GIVE ME ONE REASON...
WHY MELVIN UPTON IS STILL LEADING-OFF.
Okay, so the player formerly known as BJ has been making a little more solid contact, and he's hit a couple of homers over the last 10 days or so. So what. Lead-off guys are supposed to be a weapon- consistently on-base, patient at the plate, aggressive on the base-paths. Well, Melvin has fit one of those 3 traits so far this season, but even when he's aggressive on the base-paths he still seems prone to miscues and mistakes. I love Upton as much as the next guy, and I realize that he will be a great player, and that he's a huge asset to the Devil Rays, that being said- there is no way he should be leading-off. I wouldn't let him lead-off for my son's little league team right now. I'm thrilled that he's showing signs, but I'm ready for results.
WHY GABE GROSS ISN'T PLAYING MORE.
Lets just clear the air- first and foremost, Gabe Gross is the best rightfielder on the roster, bar none. Now that we've settled that let's figure out exactly why he's not playing more. Can you seriously tell me that you'd rather have Gabe Kapler in the game (even against left-handers)? Gross' average v lefties: .600 (3 for 5). Kapler's average v. lefties: .250 (10 fro 40). This should be a no brainer. Gross should be the "everyday" guy with Zobrist starting v. select lefties and pinch-hitting for Gross in the clutch. Kapler should be sent packing.
WHY THE DEVIL RAYS CAN'T LEAD THE DIVISION BY THIS TIME NEXT MONTH.
As we speak (I know that we're not actually speaking- its just a figure of speech, really) the Devil Rays are 4.5 games behind division leading Toronto, 4 back of Boston, and 3 back of New York. In the span of the next month the Devil Rays play several very winnable series (Cleveland, KC, Washington, and Colorado), they also have several tough series (Minnesota, LAA, and New York). This particular series against New York could determine who's headed for a pennant run and who's headed back to the drawing board. The road won't be easy, but keep in mind that Tampa has played very inconsistent baseball all season and are still only a stone's-throw away from the division lead. If they can catch their stride there just isn't any one particular team playing well enough to stop them from re-taking their rightful place atop the AL East.