Remember last season when Joe Maddon ruffled some feathers by sending Sam Fuld to the mound to warm up before pulling him without seeing a batter? Well, now there’s a rule to prevent this. Maddon needed more time for Cesar Ramos to get ready to enter the game, so he sent Fuld, who had pinch-hit for the pitcher, to the mound to warm-up.
The new rule prohibits a manager from sending the current pitcher to the mound with no intention of having him pitch. Rays Index makes the case that this rule has nothing to do with this situation, but is instead used to speed up the game. There are many interpretations of this rule, but it shouldn’t really affect the game too much.
Rays News and Notes
- Speaking of MLB rules, Buster Olney of ESPN expects the playoffs to be expanded to 10 teams for this upcoming season. MLB has until March 1st to make the final decision. This could be huge for the Rays, as the extra wild card spot could get them into the playoffs, as they are in the always tough AL East and the AL West is much improved.
- Roger Mooney of TBO.com highlights the Sean Rodriguez-Reid Brignac shortstop battle. The article doesn’t really talk about Jeff Keppinger, who could play a big role in the battle and could take playing time from both Brignac and Rodriguez.
- Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times is reporting that J.P. Howell and Fernando Rodney caught Joe Maddon’s eye in their bullpen sessions yesterday. Both Howell and Rodney could play big roles in the bullpen in 2012.
- TBO.com also has some minor notes from yesterday’s spring practice.
- Finally, I leave you on a lighter note. The Rays promotional schedule came out yesterday, and Yahoo! Sports questions one item, the Zim Bear. This bear has become comedic gold over the internet yesterday, as the bear with Don Zimmer’s face is a bit scary.