UPDATE, 5:00: DH/OF John Jaso's left wrist has been slow to heal, and it appears it could be into mid-May before he rejoins the lineup. Jaso said a recent X-ray confirmed there was no break, but there is bone bruising and he remains unable to even pick up a bat with his left hand much less swing it.
LHP Drew Smyly (shoulder tendinitis) will pitch in a Double-A game at Jacksonville on Sunday, scheduled for 4-5 innings and 70 pitches, and depending how he feels Monday/Tuesday, the Rays will decide whether he needs another rehab start or can join the rotation at the end of next week.
LHP Jake McGee (elbow surgery) will throw a bullpen session on Sunday at Trop and, assuming all goes well, head out on Monday to join Triple-A Durham, where he will make at least three rehab apprearances, with the possibility of joining the Rays as soon as May 1 in Baltimore.
RHP Alex Colome (recovering from pneumonia) will throw a bullpen session today and then make another rehab start on Tuesday.
Yankees lineup:Full Story
WILL VRAGOVIC | Times
Nate Karns (1-1, 4.97 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Rays.
UPDATE, 4:50: It's been a busy day for the Rays. Evan Longoria is in the lineup at DH and will bat fourth, a day after a pitch bruised his left hip.
"I'm playing, guys," Longoria said. "I'm good."
The Rays gave themselves depth at infieeld by optioning OF Mikie Mahtook to Triple-A Durham and recalling INF Ryan Brett. The team made another roster move, sending LHP Jeff Beliveau tot he 15-day DL with left shoulder soreness and recalling LHP C.J. Riefenhauser from Durham.
Manager Kevin Cash also announced that RHP Matt Andriese will start Sunday's game.
DEVELOPING: The Rays are back at Tropicana Field to open a nine-game homestand, which begins with tonight's game against the Yankees. RHP Nate Karns (1-1, 4.97 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Rays against RHP Adam Warren (0-1, 1.69 ERA).
It's still unclear whether 3B Evan Longoria will be in the lineup after bruising his left hip Thursday night in Toronto. …Full Story
Rays 3B Evan Longoria hopes to be in the lineup Friday but won't know for sure until he sees how his bruised left hip feels after the flight home and a night's sleep.
"I'm gonna do my best to play,'' Longoria said after the game in Toronto. "Gut feeling right now is I would play. There's nothing structurally wrong. So unless I wake up and I can't walk tomorrow morning I'll be in there.''
Longoria was hit by a pitch - intentionally, he said, in retaliation for Rays starter Chris Archer hitting two Blue Jays batters - by Toronto RHP Marco Estrada, who was a college teammate at Long Beach State and remains a friend, who he was talking with before the game.
"I don't have any hard feelings toward him,'' Longoria said. "It escalated and it looks a lot worse than it probably would have been had it hit me in a different spot and it not ended up the way it did. I guess, ultimately, you have to protect your guys.''
Longoria said because he wasn't expecting to get hit, batting with one out in the eighth, he wasn't in a position to lessen the blow. "It just got me in a bad spot,'' he said. …Full Story
EVE EDELHEIT | Times
Chris Archer is coming off a dominant start on Saturday in Miami, where he allowed only two baserunners over seven innings.
UPDATE, 3:43: The Rays signed C J.P. Arencibia to a minor-league deal and expect him to soon join Triple-A Durham. Arencibia, previously with the Blue Jays and Rangers, was in spring training with the Orioles but was released last week.
UPDATE, 3:35: With Toronto RHP Aaron Sanchez on the mound, David DeJesus is back atop the Rays lineup at DH.
DEVELOPING: The Rays are looking to win a second straight series as the they wrap up a four-game set in Toronto tonight with RHP Chris Archer on the mound.
Archer is coming off a dominant start on Saturday in Miami, where he allowed only two baserunners over seven innings. He was limited to 84 pitches, and said Wednesday he would like the opportunity to work deeper into games.
The Blue Jays are starting young, hard-throwing Aaron Sanchez. …Full Story
Tarpon Springs Police Department
Officer Charles Kondek was killed in the line of duty on December 21, 2014.
The Rays announced they will retire the radio call sign of slain Tarpon Springs police officer Charles Kondek in a ceremony prior to Sunday's game at Tropicana Field.
Kondek was killed in the line of duty on December 21, 2014. Full Story
His 285 call sign will be added to the leftfield wall that includes those of three St. Petersburg police officers who were killed in 2011: Thomas Baitinger, Jeffrey Yaslowitz and David Crawford.
Kondek's wife, Teresa, and children, Holly, Andrew, Charlie, Brandon and Aleena will attend the ceremony along with members of the Tarpon Springs pollice, led by chief Robert Kochen.
