After losing the chance to finish .500 with Friday's loss, the Rays take the field tonight hoping to put a solid finish on All-Star ace RHP Chris Archer's solid season.Full Story
Archer was roughed up by the Jays in his last outing last Saturday and said he wants to end his season on a better note, as he makes his 34th start.
2B Logan Forsythe is again not in the lineup, sidelined since being hit by a pitch on his right foot Tuesday.
Here is the Rays lineup:
UPDATE, 5:22: Forsythe was scratched from the lineup, deciding his bruised right foot did not feel comfortable when he was fielding ground balls. He said he is available off the bench and expects to play before the season ends Sunday. ... Cash said C Curt Casali has been shut down, that his attempt to come back from a hamstring injurry was admirable but there was too much risk of a setback that could impact his off-season training. ... Nick Franklin will start at 2B in place of Forsythe. ... SS Troy Toluwitzki is back in the Jays lineup for the first time since fracturing his shoulder blade Sept. 12
Here is the new Rays lineup:
And here is the Jays lineup:
DEVELOPING: The Rays open their final homestand of the season tonight against the AL East champion Blue Jays with a chance to finish with a .500 record if they can sweep the series. …Full Story
2B Logan Forsythe was voted the Don Zimmer MVP Award for the 2015 season by members of the Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
RHP Nathan Karns was voted the Outstanding Rookie. …Full Story
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Jake Odorizzi will be on the mound, taking on Tampa Alonso High product RHP Jose Fernandez.
UPDATE, 5:14: Cash said Forsythe hit in the cage and was available if needed. ...
DEVELOPING: After beating the Marlins two straight, the Rays are looking to make it a three-game sweep tonight.
RHP Jake Odorizzi will be on the mound, taking on Tampa Alonso High product RHP Jose Fernandez, who has made an impressive return from Tommy John surgery.
2B Logan Forsythe is again out of the Rays lineup, sidelined since being hit on the right foot by a pitch on Tuesday.
Here is the Rays lineup:
And here is the Marlins lineup:
Speaking at an MLB diversity event at the Mets' Citi Field on Wednesday, Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg acknowledged his New York baseball roots.
"As a Mets fan growing up and all, it's wonderful to be here in September when things really do matter, and it's a very exciting time to be a Mets fan," he said, per the Associated Press, "And I am still, as well, even though I've got the Tampa Bay Rays."
As for remaining based in New York since taking over the team in late 2005, Sternberg pointed out, "In Major League Baseball we try to have local ownership in places, but when we bought the team, George Steinbrenner was running the Yankees from Tampa, so I figured I could run the Tampa Bay Rays from New York."Full Story
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The Rays have John Jaso in leftfield tonight, his first start in the field since Aug. 23.
After beating the Marlins on Tuesday, the Rays are back at it again tonight.
LHP Drew Smyly continuing his impressive comeback from a shoulder injury, will be on the mound for the Rays. RHP Jarred Cosart starts for the Marlins.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said 2B Logan Forsythe was still sore from being hit on the right foot by a pitch on Tuesday but should be available if needed to pinch-hit and is expected to play again this season.
Also, Cash announced that LHP Matt Moore would get to make another start, in the season finale on Sunday. Moore, who has been sharp in five starts since his return from Triple-A, had been pushing for the additional opportunity.
The Rays have John Jaso in leftfield tonight, his first start in the field since Aug. 23, and part of the reason, Cash said, is to weigh whether he is an option for next season. Jaso is free agent after the season, having missed half the season due to injury and serving primarily as the DH.
SS Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-run go-ahead homer in the eighth inning Tuesday that gave the Rays a 4-2 win over the Marlins.
But he had a bigger smile talking about his dazzling play in the third inning when he ranged to his right and made a jump throw to nail speedy Dee Gordon at first.
"That reminded me of the young Cabrera from years ago," Cabrera said. "That was a nice play. He's really fast."
Cabrera's hit kept the Rays from a longer or even a lost night. They improved to 76-81, one win shy of their 2014 total, though they remained in last place in the AL East.Full Story
LHP Matt Moore gave the Rays seven strong innings, allowing only a first-inning run, and impressive rookie OF Mikie Mahtook's seventh home run and a bases-loaded sac fly by Kevin Kiermaier gave them a 2-1 lead going to the eighth. …
Alex Cobb was hanging out in the Rays' clubhouse before Tuesday's game, Drew Smyly was talking about going out strong Wednesday, Matt Moore was prepping for what would be a solid seven-inning start in the 4-2 win over the Marlins.Full Story
For a moment, it was easy to envision what's ahead for the Rays.
