NEW YORK — Rays manager Kevin Cash doesn't expect to see any graphics on the Citi Field scoreboard Friday highlighting his career .183 average like former boss Terry Francona has pranked him with on visits to Cleveland.
But he is counting on plenty of laughs during this weekend's matchup with Mets manager Mickey Callaway, whom he worked closely with as coaches for the Indians in 2013-14.
"I can't wait to see Mickey; it'll be good,'' Cash said. "I really value the time when we play the Indians and the back and forth (with Francona). Hopefully it will be the same with Mickey. A lot of inside jokes, smiles, smirks, everything else. I'll enjoying seeing him.''
Cash said he doesn't figure Callaway, whose Mets are struggling mightily, will get quite as bold as Francona in welcoming him to Citi Field. "That would not be smart,'' Cash said. "I won't stoop to Tito's level, but I'll definitely stoop to Mickey's.''
With RHP Ryan Weber sent down after pitching five innings Wednesday, the Rays will add a fresh arm before Friday's game. One possibility is LHP Colin Poche, who has a 0.96 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 28 innings over 14 games for Triple-A Durham. Others include RHPs Ian Gibaut and Jaime Schultz. … A decision is expected Friday on whether RHP Chris Archer (abdominal strain) will rejoin the Rays to start Monday or make another minor-league rehab outing. … RHP Andrew Kittredge, called up Wednesday to replace demoted RHP Austin Pruitt, has been more effective in Triple-A after adding a splitter.
The Rays on Thursday appeared unlikely to reach an agreement with USF LHP Shane McClanahan, their second pick and No. 31 overall, by Friday's 5 p.m. MLB-wide deadline to sign all selections from last month's draft. McClanahan, a redshirt sophomore, is the most interesting of the Rays 10 unsigned picks. He notified teams in an email during the first round he was seeking a bonus of $3 million; his slot value as the 31st pick is $2.22 million, but there may not be a middle ground. Talks could continue up to the deadline. Word from McClanahan's side mid-day Thursday was they were "waiting and seeing" what happens next.
* Two-way prospect LHP/1B Brendan McKay is making good progress in his recovery from right oblique tightness and could return to action with the GCL team next week.
* One somewhat familiar face among the Mets is RHP Drew Smith, who the Rays got from the Tigers in April 2017 in trade for OF Mikie Mahtook and after three months in their minor-league system sent to New York for the two month rental of 1B Lucas Duda.
Marc Topkin can be reached at [email protected] Follow @TBTimes_Rays