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)

Tampa Bay Rays' top prospects making good impression in camp

PORT CHARLOTTE — SS Tim Beckham and LHP Jake McGee were sent to minor-league camp last week so the Rays could concentrate on what's most important now: getting the players who will be key parts of this year's team ready for the season.

The same will happen soon enough for OF Desmond Jennings, RHPs Jeremy Hellickson and Heath Rollins and, likely, at least one from the group of Reid Brignac, Matt Joyce and Sean Rodriguez. Plus maybe Wade Davis (or Andy Sonnanstine), too.

So as much consternation as there is over the probable departures of LF Carl Crawford, 1B Carlos Peña and others at the end of the season, there is also something of a confirmation of what the Rays have been saying, and doing, given their dual efforts to be competitive now while always building for the future.

"The question comes up a lot about, 'We've got to do it this year;' I feel that way about every year," manager Joe Maddon said. "But you look at 2010 right here, and the peripheral vision sees '11, '12 and '13; that's pretty bright. These guys are as good as I've heard.

"And not only because they're physically good, but their personalities, their character, their makeup is exceptional. The scouting and minor-league development side have done a great job with these guys. … They're good, and they're being raised right."

ON THE GREENS: RHP James Shields is excited about playing with John Daly in Monday's Transitions Championship pro-am, and is even willing to wear the same colorful style pants Daly favors. But Shields says putting with a few hundred watching is much more nerve-wracking than pitching in front of 60,000. "I feel a little more confident in my ability to play baseball than golf," he said.

IN THE CITY: Pat Burrell shared an interesting theory with the Philadelphia Inquirer about missing the passion of playing in a big city: "I don't know if there is any way of saying this without getting myself in trouble. But there is definitely a different excitement level (in Philadelphia). I think more than anything, there is a stronger tradition for baseball there. That goes without saying."

RAYS RUMBLINGS: Opening day is still not sold out, which is not an encouraging sign for ticket sales. … On SIRIUS XM's Mad Dog Radio, principal owner Stuart Sternberg said the Rays lost "significant amounts" of money last year and will lose "a good amount" this year, too. … From Baseball Prospectus' profile of Cuban defector signee 1B/OF Leslie Anderson: "More of a pure hitter than a pure slugger; average power at best, but he knows how to get a bat on a ball, and unlike most Cubans has a definitely sense of the strike zone. Good athlete, profiles best in a corner." … Saturday's autograph signing organized by Evan Lon­goria raised $15,950 for a Tampa woman recently diagnosed with cancer, including $5,400 from the Rays for 216 balls that will be donated to charities. … ESPN's Buster Olney pegs the Rays for a good start with the AL's second-easiest early schedule.

FAST FACTS

Roster report

The fourth of our weekly guesses on the makeup of the 25-man opening day roster:

Pitchers (12): Grant Balfour, Joaquin Benoit, Lance Cormier, Randy Choate, Matt Garza, J.P. Howell, Jeff Niemann, David Price, James Shields, Andy Sonnanstine, Rafael Soriano, Dan Wheeler

Catchers (2): Dioner Navarro, Kelly Shoppach

Infielders (7): Willy Aybar, Jason Bartlett, Reid Brignac, Evan Longoria, Carlos Peña, Sean Rodriguez, Ben Zobrist

Outfielders (4): Pat Burrell, Carl Crawford, Gabe Kapler, B.J. Upton

Disabled list (1): OF Matt Joyce

Tampa Bay Rays' top prospects making good impression in camp 03/13/10 [Last modified: Sunday, March 14, 2010 12:33am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jones: Koetter-Winston exchange highlights latest 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    There are certain things that make HBO's Hard Knocks must-see television.

    Jameis Winston, left, has an exchange with Dirk Koetter that highlights Hard Knocks.
  2. Trevor Plouffe is DFA'd by Rays, Kittredge recalled for now

    Blogs

    INF Trevor Plouffe didn't do much with the opportunity the Rays gave him, and time ran out Tuesday when he was designated for assignment after the game.

    Plouffe hit just .178, with one homer and two RBIs, in 31 games for the Rays, his primary playing time from starting at first or third against lefties.

  3. Rays journal: Offense shows signs of waking up in win over Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The drought was so severe that it's still probably too soon to say the Rays are out of it, but scoring a half-dozen runs in Tuesday's 6-5 win over the Blue Jays was another promising sign.

    Corey Dickerson high-fives Wilson Ramos after hitting a solo home run in the third inning, putting the Rays up 2-1.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    C Wilson Ramos, coming off right knee surgery, often takes it easy on the bases, though it's not always a good look. But he hustled when he needed to Tuesday and got the Rays a run by beating out a two-out infield single, finishing with three more hits.

  5. Rays are full of ideas they'd like to share when commissioner visits

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Commissioner Rob Manfred is coming to the Trop today. Hmm. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg will be there to greet him. Hmmmm. And they have a scheduled joint media session. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred isn’t expected to say anything definitive about the Rays’ stadium situation when he visits the team today.