Citing the need to get multiple innings from the last man in their bullpen, the Rays ditched RHP Ernesto Frieri after Monday's game.
Frieri will be replaced on the roster by OF Mikie Mahtook, as the Rays add an extra rigth-handed bat as they open a four-game stretch against lefty starters.
His place in the bullpen, for now anyway, is being taken by rookie Andrew Bellatti, who was called up earlier Monday and worked an inning in the 7-3 loss to the Angels.
"Kind of the way that our bullpen is, Ernie did a nice job for us, (but) we kind of felt going forward we were maybe better off suited with somebody that could give us a little more length. Not to say that Ernie can't, but he's been a one-inning pitcher for most of his career,'' Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
"Tried to buy some time to work some kinks out for him. We hope he has the opportunity to go somewhere else. If he doesn't we would love to have him to work some more stuff out in (Triple-A) Durham.'' …Full Story
WILL VRAGOVIC | Times
Alex Colome will be on the mound as the Rays, who start the day tied for first place with the Yankees at 26-25, will look to make it three straight wins.
UPDATE, 8:41: There are a number of Rays making their return to Anaheim tonight, including C Bobby Wilson, RHP Ernesto Frieri, RHP Steve Geltz and RHP Kevin Jepsen, who has the most amusing anecdotes.
One was when he went on the field early Monday afternoon and then got lost coming off, unable to find his way through the tunnels to the visiting clubhouse and ending up in the dugout suites, the other when he rode over to the stadium with Rocco Baldelli and thought he could get them in the Angels player parking lot, only to be told a polite no.
LHP Matt Moore will make his first official rehab start on Wednesday for the Class A Stone Crabs in Port Charlotte, starting his 30-day clock to return.
OF Desmond Jennings (left knee) took some swings in an extended spring game on Monday but manager Kevin Cash said it only went "okay,'' that he "still felt something.'' Cash said there alsso was progress with DH/OF John Jaso (bruised left wrist), who started swinging a bat.
The Rays opted to add a fresh arm to their bullpen in calling up rookie RHP Andrew Bellatti to take the place of injured INF Tim Beckham.
Bellatti pitched twice during a May 9-16 stint with the Rays, posting six scoreless innings and earning his first major-league win. The callup from Triple-A Durham had to be a special bonus for Bellatti, who grew up and lives in the San Diego area.
Beckham was placed on the DL with a right hamstring strain, the 15th different Rays player to land on the DL and the major-league high 17th move overall.
Bellatti is expected to be available tonight, which could come in handy with RHP Alex Colome getting the start. Bellatti last pitched on May 27.
The team on Monday launched a summer-long Rays Up for Our Community campaign that includes PSA and player/manager participation to help community agencies and partners.Full Story
As part of the program, the Rays also will potentially give away in excess of 22,000 free tickets, providing each of the approximate 5,600 Pinellas County high school seniors who graduate at the Trop this week with a voucher for four tickets during the June 9-16 homestand.
The campaign focuses on four areas under a designated team ambassador for two-week streches. First is Chris Archer, with Rays Up for Kids, followed by Matt Moore for "our heroes,'' manager Kevin Cash for health and Evan Longoria for education.
Each game during the two-week period will highlight a partner agency as the "Everyday MVP" on the game telecast and through social media.
"We enter the 10th year of Stu Sternberg's ownership with a renewed focus on our mission to energize our community through the magic of Rays baseball," team president Brian Auld said in the release. "The Rays Up for Our Community campaign celebrates our community partners and helps share their successes with a wider audience."
For more information, see raysbaseball.com/RaysUp.
BALTIMORE - The Rays' disabled list grew again Sunday, when they added infielder Tim Beckham to it with a strained right hamstring.
Beckham left the game Saturday when he came up short while running out a grounder to first.
"I felt like it cramped up on me coming out of the box," Beckham said. "I kind of ran through it. I felt like it tugged on me again right before I hit the base. Hopefully it's not too serious."
Beckham, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2008 draft, received treatment on it Saturday and Sunday. He wasn't in the lineup in Sunday's 9-5 win over the Orioles, but both he and manager Kevin Cash said before the game that he might have been able to come in as a pinch hitter.
