It’s been a fairly eventful week, with the official start of both Spring Training and Grapefruit League play. The Rays ended the first weekend of play with a 2-1 record, following victories over the Twins and Red Sox, and a loss to the Pirates. The Rays will be in Port Charlotte on Monday and Tuesday for a pair of games against the Red Sox and Astros, in Bradenton Wednesday for a game against the Pirates, back home Thursday for a game against the Tigers, in Dunedin Friday for a game against the Blue Jays, and back home Saturday and Sunday for a pair of games against the Orioles and Twins. Before we look forward to the upcoming week, we should probably take a brief look back over the past nine days since our last weekly recap.
The Rays hosted their annual Fan Fest on the 16th. 25,000 Rays fans (including the crack reporters from X-Rays Spex), 63 Rays players, nine coaches, Astro, 40 former major leaguers, and two MLB Network personalities attended the fan favorite event at the Trop. Ahem, some of us may have rubbed shoulders with a few noteworthy folks in the Rays front office, like Matt Silverman.
The Rays announced the acquisition of 34 year-old OF/DH Jack Cust. Tampa Bay signed Cust to a one-year minor league contract.
We posted a metric butt-ton of links on the 18th, including links to the Rays 2013 promotional schedule and the MLB 411 composite projections. I still think those links are worthy of your time.
David Price made it known that he probably won’t be a Ray over the long-term, while a land owner in Ybor City made her intention clear; her desire is for the Rays to buy the property and build a facility in the blighted section just outside of downtown.
The Rays announced that they’ll send five players to the World Baseball Classic: LHP Alex Torres (Venezuela), INF/OF Ben Zobrist (United States), RHP Fernando Rodney (Dominican Republic), LHP Cesar Ramos (Mexico) and C Jose Molina (Puerto Rico) from the major league camp. A pair of minor leaguers will also appear in the WBC, INF Leonardo Reginatto and INF Iago Januario, both are on the roster for Brazi. It bears mentioning, this is Brazil’s inaugural appearance at the WBC.
We’ll be making Raymones shirts sooner than later. We’ll charge a minimal cost for the shirts, and will put up ordering information soon.
MLB Trade Rumors broke news of the Colorado Rockies alleged interest in Rays starter, Jeff Niemann. Denver Post sports columnist, Troy Renck, noted that he’d be,
Surprised if the Rockies did something before seeing the rotation cycle through a few times.
Leslie Anderson’s impressive performance early on has begun turn heads within the Rays clubhouse. “He looks really good, he’s a different player than the last time I saw him,” said Rays skipper Joe Maddon. Coming off of an impressive 2012 season with the Durham Bulls, Anderson has become the point of speculation over whether he’s ready to make the leap to the bigs. Though he’s been solid at the plate thus far, knocking in five RBI in the last two days, questions still linger about his defensive performance. Time will tell, but the Rays initial $2MM investment could pay off sooner than later.
Hey, we’re not going to have to worry about Curtis Granderson for the next ten weeks. Granderson went down with a fractured arm after getting hit by a pitch on the 24th. Not being one to laugh at the misfortune of others, I must say that this could be enough to give the Yankees pause. Will it sink them in 2013? I guess we’ll have to see.