Though Cobb's return from Tommy John surgery won't come until next August or September, Moore and Smyly have done enough, and done well enough, in their comebacks from injury that the Rays can count heavily on them for the start of 2016.
Moore, who had Tommy John surgery in April 2014, showed so again Tuesday, allowing only a first-inning run while working impressively into the seventh for a third straight start.
"It's very exciting for all of us in this building," manager Kevin Cash said. "You can lump him in with Drew Smyly getting back and showing that they're healthy and then also pitching really well on top of that. A lot of bright spots to look forward to next year."
Moore, aiming to make a final start Sunday, certainly feels he is headed that way: "It's not like I have to re-convince myself of what I'm capable of, but it does feel good to roll out a few. ... Absolutely, it adds to the overall vibe of how things are going."
With those two lefties, Jake Odorizzi and All-Star ace Chris Archer, the Rays are positioned to have a formidable front four in a rotation that once again will look to be among the game's best - and has to be for the Rays to return to playoff contention.
No matter the re-philosophizing of the offense, restructuring of the bullpen or re-emphasizing of fundamentals such as baserunning, bunting and defense, the Rays need dominant starting pitching to win.
Add in Erasmo Ramirez, who won 11 games with a respectable 3.65 ERA after a miserable start following his late spring acquisition from Seattle; rookie Nathan Karns, who went 7-5, 3.67 in an unexpectedly extended opportunity before being shut down with forearm tightness; and prospect Blake Snell, the consensus best pitcher in the minors after a stunning 15-1, 1.41 performance over three levels, and the Rays have solid options to fill out the rotation.
Beyond that, they have depth with Matt Andriese, who showed promise in going 2-2, 3.57 in eight starts, and the option to move Alex Colome back from the bullpen if they need another arm.
Cash laughed Tuesday, since they had already done enough fretting, when bringing up the old saying about never having enough starting pitching, saying that "we found that out this year for sure."
But he also acknowledged at least the possibility of an arms stockpile - noting the youth and drive to improve of the group - and the ensuing potential for some difficult calls.
"We're going to have some tough decisions to make in the offseason on who's starting, who we plan to see in the rotation," he said. "Then obviously you get to spring and see how guys come out, hopefully everybody's healthy, and those decisions aren't made for us, that we have to make them."
Archer, whose emergence as a team leader parallels his success on the mound, said he hopes the Rays make them for the right reasons - specifically being willing to promote Snell on merit, leaving unsaid the obvious alternative of holding him back for financial reasons such as arbitration and free agent eligibility.
"I think having Blake Snell is going to be very important," he said. "If it's going to be our strength, there is no reason to delay his promotion for any longer than it needs to be delayed for whatever reason that may be.
"As far as how it transpires, I don't know. Somebody is probably not going to be happy. ... People have had to go back to the minor leagues after being very successful. Or there may have to be a trade, just because we have a surplus of not only starting pitching but we have a surplus of outfielders, too. So there's possibilities everywhere."
Even better, really good ones.
"Our starting pitching is going to be very strong next year," Archer said. "It's going to be fun."
Contact Marc Topkin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @TBTimes_Rays
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Matt Moore, increasingly impressive in his return from Tommy John surgery, will be on the mound for the Rays.
UPDATE, 6:14: Cash said he will continue to mix younger players and veterans during the remaining games this week. ... C Curt Casali continues to work to try to get back from his hamstring injury before the end of the season. .. Currernt Marlins manager Dan Jennings had fun visiting with former Rays colleagues; he worked in the front office here for eight years.
DEVELOPING: The Rays open their final six-game homestand of the season today as they take on the Marlins.Full Story
LHP Matt Moore, increasingly impressive in his return from Tommy John surgery, will be on the mound for the Rays. Rookie LHP Adam Conley starts for the Marlins.
At 75-81, the Rays have two potential goals to aim for this week, winning three games to surpass last season's 77-85 mark, and finishing ahead of the Red Sox and/or Orioles to avoid last place in the AL East.
Here are the lineups:
UPDATE, 11:49: As expected, the Rays have most of their young players in the lineup today, with Tim Beckham starting at 2B, Richie Shaffer at 1B and Luke Maile behind the plate. .... LHP Jake McGee is expected to pitch today, his first outing since August knee surgery. .... Cash said finishing with a .500 road record is significnant.
