Monday, March 17, 2008

Around the Rays Universe March 17th

  • Kazmir will more than likely start the season on the disabled. There has been a setback in his rehab, whereas he was not even allowed to play catch on Sunday -- the day he was scheduled to make his first start. This is not good. The Rays and Kazmir are definitely trying to convince everyone that this is no big deal though (St. Pete Times):

Quote 1: "We're just going to take some time to make sure everything's strong going into the season," Kazmir said. "It's a long season, and we want to make sure of that. I don't want to go three or four starts and go back on the DL or something like that. We just want to make sure we get it right."

Quote 2: Maddon said: "It's just something on the backside of his arm. It's not bad. It really is not bad. We're being really overly cautious right now. He threw the other day, and he threw really well, actually. He came out of it and we were just not satisfied that the arm strength was built up, and we want to make sure any kind of discomfort is gone out of there."

Quote 3: Indeed, there was chatter among scouts at Sunday's game that Kazmir had a more serious elbow problem than was being reported, which Kazmir flatly denied: "Not at all. None of that." And he admitted he has learned to take such talk as a challenge. "I'll just keep proving people wrong," he said.
  • As expected Shields is likely to get the opening day start in Baltimore (St. Pete Times).
"It feels great knowing the team has enough confidence in me to take Kaz's spot in that situation," Shields said. "I've always said he's going to be the ace on this staff no matter what. I'll be happy to be able to take his spot if it happens."
  • Riggans just has a bruise, while Birkins, Orvella, and Cannizaro will remained sidelined for the near future (St. Pete Times).
  • Marc Lancaster reports that Rays are looking to bring in outside help for the outfield. They want someone who can play right, but can also back up Upton in center. Apparently, they are willing to give up one of their young arms -- perhaps Jackson or Hammell could be dealt for an outfielder. Some possibilities brought up by Lancaster include Reggie Willits or Juan Rivera (Angels), Coco Crisp (Red Sox), Reed Johnson (Toronto), and Ryan Freel (Cincinatti). (The Tampa Tribune).
"As Rocco's situation started to become clearer, we expedited some conversations to try to bring someone in from the outside," Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said Saturday. "We're always looking to upgrade, and if we can upgrade over what we have internally, we'll do so. If we can't, obviously we won't."
  • Fennelly wrote a nice piece about how Percival's presence is helping out the Rays. I only hope he can stay healthy all season. We need him in the clubhouse and on the field (The Tampa Tribune).

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