Rays Thoughts Hitting on my Noggin’




The Tampa Bay Rays management have announced that they will hear from Troy Percival next week on if he will elect for surgery on his back and bad knee during the off season, or try and rehab it by the Rays reporting date. The report came from Percival’s agent, Paul Cohen. Cohen said Percival is going through his normal rehab at the moment, although he isn’t throwing because it’s too early in the offseason, and the pitcher will see more doctors before making a final decision.


What? Percival was suppoose to come see Rays Manager Joe Maddon duing the American League Championship Series and never even came to the Trop. Now we hear that he is doing “normal” rehab before deciding if he wants to have surgery. I would think the medical staff of the Rays would be involved in this venture since Percival is still under contract with the team.


Maybe there is something else here that is being hidden from the Rays medical staff by Percival. He is a very proud individual, and maybe the problem is that things have healed in the past by rehab, but at 38-ish I know personally, you body has a mind of its own. Hopefully the Rays will get total disclosure into the doctors’ reports and their evaluation before Percival even hit the knife, or the treadmill.


If he misses any amount of time in 2009, should the Rays discard him like Al Reyes.  You remember Reyes, out 2007 closer who developed arm problems maybe by throwing himself ragged ledd than a year after arm surgery. A guy who is injured can sometime  hide an injury with careful delivery mechanics. I think the team needs to get an insurance policy, like a Kyle Farnsworth, or even Kerry Woods in case Percival can not make it out of May this upcoming season.




Thank you B J ! Thank you for thinking of the team and getting your surgery in enough time to rehab and come in for Spring Training in good shape and ready to rock and roll in 2009.  There have been people who have questioned your committment and your integrity last year to the team. Little do they know that in 2009, you will explode out of the box and be totally healthy for the Rays.


Considering that is your non-throwing shoulder, I also think your throws to the plate will have a better velocity and accuracy since you will not have a twinge of pain from your left shoulder on the follow-through. And considering that in the playoffs you were feeling better than ay other time during the season, and hitting for power and average, it shows you have the ability.


So take your time and get 100 percent healthy and we will see you real soon in Port Charlotte hitting bombs and stealing a whole bushel of bases again this year.




Cliff Floyd is another player who has been granted his free agency, and also is considering surgery on his bad shoulder.  Floyd was quoted as saying last week that even if the Rays do not want to resign him, he will get his shoulder repaired and be ready for anything.


I was a little upset that Floyd hurt himself in Game 2 of the Wrold Series at the Trop., but hopefully it was not on that play where Floyd broke his maple bat into three pieces.


Floyd had as much value in the clubhouse as in the batter’s box for the Rays last year. He showed alot of the young guys a different veteran attitude and approach to the game. He took a few guys under his wing last year and they grew and matured during the season. Even if he is not retained even for a modest contract by the Rays in 2009, he has laid some fantastic ground work with this team and should be proud of it.


Floyd  should be offered a nice incentive contract and a chance to again lead these guys towards finishing the gola set by them during the playoff run. It will be a hard road to the World Series in 2009, but I would follow “Big Cliff” to the promised land.


Hot Stove Report


There have been a few rumblings that the Rays are looking towards the Florida Marlins for our new right-fielder. Jeremy Hermida is a great player, but I truly feel he is a better fit for the National League than for the power pitching of the Americna League.  Hermida has been up with the Marlins first in 2005, then has bounced back and forth between the majoras and the minor leagues in 2007 and 2008.  In 2007, he had a banner year for the Marlins hitting .296, with 18 home runs. 


I think this guy can play great for the Rays, I am just not sold on him yet. He basically walked 10 percent of the time in 2008, but struck out 138 times. I think his bat is not the right fit for the Rays. We need power, but not at the expense of swinging for outisde pitches and gopherballs in the dirt.


He also swung at 43.2 percent of the pitches he saw in 2007.  a saving grace is the point that he made some kind of contact in 78.7 percent of the pitches he saw.  That normally translates into running the count and getting on base via a walk. But as we noted before, he is not a great contact hitter. He hit only 46.7 percent of those pitches somewhere on the field into fair territory. Oh, and by the way………..he is a left-handed batter.


He is a young guy who I feel needs another year in the majors, and in the National League to be effective. I could be wrong, because the guy has hit 35 homers with over 243 RBI’s in the last 2 years. Whoever the Rays pick to be the right-handed bat for the team had better have a thick skin. I have a bad feeling that if he comes here and doesn’t light up the board a bit, the Cowbell Kid might come down and heckle him before the games in the outfield.

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