Make us your home page

For starters: Rays at Tigers and Braves, at the end of spring

Matt Moore will be on the mound today against the Tigers.


Matt Moore will be on the mound today against the Tigers.



3:55 update: After allowing no walks in his three previous official spring starts, LHP Matt Moore issued three in Friday's second inning, which represented his only glaring blemish in an otherwise sparkling spring.

Moore walked J.D. Martinez and Nick Castellanos to open the second, retired the next two batters, then surrendered a three-run homer to No. 9 batter Anthony Gose on an 0-2 quick pitch he left over the middle. He regrouped by retiring Detroit's No. 3, 4 and 5 batters -- Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez -- in order in the third.

"I lost myself there for a second in the second inning, but was able to find it there in the third," said Moore, who entered the day with a 1.74 spring ERA in three starts. "So just being able to make the adjustments on the fly this early in camp does feel good. I'm in a better spot than I have been in a couple of years."

12:10 update: Two big pieces of news for Rays catchers, with Rene Rivera's release Tuesday and today's news that Hank Conger will start on opening day. Curt Casali, who will split time with Conger this season, said the sharing of the workload will be easy because both are professionals.

"We're not going to have egos getting in the way of the overall goals for the team," Casali said. "In that aspect, we're completely fine splitting time, and even if he gets more or I get more, at the end of the day as long as we're winning ballgames, that's what matters. I've been really impressed with his work ethic, how he goes about business and what kind of player and teammate he is."

Casali had 10 home runs in 101 at-bats as a late callup and said this spring was different for him with the confidence of that experience in the majors.

"This spring was definitely different than the past," he said. "People around me realized I did some good things last year, which was awesome. I definitely took a more relaxed approach this spring, let the chips fall the way they may. I didn't really change my routine, but my overall comfort with the players and the staff was a year better."

Noon update from Orlando: On the mound is lefty Adam Wilk, 28, who has played briefly in the majors with the Angels and Tigers -- he's 0-3 for his career with a 6.49 ERA.

One fun note is that Rays minor-leaguer Cameron Seitzer gets to go up against his father, former MLB star Kevin Seitzer, who's a hitting instructor with the Braves. The two met in similiar fashion in Dunedin two years ago and Seitzer got a home run in the game -- they hadn't seen each other in two months before today's game, so it's a nice reunion before they go their separate ways for the season.

Early update: The Rays wrap up spring training today with two games — at the Tigers in Lakeland and at the Braves in Disney.

Most of the regulars are in Lakeland, and Evan Longoria is scheduled to play for the first time since Sunday, having taken a few days off for rest.

"We texted back and forth, he was pretty adamant about wanting to get back in there," Manager Kevin Cash said. "Should be two quick at-bats, that's the plan for most of these guys, so it's good to see him back in there."

Here is the lineup against the Tigers, with No. 4 starter Matt Moore on the mound:

Guyer cf
Morrison 1b
Longoria 3b
Pearce 2b
Jennings lf
Kiermaier dh
Souza rf
Conger c
Beckham ss
Moore p

And against the Braves, with mostly guys who have been sent to or are were in  minor-league camp:

Forsythe 2b
Miller ss
Dickerson dh
Casali c
Decker lf
Leonard 3b
Seitzer 1b
Varona rf
Field cf
Wilk p

Cash is in Lakeland, as the Rays still have several cuts to make in setting their final roster. Cash indicated Friday morning he anticipates no additional roster movement until Saturday afternoon at the earliest.

Bench coach Tom Foley will manage the team at Disney.


[Last modified: Friday, April 1, 2016 3:52pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours