Prior to last night’s game against the Oakland A’s, the Rays held a Player’s Only meeting to discuss their sluggish start to the season. Their mental approach was discussed, and how they needed to find that attitude which has allowed them to become a perennial playoff contender in a division where they would seem to be continually thrust into the underdog status based on payroll. In the end, they stressed patience, a feeling that is not lost upon Joe Maddon.
“We just haven’t put our whole game together,” Maddon said. “We’re definitely better than that.”
He continued, “Of course I’d like to have a better record, absolutely. But I’m not really concerned yet. It’s too early to be concerned. If we had been playing as well as we possibly could have played and had this record, I’d be more concerned. We have not even scratched the surface of how well we’re capable of playing.”
Whatever was said in that meeting seemed to work, as the Rays bounced back after giving up two runs in the top of the first to take an 8-3 victory last night. Hopefully, this meeting, and the subsequent victory, can help the Rays shake their early season doldrums.
There was a bit of news on Luke Scott and his return from his strained calf yesterday, as Scott ran at full speed on the field and threw in the outfield. Even though a time frame has not yet been given for when he is going to start a rehab assignment, but he is hoping to be able to rejoin the Rays soon.
“As soon as Ron clears me, I am gone. I’m gone as soon as I feel good,” Scott said. “Hopefully it’ll be in a day or two.”
It also has not been ruled out for Scott to join the Rays in time for their next road trip, beginning on Thursday. With the Rays offense beginning to find it’s stride, adding another potential power threat in Scott can only help.
Finally, in more injury news, Juan Carlos Oviedo, the pitcher formerly known as Leo Nunez, played catch Friday afternoon at Tropicana Field. Oviedo is a long way away from being able to contribute to the Rays, but the fact that he has begun throwing is a good first step. Hopefully, he continues to throw without pain, and the Rays can get a time frame as to whether or not he will be able to contribute at all this season.