GazetteXtra Print Article Logo URL:

Chris Archer changing things up this spring

By Roger Mooney
Tampa Bay Rays starter Chris Archer (22) delivers a pitch in the first inning of a spring training game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Feb. 26. (Chris Urso, Times)

FORT MYERS — RHP Chris Archer went heavy on his changeup during his three innings Thursday against the Red Sox, throwing it in all counts to right-handed and left-handed batters.

"On the scoreboard, a lot of times they were reading as sliders. That's a good thing," Archer said. "That means they have depth, and they're hard to identify."

Archer, who allowed two runs on five hits in three innings, is pleased with the progress he has made this spring with the pitch.

"To me it's a good pitch," C Wilson Ramos said. "Most of the hitters in this league, when they face him (are) just looking for fastballs and a slider, so now he has a third pitch. It gives him more of an advantage against those guys."

Manager Kevin Cash said he and pitching coach Kyle Snyder were also confused by the pitch, wondering if it was a changeup or slider.

"If we're questioning that, obviously, it's got some depth, because we always know when the slider comes in," Cash said. "I know it's a pitch he's talked about a lot here and wanted to put into his repertoire a little bit more, especially against a club like this that's seen him so many times over the last four years."

#Rays Archer on his outing today vs. #RedSox:

— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) March 8, 2018

He said it

"Cash is already starting to pull me early." — Archer, joking about wanting to return for the fourth inning

He replied

"That's good that he's feeling that good right now, that he had another 15 to 20 pitches. We'd rather it be that way than be gassed." — Cash

Game report

C Wilson Ramos drove in two runs in the first inning with an opposite field double to rightfield in the 6-6 tie against the Red Sox. … CF Johnny Field had a pair of doubles off the replica Green Monster in left. … RHP Matt Andriese entered the game in the fifth with runners on second and third and one out. He traded an out for a run with a ground ball to short, then ended the threat with a strikeout. … LHP Ryan Yarbrough got himself in trouble by allowing hits in pitcher's counts. The Red Sox had three hits and two runs against him in the fifth.

Doing right by Dusty

The Rays released RHP Dustin McGowan on Wednesday because he wasn't going to make the team. Cash said this way McGowan has three weeks to land a spot with another team. "In fairness, given his situation and where his standing was on how he stacked up to the guys that were available to make the club, it was just a long shot," Cash said. "I hope he lands on his feet, because he's a big-league pitcher, and I hope he finishes his career strong."