Earlier today, I gave you the update on the John Jaso effect earlier today and fully admit that it is simply a trend to watch moving forward and nothing definitive because the sample size is still not enough to make a solid call on the subject yet. There are two other pieces I suggest you read when you get a chance on very relevant topics to the Rays as they continue to fight for a 2010 playoff spot.
The first is my contribution over at The Process Report in which I evaluate Derek Shelton’s work with the hitters this season as a whole rather than go through player by player. Overall, Shelton’s results are more positive than negative but I will let you read the entire piece and see for yourself. The second piece is the fourth contribution to our partners at Bright House Sports Network where Tommy Rancel talks about how the Rays can still be active in August with trades as they have done in the past.
Lastly, both Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann have officially been placed on the disabled list and Jeremy Hellickson and Mike Ekstrom have been recalled to replace them. Hellickson will pitch tomorrow night in Detroit and again Sunday against the Orioles while Andy Sonnanstine assumes Niemann’s spot in the rotation. Cormier and Ekstrom will be the sixth and seventh men out of the bullpen but I do not expect Ekstrom to see more than mop-up duty while Cormier’s performance of late has likely earned him some more key spots behind Wheeler, Choate, Qualls, Benoit, and Soriano. Ekstrom has been solid in AAA with a 2.13 ERA in 50.2 IP that includes just four homers allowed while striking out 38 and walking 16. It is unknown how long Niemann and Davis will be out but Niemann’s stint should be shorter as his should be retroactive to the day after his last start.