"On behalf of the Tarpon Springs Police Department and the Kondek family, we greatly appreciate the Rays organization for honoring and remembering officer Charles Kondek by having his name displayed inside Tropicana Field," Kochen said in a statement. "We cannot express how much this means to Officer Kondek's family, the Police Department, and our community. Once again, thank you to the Rays organization."
EVE EDELHEIT | Times
Erasmo Ramirez struggled mightily pitching in relief on Friday in Miami.
UPDATE, 4:51: With Dominguez replacing Yates, Rays now have a major-league most 8 rookie on 25-man roster.
UPDATE, 4:45: Dominguez said he was pleased to get called up and ready to show he can pitch regularly in the majors. ... Kiermaier said he welcomes the chance to play vs. a LHP and hopes to get the opportunity to be an everyday player.
UPDATE, 3:42: Lefty-swinging Kevin Kiermaier gets a start vs. LHP Mark Buehrle today, and Desmond Jennings is the DH.
Also, the Rays have assigned RHP Ronald Belisario, who was sidelined during the first part of spring training with a left shoulder fracture, to Triple-A Durham.
DEVELOPING: The Rays take on the Jays again tonight in Toronto, seeking to push their winning streak to five.
The biggest issue may be getting a solid start from RHP Erasmo Ramirez, who struggled mightily pitching in relief on Friday in Miami. …Full Story
As expected, the Rays called up RHP Jose Dominguez to add a fresh arm to their bullpen.
Dominguez, who last pitched Sunday for Triple-A Durham, will wear No. 52.
Dominguez, 24, was acquired from the Dodgers in November along with minor-league RHP Greg Harris in a deal for RHP Joel Peralta and minor-league LHP Adam Liberatore.
He has made 14 previous big-league appearances, nine in 2013 and five in 2014, with a 6.14 ERA. He is a hard-thrower, clocked as high as 100.6 mph in the majors, and supposedly as high as 103 in the minors. He also is cousins with Rays RHP Alex Colome.
The Rays created space by sending down RHP Kirby Yates, who threw 43 pitches over two innings on Tuesday and would have not been available for several days.
The Rays after Tuesday's game named RHP Erasmo Ramirez to start Wednesday and sent down RHP Kirby Yates in order to add a fresh arm to their bullpen.
Ramirez seemed the likely candidate unless he was needed in relief Tuesday; he is coming off a brutal Rays debut on Friday in Miami, but the Rays are hoping a few days to settle in will help his performance.
Yates threw 43 pitches in working two innings on Tuesday, and likely would have been unavailable for at least a few days.
The Rays said they will announce the corresponding move on Wednesday; RHP Jose Dominguez, a hard-throwier acquired during the off-season from the Dodgers, seems the most likely candidate, given that he hasn't pitched since Sunday.
Also, he is on the 40-man roster (RHP Brandon Gomes is not, requiring another player be let go); and a right-hander matches up better against the Blue Jays (C.J. Riefenhauser, the other likely option is a lefty.)
WILL VRAGOVIC | Times
Matt Andriese will be on the mound for the Rays, making his first big-league start.
UPDATE, 5:51: Seems clear that Rays plan is to start Ramirez on Wednesday if not used tonight. If he is, they could start Geltz or a called-up reliever and have a bullpen day. ... Cash said getting Cabrera off his feet for a DH day was driving force in the lineup alignment. Conversations about using Rivera at 1B started after Loney was hurt.
UPDATE, 4:52: The Rays signed LHP Andrew Oliver, who last pitched in the majors in 2011 with Detroit, to a minor-league deal, providing depth, likely at Triple-A Durham. ... 1B Allan Dykstra is handling the "fame" of his pre-game black eye well, showing off a video of the incident sent to him by former teammate Cole Figueroa and saying his wife texted him after seeing the clip on TV asking, "Why are you trying to bunt?
UPDATE, 4:43: Trying to go as right-handed as possible, the Rays have an unusual looking lineup for tonight. …Full Story
A couple of topics left over from the Rays' 2-1 win over the Jays on Monday:
* While Rays manager Kevin Cash said he understood and may have done the same thing in that situation, several Rays players said they were surprised to see Jose Bautista trying to steal with a full count on Edwin Encarnacion and no outs in the ninth.
So, too, apparently, was Bautista, who told Toronto reporters he was told by his coaches to go: "At first they didn't, and they must have had their reasons why, and I don't question. I just follow the signs and the orders. And I went because they gave me the sign."
Also, Bautista said: "I'm not that fast. And it was a high fastball. The catcher's got a good arm. Unfortunately, we took a gamble and it didn't pay off."
