Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Joe Maddon says Tampa Bay Rays' rotation might match Philadelphia Phillies' staff in a few years

Take cover: The Phillies’ Ross Gload protects his head as Rays shortstop Sean Rodriguez ranges behind the second-base bag to retrieve Wade Davis’ throw in the second inning.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

Take cover: The Phillies’ Ross Gload protects his head as Rays shortstop Sean Rodriguez ranges behind the second-base bag to retrieve Wade Davis’ throw in the second inning.

CLEARWATER — Rays manager Joe Maddon was asked, as so many other baseball people have been this spring, to look back and identify a starting rotation as good as what the Phillies have.

While pondering past possible comparisons to the group of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels (plus Joe Blanton), Maddon also looked ahead to what he said could be a promising comparison with the Rays' own group of David Price, James Shields, Jeff Niemann, Wade Davis and Jeremy Hellickson.

"The difference is experience," Maddon said. "Stuff-wise, our stuff matches up with their stuff. Among our starters, absolutely — stuff-wise, pitch for pitch, guy for guy. Our stuff matches up. …

"We're maybe a younger version of them right now. Something we can look like in a couple years from now if we stayed together and are healthy, for example, the Braves of several years ago, that kind of thing."

FIVE-ALIVE: It was only the ninth game of the spring, but with the score 4-4 in the ninth and runners on second and third, Maddon went to one of his signature moves, the five-man infield.

Russ Canzler came in from leftfield to third and the others shifted, though it was foiled when Joel Naughton lined a single to right, resulting in a 5-4 loss. The Rays (1-7-1) have gone eight straight games without a win.

"You have to work on it some time," Maddon said. "If you're going to work on these things and they're going to be part of your game-day package, you've got to go with it."

Maddon tried a similar move in Game 3 of the 2008 World Series against the Phillies, though it was foiled then, too.

PITCHING IN: Davis was pleased with his two-inning outing, a homer to Ryan Howard aside. "I'm in a pretty good place," Davis said. … Maddon was enthused with the work of LHPs Cesar Ramos and Jake McGee and RHPs Juan Cruz and Brandon Gomes, suggesting all have emerged as legitimate candidates for bullpen jobs. "I just liked the way they threw, and you could easily imagine a pretty decent bullpen among those arms right there," he said. "They were throwing strikes, their demeanor was good, they were under control of their emotions. … They looked like what we're looking for."

GAME DETAILS: Down 3-0 after two homers and a botched popup by 3B Felipe Lopez, the Rays tied it in the fifth, the big hit a two-run double by Sean Rodriguez, then went ahead in the seventh when Chris Carter singled in Joe Inglett. … RF Matt Joyce, hoping to prove he can hit lefties, singled off Lee in the first. … Inglett misplayed a ball in left.

MISCELLANY: Hellickson (right hamstring strain) did well in a 10-minute, 34-pitch session of batting practice in Port Charlotte and will have another Tuesday and make his exhibition debut Friday. … INF/OF Ben Zobrist (right ankle) and INF Elliot Johnson (left quad) are expected back Tuesday, OF Sam Fuld (elbow) Tuesday or Wednesday, SS Reid Brignac (groin tightness) by the end of the week. … If the scheduled pitchers are an indication (with RHP Chris Bootcheck starting), it would appear the Rays are sending nonroster players to Wednesday's split-squad exhibition against the Netherlands in St. Petersburg.

Joe Maddon says Tampa Bay Rays' rotation might match Philadelphia Phillies' staff in a few years 03/06/11 [Last modified: Sunday, March 6, 2011 8:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays morning after: A lot that went into a marathon win

    Blogs

    Rays manager Kevin Cash had a simple strategy when Fox Sports Sun's Alex Corddry asked him how the team would move on from Sunday's marathon win and get ready to face the Rangers tonight in Texas:

    Kevin Kiermaier of the Rays celebrates as teammate Michael Martinez slides safely into home plate to score a run against the Minnesota Twins during the 14th inning.
  2. Rays journal: Erasmo Ramirez ready to start a day after closing game

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — RHP Erasmo Ramirez was on the mound to finish Sunday's 15-inning marathon win over the Twins and will start tonight's game against the Rangers.

    The Rays’ Erasmo Ramirez throws 12 pitches in the 15th inning against the Twins to earn the save then says after the game that he’s ready to make his scheduled start against the Rangers: “My arm feels good.”
  3. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Before the Rays eventually won Sunday's 6½-hour, 15-inning marathon against the Twins 8-6, they did plenty to lose it. And we need to get that out of the way first.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  4. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  5. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.