In his weekly roundup, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times spoke with Joe Maddon, and says Maddon is already looking at the possible lineups for the 2012 season. Topkin writes that Desmond Jennings and Evan Longoria are already penciled into the one and three spots, but Joe is having a hard time with the two spot. He is debating between Ben Zobrist, BJ Upton, and Luke Scott, who is being considered based on his high on base percentage.
I know I am dreaming, but I would like to see less tinkering by Maddon this year. Playing the numbers may seem to work, but I think there would be better production if players knew where they were in the order. There is a greater chance of less tinkering this year, with Jennings at leadoff, Longo at three, and Carlos Pena most likely hitting cleanup. My guess is Joe will tinker with the rest of the lineup until he finds the right combination.
Rays News and Notes
- Marc Topkin also took a look at the Rays non-roster invitees for Spring Training. The Rays don’t really have anyone exciting on the list, with Will Rhymes being the only one on the list with an outside chance of making the team. Tim Beckham and Hak-Ju Lee are on the list, so it will be interesting to see how they do against big league pitching.
- On Friday it came out that middle reliever Brandon Gomes will be limited at the start of the season due to back surgery in the offseason. Gomes should be ready for Opening Day. Gomes emerged as a big arm for the Rays in the bullpen and will most likely see an increased workload this season due to his impressive showing.
- TBO.com talked to Wade Davis about how he is handling being included in trade rumors. He appears to be taking it well, as he is not letting it get to him.
- If sabermetrics are your thing, Baseball Prospectus took a look at the metrics behind Jose Molina, and what the Rays can expect from him. The stats show Molina to be the good fielder we knew he was, so if only the Rays could get some offense we would be good.
- Finally, more news from Rays doing good in the community. This time it isn’t a player, but the Rays Baseball Foundation is offering grants to local non-profit organizations. The grants award up to $5,000 and info on how to apply can be found here.