TPR Notebook: Rays Versus Red Sox, Yankees
Notes and thoughts from the last two games.
- Daniel Robertson turned in the most headline-worthy performance of either game. He homered twice against the Red Sox, including once off Junichi Tazawa, a quality MLB reliever. Both home runs were on 1-0 offspeed pitches, for whatever it’s worth. Defensively, Robertson looked indecisive on a Rusney Castillo ground ball, but recovered well and atoned for his fault with a strong, accurate throw. Later, on another Castillo grounder, Robertson rounded the ball and made the throw on the run without issue. He’s going to be a fun one to watch develop.
- The other prospect in the Ben Zobrist trade, Boog Powell, did a lot of taking in two at-bats. He grounded out and struck out looking.
- Armando Araiza, a catcher who spent last season in Bowling Green, showed quality defensive chops behind the plate despite being paired with ineffective pitchers. Araiza displayed an understanding of how to create angles, as well as the ability to catch the ball softly. He also exhibited self-confidence by attempting a backpick with the bases loaded. He turns 22 in June and hasn’t shown much offensively since arriving stateside, however, so he’ll likely top out as organizational depth. Araiza is backup material if his bat develops some.
- Mark Sappington, acquired from the Angels in the Cesar Ramos trade, made his first appearance with the big-league squad. He is, as advertised, a large reliever with extremely wild tendencies borne from a tic-full delivery. Beyond blind faith, there’s no reason to think Sappington is going to learn how to throw strikes consistently. Still, because he throws hard, he’s going to get numerous opportunities to discover the zone.