Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays Journal: Archer’s best is knowing worst, futures game, scary moment

CLEARWATER – The best thing about RHP Chris Archer's Tuesday outing may have been that he acknowledged the worst thing he did: walking speedy Roman Quinn to start the third inning after being up 0-and-2 in the count.

"Definitely something that I'm not happy about," Archer said. "That's nitpicking; that's what spring training is for. Definitely going to make sure it doesn't happen in season."

The walk, and ensuing stolen base, led to a run without a hit, and manager Kevin Cash was pleased  to hear of Archer's self-evaluation.

"Good," Cash said. "I agree. Happy that he recognized that."

Otherwise Archer – just waiting on Cash's official proclamation as the March 29 opening day starter – felt pretty good about his spring high 81-pitch, 4 1/3-inning outing.

"Today was definitely like conditioning," Archer said. "That was the first time I've gotten into the fifth, first time I've gotten into the fourth. Overall a good work day. Definitely some things to continue to improve on but it's spring training. Definitely walking away happy with that game."

Archer allowed only one hit, a homer to Maikel Franco on  a 3-and-0 "cookie" fastball, but three walks while striking out five.

He was most pleased with the ongoing improvement of his changeup, giving him a third weapon to work with.

"It was actually better than my slider (today) I think," he said. "That's very encouraging."

Game report

The Rays (7-10-1) lost 6-3 when RHP Austin Pruitt, competing for a bullpen spot, allowed a three-run walkoff homer to Jesmuel Valentin. That after a two-out throwing error by minor-league 3B Kevin Padlo. … INF Daniel Robertson and OF Denard Span homered in the three-run third, Cash noting Robertson's solid spring overall: "It's nice to see the work he's put in is taking effect in the games." …  Two candidates for the final outfield spot didn't show well, RF Brandon Snyder going 0-for-3 and DH Jason Coats 0-for-3. … Noting a two-hit day, Cash said CF Kevin Kiermaier "is getting going."

Futures game

The Rays had three of their brightest younger prospects on the field Tuesday, with 2017 top minor-leaguer OF Jesus Sanchez, 2017 All-Star Futures Game selectee SS Lucius Fox and 2016 first-round pick OF Josh Lowe all coming off the bench. Lowe, coming off a solid season at Class A Bowling Green, greatly enjoyed his first big-league spring game. "I was really excited," Lowe said. "I was a little nervous when I first got in the game, but after the first pitch I was fine." Cash said Lowe "might have been the highlight of the day. … Everybody raved about the batting practice he took. He looked pretty comfortable in the box and on base he's aggressive."

Miscellany

* Prospect RHP Jose De Leon had what team said was successful Tommy John elbow surgery performed by Dr. James Andrews. De Leon, acquired from the Dodgers in January 2017, will be sidelined until the middle of 2019.

* Jesus Sucre tried out a version of the large wristband with pitching data cards Rays catchers will use this season: "Just wanted to see how it felt."

* Non-roster INF Andrew Velasquez was feeling okay after being hit on the helmet by an Aaron Brown pitch in the eighth and removed from the game. "That was a little scary," Cash said. "Got him good. He was fine; he wanted to stay in the game."

* Cash spent the morning at the Trop in a meeting with the team's Florida-based pro scouts and the Arizona crew on a conference call: "Just good information being passed around."

* Cash raved about the sharpness and intensity LHP Blake Snell showed pitching  in a minor-league intrasquad game in Port Charlotte on Monday.

Comments
Rays journal: Jake Faria struggles in loss to Yankees

Rays journal: Jake Faria struggles in loss to Yankees

ST. PETERSBURG — After being formally eliminated Monday from the postseason chase, the Rays on Tuesday turned their focus to addressing some issues for next season.One is what to make of RHP Jake Faria, whose follow-up season to his impressive ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Already playing well, Rays’ Tommy Pham promises more

Already playing well, Rays’ Tommy Pham promises more

ST. PETERSBURGTommy Pham has been doing some impressive things for the Rays since coming off the DL after coming over from the Cardinals in a July 31 trade.Like hitting .357 in 32 games, posting a 1.087 OPS and reaching base in a career-best 27 strai...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Tuesday’s Rays-Yankees game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Tuesday’s Rays-Yankees game

LHP Jalen Beeks didn't make a good showing with his pitching, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks over 32/3 innings and throwing 65 pitches to do so. But he did open eyes with a running, sliding catch of a pop-up near the Rays dugout.Manag...
Updated: 5 hours ago
For starters: Rays vs. Yankees, with Faria on the hill

For starters: Rays vs. Yankees, with Faria on the hill

UPDATE, 5:47: Expect LHP Jalen Beeks to pitch tonight after Faria.UPDATE, 5;45: Longtime Rays minor-league pitching guru Dick Bosman to retire, has been with organization since 2001. Pitched parts of 11 seasons in majors, threw no-hitter for Indians ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Rays journal: Sound familiar? Yankees make Monday a ‘Bullpen Day’

Rays journal: Sound familiar? Yankees make Monday a ‘Bullpen Day’

ST. PETERSBURG — In an effort to line up their pitching staff for the postseason, the Yankees stole a page out of the Rays playbook Monday night. New York designated the game  a "bullpen day" and did it ever use its bullpen.RHP Jonathan Ho...
Published: 09/25/18
Playoffs gone but goals aren’t for Rays to finish season

Playoffs gone but goals aren’t for Rays to finish season

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' postseason hopes, as unlikely as they had seemed, officially ended with Monday's 4-1 loss to the Yankees, manager Kevin Cash speaking for many saying they should be proud of what they did.And that doesn't mean they do...
Published: 09/25/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Monday’s Rays-Yankees game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Monday’s Rays-Yankees game

LHP Ryan Yarbrough wasn't horrible, but he wasn't fooling anybody as the Yankees scored three in his five innings, rapping five hits, including four doubles. Yarbrough, who hadn't lost since July 21 and has a rookie-high 15 wins, also walked two, hit...
Published: 09/24/18
Updated: 09/25/18
For starters: Kevin Kiermaier out of lineup as Rays host Yankees

For starters: Kevin Kiermaier out of lineup as Rays host Yankees

Rays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier is out of the starting lineup tonight against the Yankees with a sore shoulder. He will be available if needed.The same goes for SS Willy Adames, who was held out Sunday due to illlness. Mallex Smith takes over...
Published: 09/24/18
Snell wins No. 21 as Rays beat Blue Jays 5-2

Snell wins No. 21 as Rays beat Blue Jays 5-2

TORONTO — Blake Snell doesn't look like he can be stopped.He pitched again for the Rays in Sunday's 5-2 victory over the Blue Jays, he dominated again and he won again.That's both a major-league-leading and team-record-breaking 21st victory for...
Published: 09/23/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Blue Jays game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Blue Jays game

Part of what makes LHP Blake Snell so good is his deep, high-quality repertoire, having four above-average pitches, which is more than most. When fastball command isn't sharp, he can still beat you with an assortment of top-notch curves, sliders and ...
Published: 09/23/18