We are simply not discussing yesterday’s drubbing at the hands of the Atlanta Braves. I don’t know who writes the headlines for the pieces appearing on the Rays official website, but whoever took Yarbrough’s 6 run outing and came up with “Yarbrough shows grit” as the header gets my respect.
Rather than look back, let’s look ahead, and this tweet caught my eye:
Hearing Brent Honeywell is likely to start for #Rays on Monday in game against #RedSox. Will be his first time facing another team since Sept. 2017, before first elbow injury in spring 2018 that led to TJ surgery.— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) March 21, 2021
Earlier — like last week - Cash has said that Honeywell would not be seeing actual game action this spring. So did Brent manage to talk his way on to the field? I believe tomorrow afternoon’s game may even be televised.
Rays broadcast schedule is out. New network name, but same great broadcast team.
OFFICIAL: Your 2021 @RaysBaseball Regular Season Broadcast Schedule is Here! 160 games airing exclusively on the new network home of the Rays.— FOX Sports Sun: Rays (@FOXSportsRays) March 19, 2021
Bally Sports Sun — the story continues March 31. #HeartoftheFan #RaysUp ⚾️⤵️https://t.co/v6gw8Pmdo6
I guess Pitching Ninja is running out of adjectives?
Dick Mountain, Bowel-Locking Curveball. ⛰️ pic.twitter.com/xfoKplh1Ro— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 19, 2021
From MLB, Rays Top 30 prospects. Number one is clear. 18 year old Jhon Diaz is number 30. Check it out to see the rest.
Rich Hill on the professional and personal challenges he’s faced over a 20 year professional career ($).
A good cheat sheet if you want a quick overview of the AL East, from the Associated Press.
Andrew Kittridge has exercised a March 15 opt-out, but re-signed with the Rays. He will have another opt-out before the season start.
Around the League
Mike Trout working to get even better? From the Athletic ($).
How pitchers will respond to a huge jump in innings pitched after the abbreviated 2020 season is, indeed, the big question on the minds of all baseball people, as discussed here by ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez.
I know (I know!) as a Rays site we may not have warm feelings about a Yankees broadcaster, but I post this here because it would have been damned hard for a woman to make a career in baseball media a few decades ago — even now the roles for women are pretty limited — so I can’t help but admire Suzyn Waldman, who is interviewed here. I did NOT know that the WNBA’s first broadcast contract was with Lifetime TV, but I do remember when the New York Times posted pretty much ALL news about women (Senators, athletes, molecular biologists...) in their Style section, so I’m not surprised.
The Royals have signed a 4-year, $82 million contract with their catcher, Salvador Perez.
More on those experimental rule changes. This Q and A with several of the MLB executives behind the changes provides insight into what they hope might happen. ($)
MLB’s Mike Petriello has your breakout hitter candidates. No Rays here, but I am pretty sure we’ve seen the Blue Jays Rowdy Tellez run into a few against Tampa Bay.
Old friend alert:
Hey look, it's that José Alvarado velo again...— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) March 20, 2021
Context below -- the Phillies have thrown ONE 100.0+ mph pitch in the last 2 regular seasons https://t.co/lLOwAmNOOo pic.twitter.com/o2Yn4UtCCT
So many baseball broadcasts either ignore advanced stats, or treat them as a topic of fear and/or derision. I suspect this is largely because announcers and producers would need to make an effort to update their baseball knowledge to explain new concepts to viewers, and who wants to do that? But I’m pleased to see that the Seattle Mariners broadcast has indeed added more information to their graphics. It’s not that hard, and anyone who doesn’t care about wRC+ can simply ignore it.
I like the approach the M’s broadcast is taking to trying to explain advanced state/the limitations of average. also showed average, which is good because not everyone cares about nerd stuff end that’s ok. pic.twitter.com/rtMJIvzqlt— Meg Rowley (@megrowler) March 20, 2021
Jack Leiter has a double pedigree — son of a major league pitcher; product of Vanderbilt baseball. I suppose this year the teams at the bottom of the league will be competing for the rights to draft him.
Jack Leiter, one of the top prospects in the 2021 MLB Draft, threw a no-hitter with 16 Ks today.— MLB (@MLB) March 20, 2021
And this. Jack’s dad, Al, pitched the Marlins first ever no-hitter:
How can you not be romantic about baseball? pic.twitter.com/iAH5sVmSkz— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 21, 2021