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For starters: Rays at White Sox, skidding to the finish

Blake Snell will be on the mound for the Rays, trying to put a good finish on an inconsistent rookie season.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Blake Snell will be on the mound for the Rays, trying to put a good finish on an inconsistent rookie season.

UPDATE, 4:38: Kiermaier is back in the Rays lineup, as is Nick Franklin.

Forsythe 2b,
Kiermaier cf,
Longoria 3b,
Miller ss,
Dickerson lf,
Franklin dh,
Mahtook rf,
Shaffer 1b,
Maile c,
Snell p


DEVELOPING: Having lost five straight and eight of nine, the depleted Rays take on the White Sox again tonight in Chicago, weather permitting as there has been rain throughout the day.

Rookie LHP Blake Snell will be on the mound for the Rays, trying to put a good finish on an inconsistent rookie season. RHP Miguel Gonzalez, the former Oriole, is slated to the start for the White Sox, who may have some news today on the status of manager Robin Ventura.

One question for the Rays is the status of CF Kevin Kiermaier, who has been out of the lineup the last two days due to soreness in his left hand, the result of being struck by a pitch on Sunday.

Lineups, and weather updates, when available.

 

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Coming soon: Catching up with Joe Maddon as he leads Cubs into playoffs

The latest Maddonism.

MARC TOPKIN / TAMPA BAY TIMES

The latest Maddonism.

Now posted on tampabay.com, the story on Maddon's second year.

DEVELOPING: Coming soon on tampabay.com and in Wednesday's Times, we catch up with former Rays manager Joe Maddon, who is leading the 100-win Cubs into the playoffs for a second straight year. And he has unveiled a new T-shirt for the occasion, available through korkedbaseball.com, with proceeds to his Respect 90 Foundation.

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For starters: Rays at White Sox, in Cobb's season finale

Alex Cobb is making his fifth start since returning from May 2015 Tommy John elbow surgery.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Alex Cobb is making his fifth start since returning from May 2015 Tommy John elbow surgery.

UPDATE, 6:43: Kiermaier said the wrist was better today but he still felt some soreness when taking swings so he is out again, but available to run or play defense late. He is extra disappointed because his parents are in town from Indiana to see him play. ... Nick Franklin remains idled due to the his previous hamstring strain but hopeful of returning before Sunday either as the DH or in the OF.

White Sox lineup:
Eaton rf
Anderson ss
Cabrera lf
Abreu 1b
Morneau dh
Frazier 3b
Avila c
Sanchez 3b
Garcia cf
Sale p

 

DEVELOPING: Having lost four straight and eight of their last 10, the Rays will take on the White Sox tonight with Alex Cobb on the mound for the last time this season.

CF Kevin Kiermaier, who sat out Monday due to soreness in his left wrist after being hit by a pitch Sunday, is not in the lineup again, though they may have as much to do with the Sox starting lefty ace Chris Sale.

Cobb is making his fifth start since returning from May 2015 Tommy John elbow surgery, and admits he is looking forward to the break, having been throwing for pretty much 15 months straight. …

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Rays to honor Jose Fernandez with No. 16 jersey in dugout

The Rays will further honor Jose Fernandez by hanging a No. 16 jersey in their dugout for tonight's game.

SS Alexei Ramirez, who like Fernandez left Cuba to play in the U.S., made the suggestion and is set to hang the jersey, a show of respect several teams have done.

Fernandez, the Marlins pitcher and Alonso High grad, was killed in an early Sunday boating accident in Miami.

The Marlins will all wear his No. 16 tonight for their home game against the Mets, then will retire the number.

The Rays held a moment of silence before Sunday's game at the Trop.

 

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For starters: Rays at White Sox, facing an old friend

James Shields will be on the mound for the White Sox.

Getty Images

James Shields will be on the mound for the White Sox.

UPDATE, 6:50: The Rays will further honor Jose Fernandez tonight by hanging a No. 16 jersey in their dugout. It will be placed there by Ramirez, who similarly left Cuba to play in the majors.

UPDATE, 6:46: Kiermaier's hand was more sore than he expected this morning, and swinging a bat would be an issue, so he is not in the linuep, but hoping to be available later tonight if needed with further treatment and eyeing a return to full duty Tuesday. ... Ramirez said it was good to be back in Chicago and see a lot of familiar faces and that it was weird to walk past the home clubhouse to the visiting side. ... Several Rays spoke of the legacy Shields left.

