UPDATE, 5:52: The Rays will tweak the rotation coming out of Monday's off-day, with LHP David Price moving ahead of RHP Jake Odorizzi and pitching Tuesday. That is designed to keep Price on his regular five-day schedule.
RHP Jeremy Hellickson had some light soreness during his rehab from arthroscopic right elbow surgery and is taking three days off, with a plan to play catch on Sunday. Hellickson had hoped to throw off the mound for the first time last Tuesday in Baltimore, so this would seem to push him back at least a week, and push his return to the rotation into June.
Maddon said he used Rodriguez in LF tonight because of his past success vs. Nova 5-for-14.
The Yankees lineup does not include Derek Jeter, who is getting a break after playing the first two nights on the turf.
UPDATE, 5:49: Jennings is dealing with groin soreness, manager Joe Maddon, and Tuesday is the soonest he could return to the lineup. So for tonight and Sunday, he likely will be limited to pinch-hitting - and then would be pinch-run for. …Full Story
UPDATE, 2:56: The Rays have announced that Riefenhauser has been called up.
DEVELOPING: The latest turn of the bullpen shuffle is expected to result in LHP C.J. Rienfenhauser joining the Rays tonight, the Times has learned.
Riefenhauser, 24, will be making his big-league debut. He was a 20th round pick in the 2010 draft, and has risen steadily through the organization. He pitched in the All-Star Futures Game last July in New York during a season split between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham as he was converted exclusively to relief work.
Riefenhauser was added to the 40-man roster this winter and participated in spring training with the Rays. In five games at Durham, he worked 7 2/3 innings, allowing three hits and one run, walking four and striking out 11.
Without explaining why, he posted on his Twitter account last night: "Speechless."Full Story
At some point, Joe Maddon has insisted, the line drives will have eyes, the ground balls will find holes and the zeroes on the scoreboard will be replaced by heroes at the plate.
It happened Friday as the Rays not only snapped out of their collective batting slump, it was enough to break their four-game losing streak with an 11-5 come-from-behind win over the New York Yankees before 26,079 at Tropicana Field.
The Rays banged out 16 hits and scored all their runs with two out Friday in their biggest offensive explosion since Opening Day.
First baseman James Loney, who had only 5 RBI all season, drove in four runs, including a two-out single in the seventh that gave the Rays their first lead in 42 innings. Sean Rodriguez added a two-run homer in the eighth, his third of the year.
“I’d like to believe this is a definite re-boot kind of game,’’ Maddon said. “Offensively, we’ve been talking about it for a long time. We even had a lot of hard-hit balls caught tonight.
“Finally, we got a couple balls to find some grass or between the defenders. I’m really proud of the guys for not caving in.’’ …Full Story
WILL VRAGOVIC | Times
Rays veteran lefty Erik Bedard makes his first start of the season vs Yankees RH Hiroki Kuroda.
The Rays (7-9) try to snap a four-game losing steak and even their series against the Yankees tonight at Tropicana Field. Rays veteran lefty Erik Bedard makes his first start of the season vs Yankees RH Hiroki Kuroda (2-1, 3.86).
Centerfielder Desmond Jennings, who was used as a DH Thursday, is still experiencing soreness in his legs and is not in the lineup. He is day to day, manager Joe Maddon said.
The Rays will play David DeJesus in centerfield, Wil Myers in right and Matt Joyce in left.
David DeJesus, CF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Matt Joyce LF
Evan Longoria 3B
James Loney 1B
Wil Myers, RF
Logan Forsythe, DH
Yunel Escobar, SS
Ryan Hanigan, C
LH Erik Bedard (0-0) P
Brett Gardner, LF
Derek Jeter, SS
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Alfonso Soriano, DH
Brian McCann, C
Yangervis Solarte, 2B
Kelly Johnson, 1B
Scott Sizemore, 3B
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
RH Hiroki Kuroda (2-1, 3.86) P
Evan Longoria takes readers' questions during a live video chat today at 12:30 p.m. Times beat reporter Marc Topkin, inset, acts as host.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to an unexpected personal matter, Evan Longoria was unable to join us for today's video chat. It has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 22 at 12:30 p.m. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Don't be left out when Evan Longoria answers readers' questions during a live video chat today at 12:30 p.m., exclusive to Times digital subscribers. Want to know how Longoria is coping as a new father? What it's like to be engaged to model Jaime Edmondson? How the Rays third baseman wound up interviewing the cast of Anchorman 2? Sign up for a Times digital subscription, and you'll be able to ask Longoria himself. The Rays' biggest stars take your questions in our monthly live video chat series, "Lunchtime Live with the Rays''.
