Friday, June 1, 2007

Quick Note on the Rays

I figured I would write a quick post since I’m bored as can be at work. It looks like there could be some shaking up of the roster this weekend. The St Pete Times mentioned that Andy Sonnanstine and JP Howell could be replacing Jae Seo and Casey Fossum as early as today (Friday).

As I surfed the web I didn’t see any mention of the move, so perhaps the DRO is waiting another day to start the ticking of Sonnanstine’s major league clock. I’m all for letting the kids play. The Rays have to find out if their farm system is ready to develop major league talent on the mound.

The masses of online fans and talk show callers have begun to anoint Sonnanstine as the chosen one. To hear them talk you would think that he is Sidd Finch incarnate. Forget Scott Kazmir, forget James Shields this 13th round draft pick is the answer to all that ails the Rays. His impressive control (13 walks in 71 innings) is making them overlook his sub par arm strength. I believe you can had a long and storied career without possessing a 95mph heater in your arsenal. However, your first few seasons will be tough.

He is going to have to face hitters that:

a. have better plate discipline.
b. foul off good pitches instead of missing them
c. hit mistakes very, very hard

Not to mention different (read tougher) strike zones from Major League umpires.

I don’t want to rain on everyone’s parade. Like I said let him play, but don’t expect miracles from him. Even James (Don’t Call Me Jamie!) Shields went through a stretch last year where he was pounded.

So rejoice when he is called up. Tune in for his debut, but don’t ditch him if his ERA floats in the 6’s or 7’s this season. Don’t expect him to lead the Rays to contention. The next four months should be spent finding out if he belongs in the rotation behind Kazmir and Shields, not fitting him for a yellow hall of fame jacket.

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