Oct 1, 2011; Arlington, TX, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher James Shields throws a pitch in the first inning of game two of the 2011 ALDS against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

What's Important Now: Struggles Continue

 

Spring Game 4: Twins 3, Rays 2

Since some of you watched this game and Robbie already touched on this game, I will keep this brief. The Rays continued their spring struggles yesterday, dropping another game yesterday. Again the Rays struggled to get anything going on offense until the 8th inning, with Stephen Vogt doubling and Jose Lobaton driving him in. Desmond Jennings was 1 for 3 from the top of the order. Sean Rodriguez was 1 for 2 in the three spot. Carlos Pena had an uneventful return to the Rays, going 0 for 2.

Jeff Niemann made his first start in his case for the fifth starter spot. Niemann looked a little rocky at the beginning of the game, allowing two quick hits. In his two innings, though, he only allowed one unearned run. From there, the minor leaguers took over, with Jhonny Nunez allowing the other two runs.

Spring Game 5: Rays at Yankees

Time: 1:05

TV: MLB Network (tomorrow at 9 AM)

Pitchers: Rays- James Shields, Burke Badenhop, Dane De La Rosa, Alex Colome, Josh Lueke, and Romulo Sanchez

Yankees- Hiroki Kuroda

James Shields will make his spring debut for the Rays, looking to pick up where he left off last season. We will also see the second appearances of Burke Badenhop, Dane De La Rosa, Alex Colome, and Josh Lueke. Lueke and Badenhop were each bitten by the home run bug in their last appearances.

The Rays will get their first look at new Yankees acquisition Hiroki Kuroda, who they should be seeing a lot of this season.

Notables: Matt Joyce, B.J. Upton, Ben Zobrist, and Jose Molina are all scheduled to play in this game

Rays News and Notes

  • Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes about Desmond Jennings’ plan to separate himself from the Carl Crawford comparisons. Jennings has been long compared to the former Ray, due to his mix of speed, power, and defense. If anything, Jennings could be better as he has more potential power, which we saw a bit of last season.
  • Topkin also talks about Carlos Pena’s return to the Rays, which became a reality yesterday when Pena took the field against the Twins.
  • Finally, the Rays announced their first concert in the Summer Concert series. The concert will take place on June 17th, Father’s Day, and feature three acts. ZZ Top, Gretchen Wilson, and 3 Doors Down will all perform. ZZ Top and 3 Doors Down have appeared at the Trop in past concert series. The rest of the concerts will be released later this month.

Tags: Carlos Pena Desmond Jennings Jeff Niemann Rays Twins

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