Devil Rays 2, Blue Jays 1.
We are not going to get fooled in to thinking that Jae Seo is suddenly worthy of a spot in the rotation. This is what he does. He is just good enough, just often enough, that his teams keep believing that he is just about to turn the corner. We're not drinking that kool-aid. If the team wants to say that Seo is only in the lineup because they are not prepared to bring up a prospect, we are fine with that...for now. But, one start on a day in which nobody was getting a hit, is not going to change our opinion.
The more pressing issue now is Carlos Pena. Pena is hitting .268 with 7 home runs and 20 RBI in only 82 at bats. If Pena had been a starter all season, his numbers project to 12 home runs and 32 RBI which would be 2nd and 4th respectively in the AL. Greg Norton is set to return from the DL some time this week, possibly as early as Tuesday and Akinori Iwamura might not be far behind, as he has progressed faster than expected. We would be shocked if Pena is sent down upon the return of Norton (Jorge Cantu is more likely), but when Muu-Rah comes back the team may not have a choice. Iwamura will return to his third base position and Ty Wigginton will shift back to first base. Joe Maddon will not be able to keep two backup first basemen on the bench, so either Norton, or more likely Pena will be sent down to Durham. Of course the team could also try and find a team willing to trade for either Norton or Pena, but that is not likely to happen this early in the season, unless a team loses a first baseman to a season-ending injury in the next week or two.
[UPDATE: We are feeling pretty silly right now. We did not consider that Greg Norton cannot be sent down to Durham without clearing waivers. We also completely forgot about Jonny Gomes (considering the amount of playing time he receives, can you blame us?). Now it seems fairly obvious that when Iwamura returns, that Gomes will be the one headed to Durham. We don't call this "The Hangover" for no reason.]
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA...
- Apparently the Devil Rays are moving to San Antonio in 5 years. Ok. We are not even going to dignify this with a comment on how idiotic David King is. What insider information does Mr. King have? The smoke out of his own ass and nothing else.
- The Rays recent offensive struggles can be traced to the loss of Akinori Iwamura to the DL.
In the Rays' first 19 games of the season, including the April 23 victory against the Yankees that marked Iwamura's final appearance before going on the disabled list, Tampa Bay averaged 5.37 runs per game, hit .271 as a team, compiled a .334 on-base percentage and struck out 2.37 times for every walk (147 to 62).
In the next 15 through the end of the Orioles series Thursday, the Rays' scoring plummeted to 3.47 runs per game, their average to .240 and their OBP to .293 as they struck out 3.47 times per walk (125 to 36).
- WooHoo! Let's start the Carl Crawford trade rumors again. They are always fun for about 2 weeks of "What would it take?" speculation and then everybody finally realizing that nobody will be willing to pay market price for one of the best young players in baseball followed by the experts commenting on how difficult it is to to try and trade with the Devil Rays.
- With Jae Seo and Casey Fossum in the rotation, preaching patience with the minor league pitchers is an exercise in patience.
- Unless the Rays find better pitching, and find it soon, the 2007 season is going to look an awful lot like 2006...and 2005...and 2004...and...
- There has been a lot of discussion about bringing up one or more of the Durham pitchers to the Rays and who might be the first to get the call. A lot of people have pointed to the numbers of Andy Sonnanstine, and think he deserves a shot. One thing to keep in mind is that of the five starting pitchers at Durham, Sonnanstine is the only one NOT on the 40-man roster. As long as there are other options, the Rays are not likely to call up Sonnanstine unless they have to, and there is a good chance we won't see Sonnanstine in 2007.
- BJ Upton started in center field on Saturday for the first time in his major league career, and his lack of experience may have cost the Rays the game.
- Rocco Baldelli has 1 hit in his past 36 at bats.
- But hey, maybe he would make a good pitchman. Then again? Maybe not.
- It took a while, but Edwin Jackson is finally realizing that major league hitters can hit a major league fastball, and that it takes more than one good pitch to win at this level.
- Nolan Ryan making a comeback at age 60? Don't laugh, he would probably be the #3 starter in the Rays rotation.
- oh dear lord...WHY?!?!?!