Want a taste of what you missed last month? Click on the video link to view a sample of our chat with Rays manager Joe Maddon.Full Story
Say this for the Tampa Bay Rays batters – and maybe for the entire ball club at this early part of the season – they finally hit something Thursday night against the Yankees.
After watching their ace David Price get ambushed for four runs and three extra base hits by the first 11 batters he faced, the Rays then did something that crystallized their recent struggles, hitting into a triple play.
The around-the-horn, triple play on one swing by Sean Rodriguez in the second inning seemed to be the lowlight in the Rays 10-2 loss to the Yankees in the series opener before 28,085 at Tropicana Field. The fourth straight defeat dropped the Rays’ record to 7-9.
Needing their ace to continue to anchor a Rays staff that has lost three starting pitchers to the disabled list, Price lasted only five innings and was battered for six runs and 10 hits – six of them for extra bases – including back-to-back home runs by the Yankees’ Alfonso Soriano and Brian McCann.
Of course, the Rays lumber slumber has been as much a story as their pitching woes. Heading into Thursday’s meeting against Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia (2-2), the Rays had scored only 14 runs in their previous nine games. …Full Story
Say this for the Tampa Bay Rays batters – and maybe for the entire team – they finally hit something Thursday night against the Yankees: rock bottom.
After watching their ace David Price get ambushed for four runs and three extra base hits in the first 11 batters he faced, the Rays did something that crystallized their recent struggles.
They hit into a triple play.
Trailing 4-0, Evan Longoria led off the second inning with a double to right center and Wil Myers walked. But Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia got first baseman Sean Rodriguez to ground into an around the horn 5-4-3 triple play. Third baseman Yangervis Solaris fielded a ground ball, stepped on the bag at third, fired to second baseman Brian Roberts, forcing Myers. Roberts then relayed the ball to Scott Sizemore, who was making his first career start at first base to nip a hustling Rodriguez.
It was the Yankees third triple play turned since 2010, all with Sabathia on the mound. It's not the first time Rodriguez has hit into a triple play. He did it the last time for the Rays, at Boston in Aug. 2011.
The Rays (7-8) host the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field. It will be Rays LHP David Price (2-0, 2.91) vs. Yankees (LHP) CC Sabathia (1-2, 6.63).
Manager Joe Maddon has eight right-handed batters and switch-hitter Ben Zobrist in the lineup vs. Sabathia. Desmond Jennings will DH with Brandon Guyer in CF. Rays manager Joe Maddon said he wanted to give Jennings a day off his feet and keep Guyer and Rodriguez involved.
Ben Zobrist, 2B
Desmond Jennings, DH
Logan Forsythe, LF
Evan Longoria, 3B
Wil Myers, RF
Sean Rodriguez, 1B
Brandon Guyer, CF
Yunel Escobar, SS
Jose Molina, C
LH David Price P (2-0)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Derek Jeter, SS
Carlos Beltran,l RF
Alfonso Soriano, DH
Brian McCann, C
Yangervis Solarte, 3B
Scott Sizemore, 1B
Brian Roberts, 2B
Ichiro Suzuki LF
CC Sabathia (1-2, 6.63)
The Rays announced that Don Zimmer was resting comfortably after 6+ hours of heart surgery on Wednesday. Zimmer, 83, is expected to remain hospitalized for a few days.Full Story
The Rays wrapped up a rough road trip with a 3-0 loss to the Orioles on a chilly Wednesday afternoon.Full Story
A first-pitch temp of 39 and an in-game high of 46 degrees didn't do anything to warm the Rays bats, which have produced just 14 runs in their last nine games.
Manager Joe Maddon has been insisting the Rays have been playing well and not getting any breaks, and Wednesday's game certainly furthered his case.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Rays got nothing out of promising opportunity with men on first and second with one out. David DeJesus laced a ball to right, but Baltimore's Nick Markakis raced in to make a diving catch, and then doubled James Loney off second.
