Long John’s Power Stroke

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…

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9 comments

  1. devilabrit

    I think they should use Rodriguez from day one, I think by then end of ST he will have earned his starting spot… but then last year early in ST Howard was hitting deep I predicted 60+ homers for the season, okay he was short by 13 or so but still, you never know..
    ~peter
    Outside the Phillies Looking In
    http://devilabrit.mlblogs.com

  2. TribeTed

    Well if he hit 162 home runs, then why wouldn’t they keep him at second base, lol?

    Some players caught my eye too for the Indians like Lou Marson.

    It is really fun to predict how the team will play out with these guys in em, but you have to look at the whole picture.

    I think that if he were in a certain spot in the order, his number and productivity could increase or decrease. Just think.. if he could be put at either 6 or 7, he could be pitched to straight while the other hitters could be pitched to offspeed.

    Just a thought, but you made great points.

    Ted

    http://tribewithted.mlblogs.com/

  3. angelsgirl012

    Siiiigh I miss Sean Rodriguez! He has the potential to be a great 5 tool player!!!! I have confidence in Kaz though he didn’t have the best season (or postseason for that matter) last year. I’m glad that we signed him because we lost Lackey to the Red Sox. I’m hoping he steps up this year!

    http://mimi.mlblogs.com

  4. thepitchersduel

    I haven’t even considered making Rodriguez the everyday second basemen and putting Zobrist in right. Then, the platoon set-up of Joyce and Kapler would be no more. What the Rays need to consider is if Sean will be better than Kapler and Joyce. If he is, he should be the everyday guy, if not, keep Zobrist at 2nd and keep the platoon in right. That’s my take!

    http://thepitchersduel.mlblogs.com

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