J.P. Arencibia is behind the plate for a third straight game.
UPDATE, 5:44: Cash said he "definitely" still has confidence in Boxberger as the de facto closer and that they will need him and Colome to get big outs in late innings. ... Cash also said the bullpen is on alert to be ready early as games are being managed in "kind of a playoff baseball mode" right now. ... Cash said Arencibia's hot bat is what kept him in the lineup. ... Souza took BP on field early this afternoon, felt "no soreness anywhere" with his broken left hand and headed to Durham Friday night with plans to play three games there and be re-evaluated.
UPDATE, 2:44: C J.P. Arencibia is behind the plate for a third straight game as Cash continues to go with the hot hitter. Otherwise the Rays lineups looks as it has lately against right-handers:
The Yankees earlier today put 1B Mark Teixiera on the DL; he has been out with a shin injury. …Full Story
TAMPA BAY RAYS
Rays rookies dressed up include, from left: C.J. Riefenhauser, Misha Dworken (bullpen catcher), Luke Maile, Mikie Mahtook, Matt Andriese, Enny Romero, Joey Butler, Richie Shaffer.
Even a crushing walkoff loss can't interfere with the baseball tradition of a rookie dress-up trip, so there were seven players, plus a bullpen catcher, in grass skirts and bikini tops for the late-night train ride to New York.
The group included LHP C.J. Riefenhauser, C Luke Maile, OF Mikie Mahtook, RHP Matt Andriese (who gave up the game-losing homer), LHP Enny Romero, OF Joey Butler and INF/OF Richie Shaffer. Also, bullpen catcher Misha Dworken.
WILL VRAGOVIC | Times
Both centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier, pictured, who left Monday's game with a mild ankle sprain, and second baseman Logan Forsythe, who left Tuesday with left groin tightness, are back in the Rays lineup.
UPDATE, 6:09: LHP Matt Moore is starting Saturday in New York, bumping RHP Nathan Karns to the bullpen at least for now. Cash said Moore is the better matchup against the Yankees, and that they will look at it on a game by game basis. But it also sounded like it was an either/or situation as the other four starters will stay on schedule. .... Karns handled it well, saying he just wanted to do what was best for the team and was willing to help however. .... He also said he was told that there was a chance he could start again. ... Cash said both Kiermaier and Forsythe are good to go, though Forsythe said he wanted to test his groin further fielding ground balls in batting practice. ... The threat of rain led the grounds crew to roll out the tarp and cancel the end of the Rays batting practice. ... The Rays don't seem too concerned about chicken pox even though the Royals had two players show symptons at the Trop last weekend; their staff and players all have either had pox or vaccination.
The quote of the day from Tuesday's lineup card.
The quote of the day on Rays Tuesday lineup card is shown above.
Since getting called up last week, C J.P. Arencibia has said several times that he was glad to be with the Rays after all having made the wrong decision during the off-season when he passed on Tampa Bay to sign with the Orioles. …Full Story
WILL VRAGOVIC | Times
Hak-Ju Lee was once considered the top prize — ahead of Chris Archer — in the five-player package the Rays got from the Cubs for Matt Garza in January 2011.
In need of space on the 40-man roster to add C Luke Maile, the Rays on Tuesday designated for assignment SS Hak-Ju Lee.
Lee was once considered the top prize - ahead of RHP Chris Archer - in the five-player package the Rays got from the Cubs for RHP Matt Garza in January 2011.
Lee was considered the Rays top position player prospect at one point, buit sustained a siginificant left knee injury in April 2013 and never regained his top form.
"He was the king of that trade and I was the bishop,'' Archer said.Full Story
MARC TOPKIN / TAMPA BAY TIMES
Camden Yards is dressed for the Ripken anniversary.
