Right-hander Jae Seo looked like the Devil Rays' best starter in spring training. Now the question is, how long he will stay in the rotation. Seo had another brutal outing on Thursday in Anaheim, and he has some horrific numbers to show for his five starts. In 23 2/3 innings, he has allowed 52 baserunners, 30 runs (25 earned) and an AL-high 43 hits. His ERA is 9.51, and opponents have a .398 average against him.
Seo said he feels fine but that he has had trouble getting the ball down in the strike zone. Manager Joe Maddon seems equally perplexed but also firmly committed to keeping Seo, who has won twice in 21 Tampa Bay starts, in the rotation. "Absolutely. No question," Maddon said. "I have a lot of faith in this young man. We just have to find out what's going on."
ANGELS 11, RAYS 3: The fell behind 9-0 after three innings Thursday, and the game was essentially over. They struck out 14 times, made their AL-leading 19th error and got a horrible start from Jae Seo, who couldn't get out of the second inning.
--CF Rocco Baldelli left Thursday's game after the third inning with what was described as a contusion above his right knee. His leg was taped and he looked stiff. He likely will miss at least a few days.
--RHP James Shields starts Friday night in Oakland coming off an impressive, albeit unsuccessful, performance in his last start, when he struck out 12 Indians. Manager Joe Maddon said he expects another strong outing from Shields based on his between-starts work and demeanor.
--1B Carlos Pena has only 10 hits, but he has made them count, as four are home runs.
--RHP Edwin Jackson impressed manager Joe Maddon with his performance Wednesday. "Physically the stuff is way high end -- the fastball was there, the slider was there, some better changeups," Maddon said. "But when he's able to maintain his composure and his self-control, he's going to pitch well almost every time out."
--2B B.J. Upton had a rough series, striking out in his last five at-bats and making a critical error on Wednesday. With Ty Wigginton filling in at third for injured Akinori Iwamura, the Rays don't have many options but to keep playing Upton, whose average has declined to .317.
BY THE NUMBERS: 12 -- Strikeouts by RHP James Shields on Sunday, tying a team record.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's only 442 (feet) because something stopped it. On the moon that'd be circling right now." -- Rays manager Joe Maddon, on Travis Hafner's massive home run on Saturday.
CF Rocco Baldelli (right leg contusion) left the game April 26, and he likely will sit out a few days.
3B Akinori Iwamura (straining right oblique) was placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 24. He will miss four to six weeks.
INF/DH Greg Norton (surgery on torn medial meniscus in right knee) is expected to be out until May. He opened the season on the disabled list.
RHP Shinji Mori (torn labrum) is rehabbing without surgery and might be ready by midseason.
RHP Doug Waechter (shoulder surgery) is rehabbing and is expected to be game-ready by June.