Here is the Rays lineup:

Forsythe 2b,
Dickerson LF,
Longoria 3b,
Miller 1b,
Mahtook cf,
Decker RF,
Casali DH,
Ramirez SS,
Wilson c,
Smyly p

DEVELOPING: After being swept in a weekend series with the red-hot Red Sox, including a 23-K performance in Sunday's home finale, the Rays open the final week of their season in Chicago tonight.

They will face an old friend, as former Rays All-Star James Shields will be on the mound for the White Sox. The Rays are starting LHP Drew Smyly. …

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Former Marlins coach Chuck Hernandez reflects on Jose Fernandez

Chuck Hernandez, home in Tampa for a day from working as a coach in the Braves instructional league, got an early morning call from his son with the news.

Times files (2005)

Chuck Hernandez, home in Tampa for a day from working as a coach in the Braves instructional league, got an early morning call from his son with the news.

Of all the people who worked with Jose Fernandez during his pro baseball career, Tampa's Chuck Hernandez, who was his first pitching coach with the Marlins, had among the closest connections, which made Sunday's news so staggering.

"I still really can't talk about it, it's not registering yet,'' Hernandez said. "I generally throughout all the crazy time we've done this been a relationship kind of guy with most of my players. And this guy was just a little farther ahead. Maybe it was because he needed it. Maybe I was more mature and adult-like, I don't know what it was. We had a special little bond. He didn't have, per se, a very strong male figure in his life. His dad wasn't around. So it was one of those things.'' …

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For starters: Rays to remember Jose Fernandez, lineups for final home game

A somber mood was found in both clubhouses today as players from the Rays and Red Sox reacted to the news of the passing of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who was killed early this morning along with two others in a boating accident in Miami Beach.

Fernandez, 24, attended Alonso High after defecting from Cuba.

"It's devastating, no question about it,” Rays pitcher Chris Archer said. “I respected everything that he did. The way he got over here. What he's done for his family. The way he went about his business. It's tragic. It's very, very saddening. Anything that myself or the Rays organization can do for his family, you know, our arms are open.”

A moment of silence will be held before the game, and retiring Red Sox DH David Ortiz requested the pregame ceremony honoring his career be cancelled in light of Fernandez’s death.

The Rays play the final home game of their scheduled. The Red Sox entered the game with a nine-game winning streak.

Here are the lineups:

 

RED SOX:

Pedroia 2B

Bogaerts SS

Ortiz DH

Betts RF Ramirez 1B

Shaw 3B

Young LF

Benintendi CF

Vazquez C

Rodriguez LHP

 

RAYS

Forsythe 2B

Kiermaie2r CF

Longoria 3B

Miller SS

Mahtook RF

Dickerson LF

Casali DH

Maile C

Shaffer 1B

 

Odorizzi RHP

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For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, in another tough test

UPDATE, 3:37: Cash said one reason for Andriese's improvement has been doing a good job of following the game plan. ... Dickerson's improvement has been one of the bright spots of the final month, Cash said. ... Franklin said his previously strained left hamstring has improved enough to run the bases, and even to steal bases, but he will be limited to DH duty for now.

Rays lineup:
Forsythe 2b
Kiermaier cf
Longoria 3b
Miller 1b
Dickerson lf
Franklin dh
Mahtook rf
Ramirez ss
Casali c
Andriese p

Red Sox lineup
Pedroia 2b
Bogaerts ss
Ortiz dh
Betts rf
Ramirez 1b
Holt 3b
Young lf
Bradley cf
Leon c
Porcello p

DEVELOPING: After losing a tough 2-1 game on Friday, the Rays take on the AL East-leading Red Sox again tonight, and have to face 21-game winner Rick Porcello.

The Rays are starting RHP Matt Andriese, who seems to have rebounded after a long skid following his return from the bullpen to the rotation.

The Rays were beat last night by David Ortiz, who hit a two-run homer to continue what has been a remarkable farewell season. The Rays have a pre-game ceremony planned for Sunday.

Lineups when available.

 

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For starters: Rays and Red Sox in finale home series of season

The Rays begin their final home series tonight against the first place Red Sox, winners of eight straight.

