Through the first three games of the exhibition season the Rays saw many balls fly over the outfield fences. While most of them were hit by the team they played back to back, the Baltimore Orioles, three of the dingers came from one of the newer Rays on the roster:
Sean John Rodriguez.
This guy has a lot of pressure on him.
Think about it.
–He was brought to St. Pete in exchange for one of the most popular–and successful–Rays of all time, Scott Kazmir.
–He has been said to have the potential to knock 20 dingers per year.
–He can fill one of the Rays’ biggest holes in 2010–second base–now that Aki has been dealt and the Rays might want to see Ben Zobrist in right field.
No doubt, Rodriguez can be something of a godsend for the Rays in 2010. Should he be successful in Spring Training, the Rays will find themselves with the ability to wait on Matt Joyce to mature and give Reid Brignac a chance to play everyday at AAA.
But is it fair to look at Rodriguez’s three long balls and see him as on track to breaking camp with the big club?
The wind in Florida has been gusting. That is putting it mildly. Around town you see signs blown over and trash strewn about because just about everything is getting knocked around by the wind.
That includes fly balls.
Manager Joe Maddon has said that if the Rays had hit more fly balls they would have had many more home runs than they do now.
That reasoning would have to apply to the young second baseman’s three dingers so far in this spring.
So perhaps we should not read too much into the early success of Rodriguez’s big stick, but it can’t be too terrible to dream.
After all, if it were the regular season he’d be on pace for 162 home runs.
Not too shabby…