* Rays 1B Allan Dykstra had two "souvenirs" from the game, the ball from his first big-league hit, and the shiner on his left eye after a misdirected bunt during batting pratice left him noticeably bruised. …
Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke positively again of Montreal as a potential site for a major-league team, but also said again that Rays owner Stuart Sternberg remains committed to finding a stadium solution in the Tampa Bay area.Full Story
Speaking before throwing out the first pitch at the Jays home opener, Mandfred said it was "impossible to tell" about a specific timeline for putting a team back in Montreal, though he did say expansion was "a back-burner issue" for now and that relocation "obviously depends on developments in other markets.''
Manfred said he has spoken with Sternberg, who said last week that he did not expect any further negotitations with St. Petersburg officials about being able to look for new sites until after the season.
"I think he remains amazingly committed to the idea of trying to make Tampa work,'' Manfred said. "He is realistic about the fact that the timelime probably shifted a little bit. As I've said before, I think the key for Major League Baseabll is to follow the lead of the local ownership. They have the feel for what's going on in that local community, what the timing can be, what can be accomplished. And I'm very comfortable following Stu's lead on this one.'' …
Jake Odorizzi will be on the mound for the Rays, coming off his solid Wednesday outing against the Orioles.
UPDATE, 5:53: One interesting factor in tonight's game will be the new AstroTurf installed at the Rogers Centre. Rays coaches and staff took an early look at it, and their initial impressions are that it will play very slow. That could mean ground balls don't get through the infield as quickly, and that balls don't get to, or past, outfielders as quickly as usual.
Manager Kevin Cash said Matt Andriese is set to start Tuesday but the Rays will wait to see how tonight's game, and possibly Tuesday's go, before announcing a Wednesday starter.
Cash said he had no advice for his hitters in facing knuckleballer R.A. Dickey tonight, though did suggest they are better off swinging earlier in the count.
LHP Jake McGee (elbow surgery) threw 30 pitches of live batting practice on Monday in Port Charlotte and is set to throw in an extended spring game on Thursday.
Blue Jays lineup:
UPDATE, 5:49: As expected, Tim Beckham is the Rays lineup tonight and will be the next two nights as well: …Full Story
UPDATE, 12:08 A couple of notes from Rays manager Kevin Cash's pregame media session:
RHP Matt Andriese will make his first start on Tuesday in Toronto. .... RHP Alex Colome (pneumonia) came through his Saturday rehab start well and will make another on Thursday. ... Cash said they are now talking about a slightly slower track with LHP Drew Smyly (shoulder), who is now likely to make a fourth rehab start, which will push his return to the end of April. ... Cash said Souza was scheduled to be off because they like the matchup with DeJesus in left, but acknowledged the break could help. .... And though Cash was polite in saying this outfield alignment was most comfortable for all three, it's obvious that Kiermaier is in right because he has the strongest arm. ... Though the Rays didn't take BP before day games under Maddon, Cash said he knows that some players want to get out on the field and the coaches are there to help them prepare, and 8-10 players took advantage of it.
UPDATE, 12:01: The Marlins dropped Ozuna from their lineup after he showed up late, and will start Ichiro Suzuki in center. …Full Story
UPDATE, 3:54: Cash indicated the Rays are leaning toward starting RHP Matt Andriese on Tuesday in Toronto, and that RHP Erasmo Ramirez could start Wednesday. They are set with RHP Jake Odorizzi on Monday and RHP Chris Archer on Thursday.
DEVELOPING: After a 10-9 10-inning walkoff loss Friday that was both inspiring and frustrating, the Rays take on the Marlins again today at 4:10 with opening day starter Chris Archer on the mound.
Archer felt, and Rays coaches and staff agreed, that he pitched well Monday, probably better than his final line indicated. And his plan for today is not change anything as he attacks a Marlins lineup that is similarly right-handed heavy.
Seminole High product Bobby Wilson will be behind the plate, making his first start. Rene Rivera started the first four games, though is 0-for-15 thus far.
Here are the lineups:
Gordon 2bFull Story
WILL VRAGOVIC | Times
Seeking creative ways to manage their injury depleted pitching staff, the Rays tonight will start RHP Steve Geltz, who has never started a game in his eight-year pro career.
UPDATE, 6:43: Cash said they want to get both Andriese and Ramirez into the game, so it seems clear they didn't anticipate enough length from either to make it worth starting them. And if they can catch a break when pitcher's spot comes up first time and they pinch hit that is even better.
UPDATE, 4:37: Geltz - not adopting usual starter protocol of not talking to media pre-game - said he is excited by opportunity, had been told Wednesday night it was a possibility and Thursday for sure - and plans to keep normal routine.
That includes warming up in the bullpen and going straight to mound, as a reliever would, rather than finish his warmups and watch the top of the first inning from the dugout as most starters.
"Normal day,'' he said. "I'm just going to treat it like a normal outing, nothing special.'' …Full Story