PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- John Jaso has been having some troubles controlling opposing base runners, who have been running wild lately when he's been behind the plate. Rays manager Joe Maddon attributed Jaso's woes to mechanical problems.
"He's got to be better with the transfer [of getting the ball out of the glove into his throwing hand]," Maddon said. "He's just making a little mistake with that. It's correctable, not awful."
When asked about the critique, Jaso seemed to take Maddon's comments in stride.
"I think it was me trying to start my footwork before the ball got to me," Jaso said. "I think I know what it was. Just a mechanical thing."
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And, as with most stolen bases, there were other contributing factors to the thefts.
"They got good jumps and the pitches they threw were not conducive to throwing runners out," Jaso said.
Rays having good luck with non-roster invitees
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Rays have a history of good luck with non-roster invitees making their Opening Day roster since Maddon became the team's manager.
Among the more notable players who came to the Rays as non-roster invitees are Gary Glover, Carlos Pena, Al Reyes, and Eric Hinske.
While no non-roster invitee has made the team the past two years, Joaquin Benoit came to camp with that classification last season and though he didn't make the team out of Spring Training, the story had a nice ending for Rays fans after he came to the Major Leagues and dominated.
Maddon gave credit to the Rays' front office, for showing an ability to identify quality talent they can sign to Minor League contracts with invitations to Major League Spring Training camp.
"It's very dangerous to rely on a Major League staff to fill out the periphery of a team," Maddon said. "We tend to like guys who have played well against us and that's a real dangerous concept. You have to be able to have somebody out there doing the right kind of digging to unearth those guys that you've never seen before."
And Maddon has found their strategy successful so far. "We rely on the GM and the scouting staffs to do their jobs and then we are supposed to take them and hopefully try and make them better. So I guess what I'm saying is, I love how we do it. I think it's the right way to do it. I think you're going to see more of it. And furthermore, those are our free agents," he added.
Based on the success the Rays have had with non-roster invitees, Maddon expects at least one such player to make this year's Opening Day roster.
Longoria sits with dehydration
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria was held out of Sunday's game against the Blue Jays because of dehydration.
It was the same problem Longoria experienced during Saturday afternoon's game against Philadelphia when he left in the fourth inning.
Longoria participated in pregame workouts and would have played against Toronto if it had been a regular-season game. The club decided to take a cautious approach, though since it was just Spring Training.
"He's still cramping up a little bit," Maddon said. "We just didn't want to push it right now. It's really just a cramping issue that we want to get rid of; there's nothing else going on."
Longoria is hitting .231 with one home run and four RBIs in 26 at-bats during the Grapefruit League season.