It’s silly to take anything real from spring training numbers you see, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a little fun. In Thursday’s matchup with Philadelphia, Rays manager Kevin Cash slotted catcher Mike Zunino into the leadoff spot, a unique lineup choice that may well not repeat itself come regular season but sure was fun to watch in spring.
Mike Zunino Is Good (his full, God-given name) seemed to enjoy the move too, as he slammed a three-run homer in the fifth inning.
Leadoff hitter, Mike Zunino went yard. https://t.co/GyRUv93vDv #SpringRays pic.twitter.com/WU23OS6CGI— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) March 14, 2019
After the game, Zunino joked that he’ll probably only ever lead off in Spring Training:
#Rays catcher Mike Zunino on leading off and his 3-run homer against the #Phillies pic.twitter.com/QKdKmWKg5M— Josh Tolentino (@JCTSports) March 14, 2019
Indeed, that’s what the spring is for—messing around with lineups, trying out funky stuff that might not be applicable come April.
But hey, you never know.
- Five bold predictions for the Tampa Bay Rays 2019 season — Everyone loves a good bold prediction and Rylan has five of them over at Rays Colored Glasses. The last one is certainly bold.
- Getting to know Adam Kolarek — Neil with the fascinating story of Kolarek’s offseason journey.
- Rays shortstop Willy Adames trained with some of baseball’s very best this winter — Iron sharpens iron, no?
- Newest Tampa Bay Rays catcher is Cape Coral native — More on Zunino because DRB writer Darby Robinson is definitely not holding me at gunpoint to link to only Zunino articles... (Please call 911 for me. Darby is a monster.)
- Rays not worried about MLB rule changes: ‘We have a lot of pitchers’ — Yeah, that’s right. Take that, MLB!
- What do you think? Look like that turf has some faster grounders in it?
A look at the new turf at the Trop, courtesy #Rays TV analyst Doug Waechter. The blue drapes are temporary to keep dirt off the seats. pic.twitter.com/zOVQK5MTRT— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) March 15, 2019
- Lineups for Friday’s games:
#Rays lineup vs. #Tigers at home today: pic.twitter.com/cx1kjADCxr— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) March 15, 2019
#Rays lineup vs. #Pirates night game in Bradenton: pic.twitter.com/CD39m0Srru— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) March 15, 2019
I'm very into the 3-batter minimum rule. Here's why it makes a ton of sense, while also maybe being less impactful as you'd think. https://t.co/ct5KGtmoey— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) March 15, 2019
At #SABRanalytics, the @statcast crew talked about the first five years of @MLB's revolutionary data-tracking system and what we can expect to see this season. Listen to highlights here: https://t.co/aLzFA8VLSX @schwartzstops @darenw @TravisRPetersen pic.twitter.com/dKSY5xk0G6— SABR (@sabr) March 14, 2019