent Honeywell Jr. for 2019, as of today. His No. 59 jersey will carry the Jr. as well this season. Honeywell made the decision in the tradition of the game’s best, saying “All the good ones did it, like Griffey.”
- The Rays signed RHP Tyler Cloyd to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. He pitched for the Marlins last season in seven games, with a fastball that sits around 88 mph. The results aren’t pretty.
- New TV deal “is going to happen” but bucks won’t be as big - With the Rays still looking to negotiate a new television deal, which supposedly came up for renewal last spring, the team seems to have missed the bubble, a shocking development for the savvy small market club. What was rumored to be a television deal above $80 million annually will now be “well, well, well” under that number as the Rays negotiate with a Regional Sports Network that’s up for sale. Accordingly, Sternberg has begun laying the floor for the Rays to remain a low-budget franchise, a disappointing development:
The Rays' payroll is projected to be the lowest it's been since 2011 (~$56 million; down about $20 million from last year, for reference). Yet their owner is saying stuff like this: https://t.co/21nbQkpyYY pic.twitter.com/4krZiaiCML— R.J. Anderson (@r_j_anderson) February 11, 2019
- The A’s are not ready to give up their pursuit of Kyler Murray, says Ken Rosenthal after the Heisman Trophy winner declared he will pursue a career in the NFL.
- Injury Chances with 10-Day IL - One element of player projections that was recently thrown for a loop was the change from a 15- to 10-Day DL (which is now called the IL). Jeff Zimmerman dove into how that changed injury list use, and found, “The 10-day IL may have stratified injury-prone hitters and starting pitchers into two distinct camps.”
- Updating the 2019, 2020, and 2021 Draft Rankings - FanGraphs has reports on all the elite amateur prospects, giving you plenty of time to read before Friday’s NCAA openers.
- Let’s Fix MLB’s Salary Arbitration System: Introducing Restricted Free Agency - Also at FanGraphs, Sheryl Ring has a proposal for the new CBA.
- A Sunday drive around the Dominican Republic with projected Marlins starter Sandy Alcantara.
- Neil Solondz is raising money for Pancreatic Cancer research ahead of this weekend’s PurpleStride event. You can consider donating and read more at that link.
- Why there’s no tanking in the KBO: