Tuesday, August 12, 2008
It's nice to see Rocco Baldelli back in the big-leagues with the Rays. Before the season started, Baldelli's entire career was in jeopardy because of a mitochondrial something-or-other that left him too tired to play. With that hopefully squared away, or at least under control, Rocco is in a position to really help out the club with both Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria on the DL - the former maybe for the rest of the season. Tampa Bay will be careful with Baldelli, apparently using Gabe Gross to shadow him in case he needs to come out of a game. With top prospect David Price potentially being this year's "Joba" - coming up from the minors to throw upper 90's fastballs and wicked sliders out of the pen - the Rays may actually have the depth to hang on to their AL East lead. I was higher on the team than many, but no way would I have predicted a 95 win season for the Rays. Even Baseball Prospectus, with their seemingly crazy call for 88-89 wins, may have undershot them. What's going to happen to the rest of the teams in the East once Tampa Bay starts calling up the rest of their prospects? How are the Orioles - on their way up and a team that would be in contention in the NL West - going to be able to compete with the Red Sox, Yankees, and Rays (and Blue Jays, I guess)?