St. Petersburg Times
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
The Trop
The Trop
Getting to the Trop
Best routes
Rays forum
The art of pitching
Devil Rays' official home site
Talk baseball in our Devil Rays forum

Print storySubscribe to the Times

Zambrano a hit again in game

Published March 2, 2004

ST. PETERSBURG - The smart-aleck assessment of the Devil Rays' first spring intrasquad game Monday was that opening-day starter Victor Zambrano was in midseason form: He hit the first batter then struck out the next two.

Zambrano, who led the AL last season with 20 hit batters, labored a bit during his two innings and committed a balk. But he allowed only one hit and one run and finished with four strikeouts and one walk.

"Maybe people laugh because of what happened last year, but I don't think anything (of it) and I'm not going to change anything," Zambrano said. "I'm just going to work on my pitches and work on my location. I'm going to continue to pitch inside. I think that's part of my game."

Pitching coach Chuck Hernandez said he was pleased with Zambrano's outing. "I thought it was a good day," Hernandez said. "I thought his stuff was real good. He was a little rusty like everybody."

The six-inning game was a welcome change of routine, especially for pitchers and catchers who have been working out since Feb.15. Double-A manager Charlie Montoyo's Biscuits beat Triple-A manager Bill Evers' Bulls 2-1.

Pete LaForest's sixth-inning double off Carlos Hines scored Anton French with the winning run. French drew a leadoff walk, stole second and went to third after catcher Mitch Meluskey's throw bounced into centerfield.

"It was awesome," said LaForest, who was 2-for-3. "I'll take that every day."

Among other highlights:

Brook Fordyce drove in the Biscuits' first run with a fourth-inning sacrifice fly.

Edwards Guzman had a run-scoring single for the Bulls.

Damian Moss got three outs on six pitches.

Veteran relievers Mike Williams and Mike Holtz threw well enough to catch Hernandez's eye.

Robert Fick made two running catches in rightfield.

Minor-league catcher Dan Massiatte threw out speedy Joey Gathright trying to steal second.

"It was just good to get started," GM Chuck LaMar said. "The two things you concentrate on are pitchers throwing strikes and people catching the ball in the field, and we did both of those."

NEXT UP: A few more veterans are likely to be on the field for today's 9:30 a.m. seven-inning intra-squad game. Jeremi Gonzalez and Doug Waechter are the scheduled starting pitchers, with Dewon Brazelton, Trever Miller, Chad Gaudin, Lance Carter, Travis Harper and Ken Cloude among others expected to pitch.

SIGNING DAY: Starters Rocco Baldelli, Toby Hall and Zambrano will have their contracts renewed and a $20,000 incentive bonus package eliminated if they haven't agreed to terms by this morning.

They don't have much bargaining power since the Rays have a rigid salary structure for players with less than three years' experience: Baldelli won't get more than $320,000; Hall and Zambrano won't get more than $330,000. Carl Crawford avoided renewal by agreeing to terms Monday.

SMALL BIG STEP: Pitcher Seth McClung will be cautious today when he throws off the mound for the first time since Tommy John elbow surgery in June.

McClung is on schedule to make rehab starts in June and return to the big leagues in July. Hernandez joked he'd have to tackle McClung to keep him from going too hard, but McClung said he is in no hurry to accelerate the timetable because he is concerned about additional injury.

"If they push me a little harder, that's fine, but I want it to be pretty close to a year," said McClung, who agreed to terms Monday. "They say after 12 months you really start seeing some significant progress. I just want this done once. ... It's frustrating enough to be hurt. I don't want to go through it again."

MISCELLANY: Manager Lou Piniella missed the workout for personal reasons. ... The Rays will be off Thursday as camp shifts from the Naimoli complex to Progress Energy Park.

[Last modified March 2, 2004, 01:44:59]

Today's lineup
MARC TOPKINZambrano a hit again in game
TOM JONESPitching for a story about nothing

ROGER MILLSBucs racing the free-agency clock

DAMIAN CRISTODEROSimple game plan for goalies: Loss equals bench

Other sports

  • Canseco swings and likely misses in Dodgers tryout
  • In-law's death pushes Mussina's start back

  • College basketball
  • Big 12 goes to the Cowboys
  • Women: USF sets its sights on reaching, hosting WNIT

  • College football
  • Tampa bowl to assess BCS slot
  • Bulls release 2004 schedule

  • Colleges
  • Dawsey to coach USF's receivers
  • Sun, sand on tap for UT

  • In brief
  • A win for Tiger, loss for ABC

  • Motorsports
  • Hornish's IRL win a first among many for Penske

  • NBA
  • Webber's HS: No to forfeits
  • Blount, Celtics stymie Magic

  • NFL
  • $50.5M man: 'Skins get Portis

  • NHL
  • Canadiens win fifth in row

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report

  • Preps
  • Coach sells Plant players on themselves
  • Loss of star brings Clearwater together
  • Devils' turnaround comes swiftly
  • Team galvanized by star's loss
  • Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111

     Devil Rays Forums
    From The Wire
  • Players, teams start rush to settle in arbitration
  • AP source: Yankees sign free agent RHP Kuroda
  • AP source: Pineda, Montero in Yanks-Mariners swap
  • Resop, Pirates agree to a one-year deal
  • Zambrano says he's happy with trade to Marlins
  • Report: UK police officer loses Olympics documents
  • Jayhawks send Baylor to first loss of season
  • No. 1 Syracuse at 20-0 after 71-63 win over Pitt
  • Fisher's late 3 pushes Lakers past Mavericks 73-70
  • Westbrook's 3s lead Thunder past Celtics 97-88
  • Djokovic, Williams into Australian Open 2nd round
  • Tebow has earned starting status in 2012
  • Filly Havre de Grace wins Horse of the Year
  • Crosby to meet with specialist as symptoms linger
  • AP Top 25: Syracuse stays on top for 6th week