UPDATE, 5:56: Moore will be used as a starter, and Cash said he does not plan to go to a six-man rotation, so that would seem to suggest somebody is going to be dropped from the rotation. Whether that is Erasmo Ramirez after tonight's start or that is Nathan Karns will become clearer in the next day or two. ... Cash said they would prefer to keep Shaffer at 1B, 3B or DH, but there is a chance he could end up in the outfield again anyway. ... Maile was called up for the first time, so he naturally was the most excited. He admitted that he shed a few tears after getting the word from Durham manager Jared Sandberg late Monday, and said the trip to Baltimore felt like "the longest one-hour flight ever.'' Upon getting to the stadium, Maile said he went out to look at the Camden Yards field but had to turnaround and come back in because "it didn't seem real.'' ... Cash said Mahtook and Shaffer are likely to be in the lineup vs. LHPs and play occasioally otherwise, and that Riefenhauser and Yates will fill in in the bullpen. …Full Story
Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier made a leaping grab at the wall in Baltimore's Camden Yards last night that was reminiscent of Angels CF Mike Trout's catch near the same spot in 2012.
Kevin Kiermaier's leaping grab Monday night to pull a Manny Machado home run back from over the Camden Yards outfield wall reminded many folks of a similar catch in 2012 by Angels outfielder Mike Trout at nearly the same spot.
ESPN put the two together in a video posted early Tuesday morning.
The catch also got the attention of MLB.com, where they broke the play down using their Statcast advanced metrics: Full Story
The new toy in the Rays clubhouse.
Several Rays were riding around the clubhouse and the halls of Camden Yards Monday in style, trying out their new Futuristically Phunkee Personal Transporters, something of a cross between a skateboard and a Segway.
1B James Loney ordered them online - about $1,200 each, he said - and LHP Drew Smyly , INF Tim Beckham and OF Brandon Guyer were among those buying in. Others, especially OF Steven Souza Jr., were trying them out.
'It's a fun little toy,'' Smyly said.
Several players said it was much easier to use than the SoloWheel, a similar-type device, that Matt Moore, Alex Cobb and some others have.
WILL VRAGOVIC | Times
Since being sent back to Triple-A Durham on Aug. 17, Richie Shaffer hit .309-3-13 in 13 games.
The Rays are calling up six players from Triple-A Durham Tuesday to add to their roster.
OF Mikie Mahtook, C Luke Maile and INF/OF Richie Shaffer will provide depth and options in the lineup, while LHP Matt Moore is expected to take a spot in the rotation, potentially this weekend against the Yankees.
The Rays are also adding two arms to the bullpen in bringing up LHP C.J. Riefenhauser and RHP Kirby Yates.
Other players may be added later this week or after the Sept. 7 end of the Durham season, with hot LHP prospect Blake Snell among the possibilities.
Moore has gone 2-1, 3.30 in five starts since being sent back to Durham following a rough six-start return from April 204 Tommy John surgery, and manager Kevin Cash made it clear a few days ago they plan to have him pitch. Whether he replaces RHP Erasmo Ramirez or RHP Nathan Karns in the rotation or the Rays go to modified six-man setup remains to be seen. …Full Story
All-Star ace Chris Archer making the start tonight for the Rays.
UPDATE, 6:25: Cash said the Rays are expecting 4-5 call-ups on Tuesday, with plans being finalized and players being notified tonight. ... Nava is 7-for-16 with a HR vs. Chen but not in lineup. Cash said he didn't want Loney to be out 2 straight days, and liked other options betters - Butler, Guyer, Beckham. ... Cash, Foley and several players met for about 45 mins with MLB execs Joe Torre and Peter Woodfork to discuss replay, strike zones and other topics. Torre has been meeting with every team.
DEVELOPING: After taking advantage of a big break to beat the AL-best Royals on Sunday, the Rays kick off a nine-game, 10-day roadtrip tonight in Baltimore that is likely to define their playoff chances.
And they couldn't feel better about who they have on the mound to do it, with All-Star ace Chris Archer making the start.
The Orioles, who have lost four in a row and are now a game behind the Rays in the AL wild-card chase, are starting LHP Wei-Yin Chen.