That changed after the game, when he became the 10th player on the team's disabled list.
"Kind of unfortunate," Cash said.
The team will make a corresponding roster move Monday in Anaheim. The Rays could replace Beckham with another infielder or could replenish the bullpen. The team needed five different relievers to close out Sunday's win.
UPDATE, 11:22: INF Tim Beckham said his right hamstring is still a little sore, but he could be available off the bench as a pinch hitter if needed.
"I don't think it'll sideline me long term," Beckham said.
Beckham received treatment after leaving Saturday's game and had more treatment today. He didn't need an MRI, he said.
Manager Kevin Cash said Jake Elmore did fine in his two games at first base, although Logan Forsythe gets the start there today,w ith Nick Franklin playing second.
DEVELOPING: The Rays will try to take the three-game series with today's game at the Orioles.
RHP Jake Odorizzi (3-5, 2.31 ERA) has been one of the majors' least-supported pitchers and will hope the Rays break that trend today. Baltimore will start RHP Chris Tillman (2-6, 5.59).
INF Tim Beckham is not in the lineup today. He left Saturday's game with what was called a right hamstring cramp. Manager Kevin Cash said the Rays would evaluate him more to figure out what exactly happened.
RHP Grant Balfour opted out of his Triple-A deal with the Rays earlier this week but said Saturday he is not ready to retire and is still looking to pitch in the majors this season.
"I'm considering a few options," said Balfour, 37.
Balfour was released in April by the Rays, who had to pay him the remainder of his $7-million salary. He then signed a minor-league deal with an opt-out clause he used when it was clear the Rays were not going to call him up.
But Balfour said Saturday he felt like he was pitching effectively and would like to continue. The Rays said he wasn't pitching much differently than earlier in the season.
"I'm definitely not considering retirement," he said. Full Story
UPDATE, 2:20: Jake Elmore will start at first base for the second game in a row. Elmore had to come off the bag with two plays last night and played well defensively. Manager Kevin Cash said it's not a permanent move with James Loney (finger) sidelined; Logan Forsythe will also play the position in the coming days.
DEVELOPING: The Rays are back at Camden Yards and will try to snap their six-game losing streak when they face the Orioles in the second game of a three-game series.
RHP Erasmo Ramirez (2-2, 6.62 ERA) will get the start for the Rays against Baltimore LHP Wei-Yin Chen. The bigger story could be the bullpen. Orioles reliever Darren O'Day got out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam to help give the Rays a 2-1 walkoff loss Friday night, while the Rays' bullpen has allowed a run in each of the last seven games.
In injury news, the Rays reinstated LHP C.J. Riefenhauser (left shoulder inflammation) from the 15-day DL and optioned him to Triple-A Durham.
JAMES BORCHUCK | Times
Nathan Karns (3-2, 3.71) will try to snap the Rays' five-game losing streak.
UPDATE, 5:37: The Rays are closer to full strength. CF Kevin Kiermaier is in the lineup, two days after being hit in the ankle with a pitch. RF Steven Souza Jr. (wrist) is back, too, along with SS Asdrubal Cabrera (groin).
Cabrera's return added a new wrinkle to the lineup. Manager Kevin Cash said he likes Cabrera at shortstop and Logan Forsythe at second, so UTIL Jake Elmore will play first base tonight in place of the injured James Loney. Elmore had to borrow a first baseman's mitt from Forsythe.
In (more) injury news, LHP Matt Moore had no problems with his three innings in an extended spring game Thursday. Cash said Moore will throw his next bullpen, then they'll decide whether he needs another extended spring game or is ready to begin a rehab assignment with Port Charlotte.
DEVELOPING: Greetings from Baltimore, where the Orioles host the Rays tonight to begin a three-game series. …Full Story
Infielder Ryan Brett has been reinstated from the 15-day DL and optioned to Triple-A Durham, the Rays announced Thursday morning.
Brett was put on the DL on April 22 with a left shoulder subluxation. He injured his shoulder diving back to first base on a pickoff attempt in the first big-league start of his career. Brett was 2-for-3 in his brief time with the Rays before the injury.
