Former Rays Jaso, Damon Have Nice Days

By Robbie Knopf

A couple of former Rays players have to be feeling pretty good about themselves after what has happened to them the last couple of days.

John Jaso, who the Rays traded to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Josh Lueke, made his season debut as the Mariners’ DH on Wednesday night and came up huge in the Mariners’ 4-3 win over the Texas Rangers. Jaso was 0 for 2 to begin the game before coming to the plate against the Rangers’s Alexi Ogando to begin the 8th with the Rangers ahead 3-0. But Jaso drilled a triple into the right field corner to give the M’s some momentum and he later scored on a Dustin Ackley RBI single to pull the Mariners with 3-1. Jaso then came up in the 9th inning against Rangers closer Joe Nathan in a 3-3 game after the Mariners had put together a rally. But the rally was not over yet as there was the go-ahead run on third base with 2 outs. But Jaso came through with a big RBI single to give the M’s the lead, and Brandon League closed it out as the M’s came all the way back in the final two innings to win 4-3. We may have traded Jaso, but it’s hard not to root for him, especially against the Rangers, the team that has eliminated the Rays from the postseason the last two years.

On another front, the Rays’ DH in 2011, Johnny Damon, has finally appeared to find a home to continue his charge towards 3000 hits as Ken Rosenthal tweeted that Damon is close to agreeing to a deal with the Cleveland Indians, who are shorthanded in the outfield following Grady Sizemore undergoing back surgery which will sideline him until at least June. Damon posted a .261/.326/.418 line (110 OPS+) with 29 doubles, 7 triples, 16 homers, 73 RBI, and 19 stolen bases in 25 tries for the  Rays in 2011, pretty nice numbers, but the Rays let him go because they wanted more power from the DH slot, something they hope Luke Scott can provide them. Johnny is currently at 2723 hits, and good luck to him as he approaches 3000.


(Cover image credit Steve Mitchell, US Presswire)