I’m feeling rather lazy so expect the bare minimum – bulleted highlights and lowlights, and other random musings. First though, a brief statement of the obvious; the Rays pounded the Pirates, and are now 5-1 on the spring.
Bulleted Highlights and Lowlights, and other Random Musings:
- Tim Beckham was 2-2 on the day, including a double,a triple, and a run scored. Beckham also made an outstanding play in the sixth inning, making a catch on a fly ball to medium-deep right field – as the second baseman. Maybe Beckham saw the writing on the wall following his suspension for illegal substances. I’ve heard tell that there is a chance he could get called up at some point this season. I reckon that this article could be a bit of smoke – and when there’s smoke, there’s fire.
- Both Jeff Niemann and Jeremy Hellickson had impressive outings on the mound. Niemann posted his second shutout outing of the spring, going one inning and allowing no walks and no hits on 11 pitches. Niemann was quoted as saying, “If we can stay at that all year, it’d be great.” Hellickson went 1-2/3 innings while striking out two and giving up three hits. Helly, impressively, got out of a first-and-third, one-out jam by striking out next two hitters in the third inning.
- Juan Sandoval had another good outing, giving up no hits and walking none, while striking out a batter in 1-1/3 innings of work.
- Luke Scott went 2-3 with a run and an RBI double.
- Jose Molina also went 2-3 with a run and an RBI.
- Kelly Johnson got the start in left field, something he hasn’t done in six years. “I felt all right out there,” Johnson said. “I didn’t feel too much like a fish out of water or anything. It’s different, I’ll say that. It definitely breaks up the routine to go out there and see things from a different angle.” He also noted that he’s got to temper his aggressiveness in the outfield, “It’s easy in the infield. The ball gets to you quicker and you’ve got to get ready just a little earlier to react. If you do that in the outfield, a lot of times you’ll run yourself into a bad route. I had to fight that urge and relax a little bit. I had to sit a half-second longer to see the ball and then react.” Johnson is expected to get ample playing time as a super utility player at second base, shortstop, first base and the outfield this season.
- In case you missed it, Skeletor himself, Governor Rick Scott, and key legislators want to make more public money available for stadium upgrades. After his spring stadium subsidy announcement Rick Scott blew off a reporter’s question about the Rays stadium situation.
- The Rays also announced the starters for the next few games. Roberto Hernandez will get the start Thursday with Matt Moore in relief. Jake Odorizzi will see time on the mound Friday with Alex Cobb and David Price following suit on Saturday and Sunday.
Rays 2/28/13 Starting Lineup:
Yes you saw right, Luke Scott and Ben Zobrist are trading places today. Scott will be in right and Zobrist is leading off at DH. Marc Topkin tweeted, “Scott on playing OF for first time since 2011: “Why not?” Said he feels good, eager for opportunity.” I was going to make a pretty sweet Trading Places pun, but decided against it – my brain just isn’t working at the moment.