Then in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Orioles got two runs off Jake Odorizzi out of what didn't look like much, loading the bases on a walk, a single and a bunt by Adam Jones that caught Evan Longoria by surprise. They got one run on an out, a deep fly by Matt Wieters that Desmond Jennings caught near the wall, and the other on a slow roller by the mound that Odorizzi made a sliding play on
They did it again in the fifth, loading the bases on two walks and a single, and scoring when Jones rolled a ball down the third that stopped just inside the chalk.
Odorizzi worked five innings, allowing the three runs on five hits and three walks.
UPDATE, 11:52: There does appear to be a bit of a rivalry or something between Rays manager Joe Maddon and Orioles counterpart Buck Showalter, though both profess respect for the other.
On Tuesday, before the decision was made to postpone the game, despite obvious poor conditions that the Rays said made for an obvious call, Showalter said: "I think our guys are mature enough to understand there's a price to pay for doubleheaders, especially when they are put off until August.''
That comment was relayed Wednesday morning to Maddon, who pointed out that the Orioles would have been more receptive to a doubleheader Wednesday since they had Thursday off, while the Rays - who preferred the doubleheader be later in the year - have to play Thursday.
"We would have been much more mature had we had a day off tomorrow,'' Maddon said.
UPDATE, 11:42: The Rays, wisely, did most of their pre-game work indoors this morning, though the pitchers did go out to play catch. Massachusetts native RHP Brandon Gomes said the chilly temps weren't that bad. "Brisk,'' he said. "It'll be fine. Other than the ice chips on the field.'' …Full Story
Rays LHP Matt Moore talks about his decision to have Tommy John elbow surgery, which will sideline him for 12-15 months.
UPDATE, 6:15: The Rays will pitch Jake Odorizzi on Wednesday vs. the Orioles, and move LHP David Price back to Thursday's game vs. the Yankees. Maddon said they will sort out the rotation from there, with the possibility of splitting lefties LHP Erik Bedard and LHP Cesar Ramos by starting RHP Chris Archer on Saturday.
UPDATE, 5:51: There will not be a doubleheader on Wednesday. The makeup date will be announced in the future.
DEVELOPING: Tonight's Rays-Orioles game has been called off due to the bad weather that has hit Baltimore all day.
No word yet on rescheduling. There is some talk of a doubleheader on Wednesday.
With their pitching staff shorthanded, the Rays obviously would not want to do that and would look to make the game up later in the season.
The Rays return to Baltimore twice - on June 27-29, with a common off-day on the 26th; and for a four-game series on August 25-28.
UPDATE, 5:46: The Rays decided this afternoon that between the bad weather and the likelihood of the game being delayed, rain-shortened or interrupted, they would make it a "bullpen day" and planned to start RHP Brandon Gomes.
The idea was that using a series of relievers would make ore sense than potentially burning a starter. Also that even though RHP Jake Odorizzi, who was to start, felt better after being sick on Monday, that they didn't want to expose him to the elements.
DEVELOPING: It's been pouring most of the day here in Baltimore, and the forecast is for more rain, high winds and cold temperatures - down into the 30s tonight - but as of now the Rays-Orioles game is still on.
The Rays are listing RHP Jake Odorizzi as their starter - and with word that LHP Enny Romero stayed with the Durham team and is starting for the Bulls tonight - the assumption is that Odorizzi, who was battling the flu on Monday feels well enough to pitch.
Lineups when available. Weather updates as well.
Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman held a conference call this afternoon, saying the decision for LHP Matt Moore to go ahead and have Tommy John surgery was not clear until Moore felt discomfort when playing catch Monday afternoon.
"Talking it through, at that point it became inevitable and then it was about how do we preserve as much of the 2015 season as we can,'' Friedman said. "and so we decided to go ahead and go the surgical route.''
Friedman said the Rays most likely will stay in-house for replacements for Moore and Alex Cobb, out 4-6 weeks with an oblique strain.
And he remained confident that the starters they do have - with Cesar Ramos and Erik Bedard currently joining David Price, Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi in the rotation - are good enough to keep them competitive.
"I can't imagine we'll be able to line up on something that we feel like gives us a better chance to win than what we have,'' Friedman said. "We've got a number of guys we like who are up right ow and we've got a number of guys in Triple-A. We alwasy talk about how there's no such thing as too much pitching and unfortunately we're kind of living it first hand right now. …Full Story