Chris Archer faces lefty Drew Pomeranz, who is 2-5 with a 4.91 ERA since coming over the Red Sox from the Padres in a July trade.

Archer is trying to avoid a franchise-high 19th loss this season. He’s currently tied with Tanyon Sturtze for 18. He’s also looking to snap his 10-game losing streak to the Red Sox.

This is the last time Rays fans will get to see David Ortiz play. The retiring slugger will be honored before Sunday’s game.

Here are the lineups:

 

RED SOX

Pedroia 2B

Bogaerts SS

Ortiz DH

Betts RF

Ramirez 1B

Shaw 3B

Bradley CF

Holaday C

Holt LF

Pomeranz LHP (8-7, 2.47)

 

RAYS

Forsythe 2B

Kiermaier CF

Longoria 3B

Miller 1B

Mahtook RF

Dickerson LF

Ramirez SS

Wilson C

Maile DH

 

Archer RHP (8-18, 4.05)

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Longoria wins Rays MVP, Champion award; Snell top rookie

Rays 3B Evan Longoria was named winner of the 2016 Don Zimmer MVP Award and the Paul C. Smith Champion Award today based on voting by members of the Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

LHP Blake Snell was voted the outstanding rookie.

The winners were announced at the Clutch Hitters luncheon, and will be introduced before tonight's game at the Trop.

The champion award is given to the player who best exemplifies the spirit of true professionalism on and off the field. Longoria finished ahead of Chris Archer, who won in 2015.

Snell got seven of the eight first-place votes for the rookie award, with C Luke Maile second.

Longoria was a unanimous choice for his second team MVP award, finishing well ahead of RHP Alex Colome and and 2B Logan Forsythe.

The Rays also announced their minor-league award winners, with RHP Brent Honeywell named their top pitcher and 1B Casey Gillaspie their top player.

 

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For starters: Rays vs. Yankees, with Querecuto starting at 3B

Juniel Querecuto will make his major-league debut starting at third base.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Juniel Querecuto will make his major-league debut starting at third base.

UPDATE, 5:09: Cash said LHP Xavier Cedeno's season is over, as it doesn't make sense to get him into games now as he remains bothered by neck tightness that has sidelined him since Aug. 29. ... Querecuto was all smiles in the clubhouse, recounting how his dad woke him Tuesday with news that he was going to the major leagues and how excited he was.

Yankees lineup:
Gardner lf
Ellsbury cf
Sanchez c
Butler dh
Teixeira 1b
Headley 3b
Gregorius ss
Hicks rf
Solano 2b
Cessa p

DEVELOPING:  The Rays are looking to avoid a sweep by the Yankees, and they will have their newest player in the lineup, as Juniel Querecuto will make his major-league debut starting at 3B.

Evan Longoria, who hit his 36th homer on Wednesday, is in the lineup but as the DH, and Brad Miller is at SS.

Rookie LHP Blake Snell is starting for the Rays, seeking to put a good finish on what has been an up and down first season. The Yankees, battling to stay in the AL wild-card race, will start Luis Cessa.

Here is the Rays lineup:

Forsythe 2b,
Kiermaier cf,
Longoria dh,
Miller ss,
Dickerson lf,
Casali c,
Querecuto 3b,
Shaffer 1b,
Mahtook rf,
Snell p

 

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For starters: Rays call-up INF Querecuto, lineups vs. Yankees

Juniel Querecuto adds a backup infielder, which the Rays were missing once Nick Franklin went down last week with a hamstring injury.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Juniel Querecuto adds a backup infielder, which the Rays were missing once Nick Franklin went down last week with a hamstring injury.

The Rays are digging deep into the organization to find a middle infielder to flush out the bench. He is Juniel Querecuto, who played 96 games between Montgomery and Durham.

Querecuto was in his native Venezuela when he received his first call to the big leagues. He is expected to join the team Thursday.

This adds a backup infielder, which the Rays were missing once Nick Franklin went down last week with a hamstring injury.

Once again the Rays passed over Tim Beckham and Taylor Motter, who both finished the season at Durham and did not receive September call-ups, and Daniel Robertson, who played the entire year with the Bulls.

Not bringing up Beckham and Motter appears to be a punitive decision.

As for tonight’s game, Alex Cobb makes his fourth start since returning from Tommy John surgery.

