Friday, July 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays journal: Kevin Kiermaier coming around after swoon

ST. PETERSBURG — About a half-decade ago, Kevin Kiermaier made a personal, professional vow regarding his plate approach: worry about the sweet spot and forget the stats.

"I said I'm not gonna worry about what I hit," he said. "We're all trying to get to the big leagues, and once I got here, same thing. I'm just trying to have quality at-bats … find the barrel, and I can go to sleep good whenever I know I'm in control and feeling good in the box.

RELATED: More Rays coverage

"And that's the case for me right now."

Odds are, Kiermaier had one of his more restful nights when his head hit the pillow in Minneapolis on Wednesday evening. Gradually emerging from his post-disabled list funk, the Rays centerfielder had his first multihit game since April 14 with two singles and a solo home run in Wednesday's 4-2 win against the Tigers for a three-game sweep.

Kiermaier, who entered the Tigers series in a 3-for-26 skid, went 1-for-5 with a triple Monday and had a line-drive, RBI-single in the third inning in Tuesday's 5-2 triumph. Wednesday was his first three-hit game since Sept. 4, 2017.

"He said something (Tuesday) before the game started that he felt better at the plate," manager Kevin Cash said.

"Whether it was a mechanical adjustment, whether it was an adjustment with his approach, whatever it was, he felt good. We talked about it (Tuesday), we're talking about it again today because it looks like he's starting to turn the corner a little bit and get his season going."

Alvarado takes leave

The Rays announced Wednesday morning that RHP Jose Alvarado, who has made 41 relief appearances, has been placed on the Family Medical Emergency list.

Cash indicated that Alvarado, who earned his first win Tuesday night in his 76th career appearance, will not return before the All-Star break.

"We anticipate he'll be back ready to pitch for us on (July 20)," Cash said before Wednesday's game.

"He wasn't gonna pitch (Wednesday) obviously because of the two innings of work (Tuesday), but you go in to face a team like Minnesota that has a bunch of lefties, bunch of switch-hitters, so we'll need some guys to kind of step up."

Adames on the move back to minors

The Rays plan to announce as early as Thursday that they're optioning top prospect Willy Adames back to Triple-A Durham. INF Adames, who went 0-for-4 Wednesday, is batting .216 in limited opportunity, in part because SS Adeiny Hechavarria remains on the team.

Miscellaneous

The victory improved the Rays to 12-3 against the AL Central this season. They're 36-41 against everyone else. … Cash said he has heard nothing new regarding LHP Blake Snell potentially earning a replacement spot on the American League All-Star team. Snell was left off the roster despite leading the league in ERA (2.09) going into Sunday's announcement. … Wednesday's loss was the first for Tigers RHP Jordan Zimmermann since Sept. 12, 2017, a 12-game stretch without a defeat. … Rookie Hunter Wood became the 14th different starting pitcher (or "opener," if you prefer) used by the Rays this season. He pitched a scoreless first inning before giving way to Matt Andriese.

Audible

"I think the fastball's been something that's been there that I've been able to go off of, but I've also had an offspeed pitch, or a couple, that have either been good throughout the game or … one will be good and then another one will catch up. So I feel like I've been consistent with a couple of offspeed pitches, and it's allowed me to get through seven each time." — Snell, who at Minnesota on Thursday night seeks to notch his fifth consecutive start of at least seven innings with one run or fewer allowed

Times staff writers Thomas Bassinger and Marc Topkin contributed to this report. Contact Joey Knight at [email protected] Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.

Comments
Marc Topkin: Rays should trade Chris Archer

Marc Topkin: Rays should trade Chris Archer

ST. PETERSBURG — Chris Archer wants the Rays to get going.Trade more veterans. Bring back Willy Adames and bring up the next group of kids. Get on with getting better, and get back to reaching the postseason, as they did four times over six yea...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays journal: Catcher needed with Wilson Ramos on DL

Rays journal: Catcher needed with Wilson Ramos on DL

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays did not have any answers Thursday about the state of their catching situation as to how long Wilson Ramos will be out and who will be added to replace him Friday against the Marlins.Ramos was placed on the DL Wednesday...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Dodgers land All-Star shortstop Manny Machado from Orioles

Dodgers land All-Star shortstop Manny Machado from Orioles

The Los Angeles Dodgers won the Manny Machado sweepstakes, getting the prized All-Star shortstop from the Baltimore Orioles in a trade Wednesday night. The Orioles received five prospects: outfielder Yusniel Diaz, right-handers Dean Kremer and Zach P...
Published: 07/19/18
Rays place Wilson Ramos on DL for potential extended absence, seek replacement

Rays place Wilson Ramos on DL for potential extended absence, seek replacement

ST. PETERSBURG – The Rays made the inevitable move Wednesday of placing catcher Wilson Ramos on the disabled list while still looking for a replacement.Ramos, 30, strained his left hamstring Saturday in Minnesota, which forced him out of Tuesda...
Published: 07/18/18
An all-or-nothing All-Star Game

An all-or-nothing All-Star Game

WASHINGTON — Tuesday's All-Star Game was exciting, dramatic, historic — and perfectly representative of the 2018 season, what with the unprecedented power show, display of blazing arms creating a fan club (25 strikeouts), and the emotion ...
Published: 07/18/18
Rays reinstate discount pizza promotion with Papa John’s after corporate action

Rays reinstate discount pizza promotion with Papa John’s after corporate action

The Rays reinstated the discount pizza promotion with Papa John's based on actions taken by corporate officials after the ouster of founder John Schnatter following reports he used a racial slur.The Rays had suspended the promotion, which offers half...
Published: 07/18/18
MLB: Brewers’ Josh Hader must take sensitivity training after tweets

MLB: Brewers’ Josh Hader must take sensitivity training after tweets

WASHINGTON — Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader will be required to go through sensitivity training after years-old racist and homophobic tweets of his resurfaced during the All-Star Game, Major League Baseball said Wednesday. MLB announced that th...
Published: 07/18/18
MLB player poll: Rays (and Marlins) fans are ‘the worst’

MLB player poll: Rays (and Marlins) fans are ‘the worst’

Rays fans and Tropicana Field are routinely ripped by media and out-of-towners, and the usual defense is the critics don't really know what they're talking about.Well, now the major-league players have spoken.Or at least some of them.Rays fans shared...
Published: 07/18/18
Record 10 homers as AL wins All-Star Game, 8-6, in 10 innings

Record 10 homers as AL wins All-Star Game, 8-6, in 10 innings

WASHINGTON — A record 10 home runs . A slew of strikeouts. The all-or-nothing All-Star Game mirrored what baseball has become. Astros teammates Alex Bregman and George Springer homered on consecutive pitches to begin the 10th inning, and the American...
Published: 07/18/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Blake Snell’s All-Star debut

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Blake Snell’s All-Star debut

The Rays' Blake Snell makes his All-Star debut with a memorable first pitch, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says he likes the Rays' new stadium plans, and there is controversy at the Home Run Derby.Plus, Florida head coach Dan Mullen says the Gators ha...
Published: 07/18/18