Is Baldelli Ready to Join Rays?

August 4, 2008 at 9:09 am 4 comments

Tribune photo by Kelvin Ma

The Tampa Tribune is reporting that the Rays could make their decison of whether Rocco Baldelli will be ready to join the parent club by today. One thing is for sure, Baldelli believes he is ready.

“I did it [OF, DH, right-handed bat off bench] for the entire rehab assignment at Double-A Montgomery, so I think I could do it here,” Baldelli said. “It was pretty hot where I was, too. That didn’t help the situation, to be honest with you, but I was able to get through it.”

Baldelli obviously believes he is ready to contribute however Rays manager Joe Maddon feels fit. He has performed well in his minor league rehab assignment. In Double-A Montgomery he is hitting .297/.409/.568 with 3 homers, 1 double, 6 runs, 8 RBI, 6/7 BB/K rate in 37 at-bats. He is hitting .257/.360/.486 with 5 homers, 2 doubles, 2 steals in 3 chances, 10/17 BB/K rate in 74 total rehab at-bats. But the numbers aren’t the important part. The most impressive part is that he appeared in 9 straight games from July 20-30 and his numbers in those 9 straight games were impressive: .321 (9-28), with 1 double, 2 homers, and a 5/4 BB/K rate. He is proving that he can play in stright games and perform at a high level. What is impressive is that he seems to be more patient even if it is a small sample size.

Maddon said that he will talk to Baldelli before Monday’s game against Cleveland and that he and GM Andrew Friedman will make a decision.

“With Rocco, I just want to hear from him how he’s feeling, what he thinks he can do, and I believe what he thinks he can do is going to end up being what he can do,” Maddon said. “He’s going to tell me specifically, and we’re going to figure out if that fits in with what we need right now.”

Baldelli doesn’t honestly know what will happen with his disease. “I don’t know what the long-term prognosis is,” he said. “I don’t think the doctors have complete knowledge of it because I think everyone’s case is different. I think you just stick with the treatments they give you, and see where it goes.”

I believe the Rays should call him up. He has proven he can play right now and right now is when the Rays need a right handed bat to fill in. The Rays neglected to make a trade before the non-waiver deadline and I agree with the decision due to the price the teams were demanding in return. I also believe that Baldelli’s performance is another reason they chose to remain calm at the deadline. Baldelli berlieves in himself and I too believe in Baldelli and I think he will be a key addition very very soon.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell
quotes and some info taken from

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Erik  |  August 4, 2008 at 10:40 am

    Interesting read Shaka Boomba.

  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  August 4, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Haha! Thanks!

  • 3. Michael A. Hall  |  August 4, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Rocco looks like Jack Shephard, a la season 3 finale of LOST, in that picture.

    It would be nice to have him back. Who would you think the Rays would drop to make room for Rocco?

  • 4. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  August 4, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    “Don’t pity me. You get my dad down here and if I’m drunker than he is…”

    I had to quote Jack!

    I think Gomes is the odd man out. Too many OFers and he has an option. It could be Gross or even Aybar but they are both out of options I believe.


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