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Q&A with R.J. Anderson from

I exchanged five questions with R.J. Anderson from our Rays sister site  See his questions and my answers here. 

Ben Zobrist: What the hell is going on here?  Where did the home run power come from?  Are the doubles just turning into homers?  Can he maintain anything close to this pace?  What about Jason Bartlett?

You’re asking me. The story is that Zobrist went to some swing mechanic and he "fixed" Zobrist. Of course this doesn’t explain why Zobrist’s HR/AB ratio in the minors was creeping up before ever meeting the guru, but hey, whatever sells some merchandise. I don’t think he’s going to keep on this pace, that would be a bit asinine, but I guess the power is legitimate. As for Bartlett, he seems to have some ball in play luck on his side.

Do you see Scott Kazmir getting traded this season?

I go back and forth on it. My gut says no, brain says yes.

What are the Rays biggest needs going forward this season?  Should they try push for a postseason berth or hold back and play for the future?

That’s the problem, our biggest need is for some regression to take place. Mainly with Pat Burrell and Andy Sonnanstine. Neither of them lost this much skill within one off-season. Frankly I think they can do both at once. If you trade for a new catcher, why can’t he help you now and next year, or two years from now?

Have the Rays experienced any "hangover" injuries or ineffectiveness from their pitching staff due to the deep run in the 2008 postseason?

The staff velocity is down, but I think that may have more to do with a poorly configured pitchfx machine at the Trop than anything fatigue related. Matt Garza/James Shields did complain about "dead arm" early in the season.

After the likely permanent promotion of David Price to the big club, is there any help on the farm either this season or next?

Reid Brignac was just up, he’s a left-handed middle infielder. Matt Joyce has been up, he’s basically our version of Jayson Werth. Wade Davis is a starter in Triple-A who could be this season’s David Price (as in a reliever for the post-season only). Mitch Talbot is another starter capable of relieving. That’s about it, although there are a few pen arms in Durham who could help as well, but the very top of the Rays system is running dry on positional players.