Steven Souza Jr., underwent surgery today on his left hip. He was placed on the 60-day disabled list to make room for Querecuto.

Logan Morrison’s surgery on his left wrist was postponed due to a conflict with the surgeon.

 

Here are the lineups:

 

YANKEES

Gardner LF

Ellsbury CF

Sanchez C

McCann DH

Teixeira 1B

Gregorius SS

Torreyes 3B

Williams RF

Solano 2B

Tanaka RHP (13-4, 2.97)

 

RAYS

Forsythe 2B

Kiermaier CF  …

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For starters: Updates on Souza, Morrison, Franklin and lineups vs Yankees

The Rays' Drew Smyly, pictured, faces Michael Pineda.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

The Rays' Drew Smyly, pictured, faces Michael Pineda.

UPDATEd 5:30

RF Steve Souza (left hip) and 1B/Dh Logan Morrison (left wrist) are bot scheduled to undergo surgery tomorrow to correct their respective issues.

Souza is opting for the surgery now so he will be ready for spring training in February.

Morrison will be a free agent after the season.

An MRI on UTL Nick Franklin’s left hamstring revealed a moderate strain. Franklin will rehab the injury during this homestand. He said he hopes to be able to play during the final week of the season and end his year on a positive and healthy note.

 

 

The Rays return home tonight after a long and somewhat encouraging road trip where they went 5-6 against three AL East teams who are or were in playoff contention at the time they met.

They open the final six-game homestand of the season with three against the fading Yankees, who have lost five straight.

Drew Smyly faces Michael Pineda tonight.

Rays fans get their first look at Alexi Ramirez, the shortstop acquired when they were on the road.

 

Here are the lineups:

 

YANKEES

Gardner LF

Hicks RF

Sanchez C

Butler DH

Teixeira 1B

Gregorious SS

Torreyes 2B

Solano 3B

Williams CF

Pineda RHP (6-11, 4.94)

 

RAYS

Forsythe 2B

Kiermaier CF

Longoria 3B

Miller 1B

Dickerson LF

Mahtook RF  …

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Ted Williams museum inductions/dinner to feature Pete Rose

Pete Rose, who piled up an MLB record 4,256 hits, is confirmed to attend and will sign autographs during the pre-dinner reception.

AP photo (1978)

Pete Rose, who piled up an MLB record 4,256 hits, is confirmed to attend and will sign autographs during the pre-dinner reception.

The 2017 Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame Induction dinner will feature the Hit King, Pete Rose.

The event, known as Dinner with Chris Archer & Friends, is slated for Feb. 18 at Tropicana Field.

Rose, who piled up an MLB record 4,256 hits, is confirmed to attend and will sign autographs during the pre-dinner reception. Though Rose remains banned from baseball due to gambling, he has participated in several events, including the 2015 All-Star Game in Cincinnati.

Other inductees and guests are still being finalized, but Hall of Famer Tony Perez and Luis Tiant are among the honorees, with Rays Archer, Kevin Kiermaier and Jake Odorizzi also confirmed. Proceeds from the event benefit several charities, including Archer's Archway Foundation.

Tickets are $125 and available by calling 727-534-5354, emailing TPenna@TedWilliamsMuseum.com, or picking up an application at the museum during Rays games this week.

 

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Rays Steven Souza Jr. to have season-ending hip surgery

Steven Souza Jr. will have season-ending surgery on his left hip Wednesday.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Steven Souza Jr. will have season-ending surgery on his left hip Wednesday.

Rays OF Steven Souza Jr. will have season-ending surgery on his left hip Wednesday.

Souza told the Tampa Bay Times the "minor arthroscopic" procedure will alleviate an impingement that has bothered him much of the year, and that it won't impact his preparations for next season.

"I'll be ready to go for spring training,'' he said.

The surgery will be performed in Nashville by specialist Dr. Thomas Byrd to "clean out the joint" and to reduce "pinching in the labrum,'' Souza said. He will be on crutches for about four weeks but expects to be able to start running by early December.

Souza finishes his season on a hot streak, hitting .247 with 17 homers, 49 RBIs and 159 strikeouts.

Also, Rays 1B/DH Logan Morrison will have surgery Wednesday to repair a torn sheath in his left wrist. Morrison, a free agent after the season, faces a 12-week rehab.

 

 

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