Rays Colored Glasses: Rays Week in Review
As part of a series hosted by our Toronto Blue Jays blog, JaysJournal, each blog provides a recap of the recent week for their respective team. Last week it was a difficult task as the Rays faltered out of the gate, looking lost and losing Manny Ramirez; basically making the baseball world wonder how long before they started selling off parts.
This week was a different story. The continued emergence of Sam Fuld, the play of Johnny Damon and the pitching coming back nearer pre-season expectations resulted in a 5-1 record and a nice rebound for the second week of the season.
4th Place: Tampa Bay Rays
Record beginning of week: 1-8 Record end of the week: 6-9
Hottest hitting performance:
•Johnny Damon: supplied the offensive spark this past week for the Rays, increasing his batting average from .125 to .232 and extended a modest hitting streak to nine days. Damon took a cue from Sam Fuld, who earned honorable mention this week, with three home runs (including a walk-off winner Thursday night against the Twins that created turmoil at the Twin’s closer role) and a walk-off single single Saturday.
Hottest pitching performance (starter):
•Wade Davis: In all actuality the Rays starters settled into more of what we expected from them, but Davis pitched a gem Friday. Davis went seven innings and allowed one run on only four hits while earning his first win of the season and lowering his ERA to 3.29.
Hottest pitching performance (pen):
•Kyle Farnsworth. Farnsworth continues to be the story in the pen, converting both save opportunities. He is now three for three and has been solid so far.
•Sean Rodriguez: SeanRod saw his batting average drop precipitously over the last week, recording only one hit on 11 at bats. Rodriguez continues to sit against righties and will need to show he’s better than his career .222 BA versus right handers indicates.
Coldest Pitcher (starter):
•Jeremy Hellickson: Hellickson was plagued by walks allowed, dishing out seven free passes to only four strikeouts while allowing six runs in 12.1 innings. Hellickson, who opened the season with a 10 k game against the Los Angeles Angels was particularly gratuitous in Monday’s game against the Red Sox, allowing five walks while striking out one.
Coldest Pitcher (pen):
•Joel Peralta – The bullpen was actually pretty solid this week but Peralta allowed an earned run in the same game against Boston so he gets the nod.
•Johnny Damon. Damon really stepped up after the Rays learned that Manny was a goner and showed just how valuable he can be for the young team.
Opponents for upcoming week:
•Chicago Whitesox for four games
•@ Toronto Blue Jays for three games.
•After a miserable start to the season the Rays went on a streak, winning five games in a row in true Cardiac Kids fashion. The offense team average for the week was .305, second only to a torrid St Louis Cardinal team that mashed .359, and raised the team’s season BA to .222. Sam Fuld continues to provide a spark while Damon, who’s heroics were key throughout last week, will be a concern with Chicago and Toronto ahead. The team was solid if not spectacular but will need to generate offense early rather than relying on late game rallies as they did all week with the exception of Monday’s 16-5 blowout of the Red Sox.
•All Players on the DL: RP J.P. Howell (15-Day DL, due back 18 May), 3B Evan Longoria (15-Day DL, due back late April);
•Day-to-Day: Johnny Damon, bruised ring finger.
•Added to the list: Johhny Damon
•Now healthy: NA
Notes from the Minors
•Hitters: Desmond Jennings continues to be the talk of the town as he makes his case for a call up. Jennings hit his second home run of the season and stole two bases this week and his average sits at .314. If he continues the Rays will have to think hard about bringing him up to the bigs.
•Pitchers: Alex Torres (AAA) The Southern League strikeout leader in 2010, Torres got the season started off on similar ground, whiffing nine batters in his season debut against Charlotte on Monday. He followed that gem with an eight strikeout performance and his first win against Gwinett, giving him 17 K’s in 10.1 innings for a sick 14.8 K/9 to start the season. Torres has walked only two batters in his first two starts and is making a case to play at some point this season with the club in Tampa.
Completed by: Ben Ice, email me at Rayhawksblog@gmail.com, follow me on Twitter @Ben_Ice or at @RaysColoredGlasses