Rays can’t Finish series on a Winning Note
Rocco Baldelli is currently doind a rehab assignment with the Double-A Montgomery Biscuits. Balidelli has been doing mostly DH duties before hitting rightfield for the past two contests.
On Saturday night, Baldelli played the outfield for 5 innings, and reported no ill effects from his time out in the field. This might be great news for the Rays, who are searching for a right-handed bat to compliment the Rays truggling offense.
Alot has been made of the Rays trying to secure a rightfield via a trade, but several teams are making high demands of at least a MLB ready prospect and another high-end player to even consider trading their top players.
the wild part is that Andrew Friedman might have the answer just up the stateline a few hundred miles in Montgomery. Even if Rocco is not in perfect shape to man the outfield every day, Justin Ruggiano has been hitting .307, and hit a critical homer in Durham’s win over 2-0 win over the Louisville Bats Sat. night.
It is expected that Rocco will make the journey up the minors ladder to Durham in the coming weeks, then the Rays will sit back and make a decision on maybe using him or Ruggiano to fulfill the right-hande bat problem.
I think either would be a great story for the Rays, but a emotional and “feel Good” story would be Rocco going out and patrolling the outfield again for the Rays. Rocco has not played in the outfield for the Rays since being injured in 2006.
Andy Sonnanstine is currently leading the Rays in wins with 10 this season. The bad part is that Sonnanstine has now gone 3 straight outing without a win since last beating the Royals at home, and is stuck on his double digit win total.
Sonnanstine threw only 6 pitches befoe finding himself behind in the game against the Royals. Mike Aviles hit a solo shot to put the Royals up 1-0 early in the contest. Sonnanstine now has an identical home and road record for the season (5-3).
After Aviles shot, Sonnanstine did not allow another Royal hit until David DeJesus’s double to lead off the 4th inning. Sonnanstine went 6.2 innings,giving up 5-runs on 8-hits and struck out 2 for the game.
Al Reyes came on in the 6th inning with the Royals up 3-1. Al quickly a wild pitch that moved all the Royals’ baserunners up before surrendering a 3-run home to Billy Butler to increase their lead to 6-1. Reyes threw 15 pitches and allowed 2 hits in his short relief appearance.
Carlos Pena extended his on-base streak to 29 games with a 2-3 day for the Rays. Pena singled to right in his first at-bat in the second inning to keep his streak alive. He also had a double to deep right, and was hit by a pitch in the 8th inning. Pena is currently hitting .238, and has gone 6-10 in the last 3 games, with 2 doubles, 2 homers and 3 RBI’s.
The Rays split the 4-game series with the Royals and will travel to Toronto tonight to take on the upcharging Bluejays. Toronto has won 6 of their last 10 game to pull within 8 games of the Rays.
The loss moved the Boston Red Sox to within 1 game of the AL East lead. The Red Sox will open a home series against the LA Angels on Monday night. Boston won the last game against the New York Yankees to stop the Yankees’ streak at 8 straight wins.
Boston’s series with the Angels along with the recent implosion of Manny Ramirez should make at least a ripple in the Red Sox pond over the next few games. It has been reported, that if the Red Sox can find a suitor for Manny, he will waive his 10-5 trade veto to complete a trade to another team.
This distraction could be great news to the Rays. With the Red Sox players siding in their respective corners concerning this situation, it could splinter the clubhouse a bit and maybe give the Rays an edge they need right now.
Knowing that there is internal bickering with their nearest competitor could make the Rayf focus more on the issue at hand. They need to win more than 50 percent of their final games to insure at least a Wild Card spot in the playoff.
90 wins will probably not be enough for the Rays to secure a spot, but an extra 5, or 95 wins could be a firm foundation to give the team their first playoff berth in team history.
With the Rays coming home to the Trop for 6 games, it is urgent to win as many at home as possible to lighten the load on the road the rest of the way through the season. After the Rays homestand, they will be going on a 10 game in 11 days roadtrip that will swing through Seattle,Oakland and Texas.
After that trip, they will only be home for 3 days before taking off again for a tough 3 game road series in Chicago against the White Sox. After the Chicago series, the Rays play 21 straight games against their AL East opponents.