DEVELOPING: The Rays wrap up the road portion of their 2016 schedule today at 1:07 against the playoff-bound Blue Jays.Full Story
Rookie RHP Mattt Andriese will be on the mound, though is not expected to go too deep into the game as he hasn't pitched multiple innings since Aug. 28 and hasn't started since Aug. 13 at Triple-A.
The Rays are 38-39 on the road, as three games were shifted from Baltimore to the Trop.
The Jays are starting veteran LHP Mark Buehrle.
Lineups when available.
UPDATE, 11:47: The Jays have now acknowledged that it is official and based on the remaining schedule they have clinched a playoff spot.
UPDATE, 11:43: LHP Jake McGee was activated off the DL and will pitch either today or Sunday, with Monday's off-day as built-in rest. ... Cash said today was "just a DH day" for Longoria to get him off his feet. ... Rivera is back behind the plate based on Archer's level of comfort with him. Arencibia seemed to have some difficulty with Archer's slider in the last game. ... Cash said he plans to play most of the younger players on Sunday, which should mean a start for either Tim Beckham or Nick Franklin at short. …Full Story
UPDATE, 5:25: LHP Jake McGee won't rejoin the Rays bullpen until Saturday. McGee said that was his plan all along after putting his surgically repaired knee through an extensive workout Wednesday and then doing fielding drills. Cash said he misspoke in saying McGee would be back Friday, joking that he was just so excited at the possibility. ... RHP Chris Archer and LHP David Price were in playful moods today when talking about each other and their Saturday matchup. Price popped into the Rays clubhouse to visit with some old friends, Archer grabbed a mic and broke into Price's interview to ask what it would be like to face his protege. .... Cash reiterated that it would be good for the young Rays to experience the frenzied atmosphere surrounding the games. .... Cash said there was no major theory in putting together his lineup to face knuckleballer Dickey, and it was just a day off for Souza.
Jays lineup:Full Story
Dickey p …
Major League Baseball issued the following statement this morning:
“Earlier this week, Major League Baseball and the Tampa Bay Rays learned of the St. Petersburg Sports Park proposal for the first time. Major League Baseball appreciates the support that it has received for the construction of Spring Training facilities throughout the State of Florida. The most pressing need, however, is the construction of a Major League-quality facility for the Rays.
“Major League Baseball is committed to working with the Rays to secure a new ballpark in cooperation with the Tampa Bay region. This can only happen with the support of local political and business leaders.”Full Story
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Erasmo Ramirez will be on the mound for the Rays, LHP Wade Miley for the Red Sox.
UPDATE, 5:40: Rays Cash said LHP Jake McGee came in feeling good and should be available out of the bullpen on Friday in Toronto. ... RHP Jake Odorizzi flew ahead to Toronto to be rested for Friday's game with the team not likely to get in until around 3 a.m. .. The Rays and Red Sox have split the first 18 games this season.
DEVELOPING: The Rays are looking it three out of four over the Red Sox tonight, and to win the season series in the process.
RHP Erasmo Ramirez will be on the mound for the Rays, LHP Wade Miley for the Red Sox.
The Rays have rookie Mikie Mahtook at DH tonight and Richie Shaffer at 1B.
And here is the Red Sox lineup:
Betts RF, Full Story
Bradley Jr. CF,
The Rays made a change to their rotation, inserting RHP Matt Andriese to start Sunday and bumping LHP Matt Moore to Tuesday vs. Miami.Full Story
The Blue Jays made a bigger one, setting up a marquee matchup on Saturday afternoon in Toronto, as current Rays ace Chris Archer will face off with former Rays ace David Price in a pairing of student and mentor.
That's the good news. The bad news is that the game will be shown on television in the Tampa Bay area television, one of the games Sun Sports did not include in the 150 games it telecasts.
The Rays had been talking about starting RHP Nathan Karns against Toronto, but when he was shut down for the rest of the season due to forearm tightness, they turned to Andriese.
The shift allows the Rays to throw a third righty at a Blue Jays lineup packed with right-handed sluggers, though manager Kevin Cash said it was more about giving Moore two extra days' rest.
"Factoring in he's coming off injury, he's had two pretty heavy workloads the last two times (out),'' Cash said. "He's great. He feels good. We'll have him bounce back in the Miami series.''
Since being traded from the Tigers to the Jays, Price is 8-1, 1.95 in 10 starts and has emerged as the favorite to win another American League Cy Young Award with a 17-5, 2.34 record. …