Here is the Rays lineup: …Full Story
UPDATE, 11:39: There is some risk for the Rays in terms of late game moves by having both catchers in the lineup, but the idea was to include Arencibia's bat and also give Cabrera a day off. ... Talked with Don Wakamatsu, the Royals bench coach who was runner-up to Cash for the Rays job, and he said he enjoyed the process and felt the team made the right choice based on where they were. ... Rays are hoping to avoid their first season series sweep of more than six games.
DEVELOPING: Having been schooled again by the AL-best Royals on Saturday and losing for the sixth time, the Rays take this field this afternoon trying to avoid a season series sweep.
RHP Nathan Karns, coming off a rough start, will be on the mound for the Rays. LHP Danny Duffy, who has been pitching well, starts for the Royals.
Rays manager Kevin Cash expressed concern after Saturday's game about the heavy usage of his bullpen, as their starters have failed to get through five innings four times in the last five games, but no moves were planned.
Here are the lineups, with the Rays putting both catchers in the game, something Cash had said he is reluctant to do, as J.P. Arencibia is the DH: …Full Story
UPDATE, 4:06: Cash said they have been talking about September call-ups, with a few expected on Tuesday (Sept. 1) and others after Triple-A Durham's season ends on Sept. 7. He said most will be players who were here earlier, though acknowledged that one possibility is LHP Blake Snell, who has had a tremendous run through the minor leagues. ... OF Brandon Guyer on Friday tied the team record in being hit by a pitch for the 18th time this season, and said it was the one that hurt the most.
DEVELOPING: After losing yet another close game, the Rays take on the AL-best Royals again tonight with RHP Jake Odorizzi on the mound.
The Royals are starting RHP Kris Medlen.
There is no batting practice today for the Rays due to a season-ticket holdewr event on the field.
Here are the lineups:
WILL VRAGOVIC | Times
Righthanded pitcher Erasmo Ramirez will be on the mound for the Rays.
The Rays lineup for tonight's series opener against the Royals, owners of the best record in the American League (78-49):
LF Grady Sizemore
RF Daniel Nava
3B Evan Longoria
DH John Jaso
2B Logan Forsythe
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
1B James Loney
CF Kevin Kiermaier
C Rene Rivera
RHP Erasmo Ramirez
And the Royals:
SS Alcides Escobar
2B Ben Zobrist
CF Lorenzo Cain
1B Eris Hosmer
DH Kendrys Morales
3B Mike Moustakas
C Salvador Perez
RF Alex Rios
LF Paulo Orlando
RHP Edinson Volquez
4:56 p.m. Through the Rays' PR department, OF Desmond Jennings has respectfully declined to discuss the status of his re-injured knee
5 p.m. Ben Zobrist just wrapped up his pregame press conference with bay area media, during which Tampa Bay Times beat reporter Marc Topkin presented him with the Rays' 2014 team MVP award re-named in Don Zimmer's honor.
Earlier in the afternoon, former teammate Evan Longoria said he expects Zobrist to receive a standing ovation from the Tropicana Field audience.
Zobrist's response? "I'm not expecting anything," he said. They've already given me everything that I could've asked for when I was here. …Full Story
JAMES BORCHUCK | Times
The Rays put OF Desmond Jennings back on the DL today with a bruised left knee.
The Rays put OF Desmond Jennings back on the DL today with a bruised left knee and called up OF Joey Butler.
Jennings played 10 games (hitting .353 with 1 homer and 5 RBIs) after coming off the DL following a 3 1/2 month absence due to a left knee injury that led to arthroscopic surgery. The new injury may not be related, as it is a bruise on a different part of the knee.
Manager Kevin Cash said the thinking in putting him on the DL was to give him 15 two weeks to rest rather than a few and try to play and maybe miss more time. Cash said they expect him to be back this season.
Jennings was not available for comment.
Butler was chosen because he has more experience in the outfield than Shaffer, who will also get the benefit of more consistent at-bats at Triple-A before his expected September call up.