Chris Archer did all he could to keep the Rays even while outpitching Seattle's King Felix Hernandez on Wednesday afternoon. …Full Story
UPDATE, 11:44: Cash said he hoped he didn't get fined for his comments. ... He said he felt trrhe decision on putting Joey Butler on 3B rather than home "could have gone either way" but he thought they should factor in the leftfielder being on the ground and the ball rolling the other way.
UPDATE, 11:25: Manager Kevin Cash said he stuck by his comments about the "terrible" and "embarrassing" umpiring in Tuesday's game but also wanted to make sure he gave the Mariners credit for winning.
Cash said both SS Asdrubal Cabrera (groin) and OF Steven Souza Jr. (wrist) are available today and the Rays are looking for both to return to the lineup on Friday in Baltimore.
DEVELOPING: After a frustrating and stunning 7-6 10-inning loss to the Mariners that was their fourth straight, the Rays have the difficult task of facing dominanting Seattle ace RHP Felix Herrnadez in a 1:10 game today. …Full Story
Grant Balfour, 37, had spent the last few weeks with the Bulls hoping to regain his form after being released by the Rays in late April.
RHP Grant Balfour opted out of his minor-league deal with Triple-A Durham and was released.
Balfour, 37, had spent the last few weeks with the Bulls hoping to regain his form after being released by the Rays in late April.
The Rays had to pay him his $7-milliion salary, and Balfour decided to re-sign with them and try to work his way back to the majors.
It was clear the Rays were not going to call him up. Now the question is whether he will sign elsewhere or retire. Rays manager Kevin Cash said he had not heard his plans, and Balfour's agents said the same.
Balfour appeared in eight games for the Bulls, posting a 2.79 ERA, allowing nine hits and four walks in 9 2/3 innings while striking out 11. He was typically clocked in the low 90-mph range.
"We love the fact that he went down there and tried to work on some stuff,'' Cash said. "Not sure what he's going to do. It still goes back to the career he had here as a Ray, participated in a ton of special moments, was a big part of some really good team success.'' …Full Story
For the first time in his two months on the job, Rays manager Kevin Cash blasted the umpires, saying decisions made by Brian Gorman's crew and the replay squad in New York were "terrible" and "embarrassing.''
Cash was primarily upset with a first-inning safe call at the plate that withstood a replay review to give the Mariners their second run, when it appeared catcher Rene Rivera had taken the throw from Alex Colome after a comebacker and tagged Seth Smith while keeping him from getting to the plate.
Noting he had no recourse "other than just to tell them how bad they stink,'' Cash made clear how much he disagreed with the call.
"Terrible. Terrible. It's embarrassing,'' he said. "We spend so much time on pace of play, let's just the damn call right on the field. It's terrible. They ought to be embarrassed. Feels like we got beat twice tonight.''
Cash also was upset with a seventh-inning call on an Evan Longoria drive down the leftfield line that was reversed from foul (by third-base ump Jerry Layne) to fair, but on which Joey Butler, who was on first base, was awarded third base but not home. The Rays got nothing as Logan Forsythe and Tim Beckham made outs. …Full Story
The Rays are starting RHP Alex Colome, pictured. The Mariners will counter with LHP J.A. Happ.
UPDATE, 5:10: Here is a stat that tells you all you need to know about the Rays lineup tonight:
3B Evan Longoria has 189 career home runs, 656 RBIs and 1,020 hits. The other eight players in the lineup COMBINED have 84 homers, 359 RBI, 854 hits.
UPDATE, 5:05: Manager Kevin Cash said both Cabrera and Souza are doing better and could be available tonight, though ideally the Rays would like to give them both until Friday. Souza has taken some dry swings (no ball) and taken throws on the infield during batting practice.
LHP Matt Moore (Tommy John surgery) will throw in another extended spring game on Thursday, and RHP Kirby Yates (right pec strain) will also pitch.
OF Desmond Jennings (left knee) played catch on the field and took some swings, with Cash saying he was getting closer to returning to action, but also that there was no date for him to get on the field in a rehab game.
DEVELOPING: The Rays are looking to snap a three-game losing streak and snap out of an offensive funk that has seen them score only three runs in those games tonight when they take on the Mariners again at 7:10. …Full Story