3 takeaways from Rays 4-2 loss to Twins
3 takeaways from Friday's 4-2 St. Patrick's Day loss to the Twins:
* Prospect Jake Bauers sure looks like the real deal. Yes he's only 21 and he hasn't played above the Double-A level and a lot of his at-bats are late in spring games against high-numbered opponents who are headed to th minors. But, still, three long and loud homers to right, six walks in 30 plate appearances, a .435 average, a .533 on-base percentage, a .913 slugging percentage, a 1.446 OPS. "Jake Bauers, what he's doing, him and (prospect 1B Casey) Gillaspie both, is pretty remarkable the spring trainings they're having, not getting the consistent at-bats but when they do get the at-bats they're making them count.''
* OF Mallex Smith can cause lots of problems for other teams. Smith showed his bunting prowess again, deadening a ball that stopped about 12 feet up the third-base line, then his speed, stealing second, getting picked off but making safely to third by forcing an errant throw and scoring on a ground out. "we loved the two stolen bases; that pickoff in a normal setting you're probably going to be out more times than not,'' Cash said. "But part of that shows the panic and the pressure you put a defense, and what he's capable of doing.''
* Prospect RHP Jaime Schultz continues to make an impressive bid for a spot in the bullpen. While veteran RHP Shawn Tolleson continues to slowly work back into form and the more experienced RHP Diego Moreno had a rough outing, Schultz worked two more strong innings, allowing just a walk and striking out three. The high velocity fastball is eye-catching, but keeping it in the strike zone the bigger challenge. In 10 spring innings, Schultz has 16 strikeouts, seven walks and four hits allowed. "Schultzy looked really good again,' Cash said.