Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

New delivery for Jays' Drabek

BRADENTON — Blue Jays RHP Kyle Drabek is eager to prove that last season was an aberration.

Drabek, the son of former Cy Young Award winner Doug Drabek and one of the key prospects in the December 2009 deal that sent RHP Roy Halladay to the Phillies, had a miserable rookie season, going 4-5 with a 6.06 ERA in 18 appearances, walking 55 and striking out 51 in 782/3 innings. His struggles continued after he was demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas, where he had a 7.44 ERA in 15 starts

Drabek, still just 24, reported to Florida two weeks before the start of spring training after working on his mechanics all winter.

"In my windup, I'm trying to stay back and not spin off so much," Drabek said. "Last year, we figured out that spinning off doesn't allow me to throw my fastball where I want to. We're working on me trying to stay straight up, staying smooth and being able to repeat it with each pitch."

Wednesday, in a split-squad game against the Pirates, Drabek allowed three runs on four hits in two innings. He walked one and struck out two.

"I thought it went good, although the numbers don't show it," Drabek said. "There were some that got away from me, but for the most part I was where I wanted to be."

IN DUNEDIN: Toronto's "A" squad played a 3-3 game with the Red Sox as RHP Brandon Morrow pitched two one-hit innings.

Phils: Doc's assist

CLEARWATER — RHP Vance Worley was not concerned about the two runs he gave up in his spring debut. He was busy tinkering with his new pitch.

"I tried to work on the split-fingered change a little bit and my location was not all that great and the results didn't exactly come with it," Worley said after the Phillies were roughed up by the Astros 10-3.

Worley, 24, worked mostly off his sinker to go 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA in 25 games (21 starts) as a rookie. But in an effort to avoid a sophomore slump, he has been experimenting with a changeup.

Two-time Cy Young Award winner and Phillies ace Roy Halladay showed Worley the changeup grip before camp opened last month.

"It's Doc's grip," Worley said. "He showed it to me, said just mess with it. I threw a few of them and said, 'That's a good pitch.' I did throw one (Wednesday) that was good."

CHANGING TUNE: Though the Dropkick Murphys insisted they were kidding when they said former Red Sox RHP Jonathan Papelbon couldn't use Shipping Up to Boston as his entrance music, the new Phillies closer said he plans to change it anyway. He is keeping it a secret until he pitches in Philadelphia.

WILLIS POUNDED: Former All-Star LHP Dontrelle Willis scuffled in his latest bid to win a spot in the bullpen, allowing four runs on three hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning. Afterward, Willis complained of arm fatigue and soreness.

Yanks: Warming up

TAMPA — Though he was roughed up a bit in a 4-0 loss to the Rays, RHP Hiroki Kuroda was pleased with his first game action as a Yankee.

"The most important thing I wanted to accomplish was the feeling for the real game," Kuroda, 37, said through an interpreter. "I think I was able to do that, so I'm happy."

Kuroda allowed three runs in two innings. He signed a one-year, $10 million contract with New York after spending all four of his big-league seasons with the Dodgers.

INSPIRING: Donnie Moore of the evangelical ministry Radical Reality, the latest motivational speaker brought in by manager Joe Girardi, put on quite a show, tearing apart a soda can and a telephone book with his bare hands. And he took a frying pan and rolled it up. "Like a burrito," Girardi said.

YOGI ARRIVES: Hall of Fame C Yogi Berra, 86, showed up for his annual stint as a guest instructor. "I felt like camp started today; Yogi's here," Girardi said. "It was great to see him. It just kind of puts a smile on everyone's face."

CASHMAN CASE: Louise Neathway, who is charged with extorting $6,000 from Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, may testify next week before a grand jury weighing the case.

>>LOCAL CAMPS

Blue Jays

Where: Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin

Today: 1:05 vs. Yankees, Dunedin

Info: bluejays.com/spring training; (727) 733-0429

Phillies

Where: Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater

Today: 1:05 vs. Pirates, Clearwater

Info: phillies.com/spring training; (727) 467-4457

Yankees

Where: Steinbrenner Field, corner of Dale Mabry and Martin Luther King, Tampa

Info: yankees.com/spring training; (813) 879-2244

Comments
Rays up next: at Orioles, 7:10 Tuesday

Rays up next: at Orioles, 7:10 Tuesday

Tuesday:  at Orioles7:05, Camden Yards, BaltimoreTV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish) Probable pitchersRays:  RH Jake Faria (1-1, 5.82)Orioles: RH Alex Cobb (0-2, 15.43)On Faria: Coming off quality start vs. Rangers, allowing ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays prospect Adames hits for cycle

Rays prospect Adames hits for cycle

Willy Adames, the Rays top position player prospect, touched all the bases in hitting for the cycle in Triple-A Durham's Monday's win over Buffalo.Adames doubled in the first inning, singled in the fifth, tripled in the sixth and completed the rare f...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Former Rays pitcher Danny Farquhar “progressing well’ after surgery

Former Rays pitcher Danny Farquhar “progressing well’ after surgery

As former teammates with the Rays and throughout baseball share thoughts and prayers, RHP Danny Farquhar is "progressing well" in a Chicago hospital after suffering a hemorrhage caused by a brain aneurysm on Friday.The White Sox on Monday released th...
Published: 04/23/18
Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

ST. PETERSBURG — Absolutely, Alex Cobb was saying over the phone, it's going to be weird pitching Tuesday against the Rays.The organization that he owes so much for rearing him since high school, standing by him through assorted injuries, enabl...
Published: 04/23/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays win on Carlos Gomez’s walkoff home run

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays win on Carlos Gomez’s walkoff home run

Carlos Gomez, who had been struggling, delivers a two-run, walkoff home run as the Rays sweep the Twins for the first time at Tropicana Field. Rick Stroud discusses the moment and the celebration that followed Gomez's first career walkoff hit in toda...
Published: 04/23/18
Rays are suddenly swinging hot bats, but will it last?

Rays are suddenly swinging hot bats, but will it last?

ST. PETERSBURG — Good pitching and hitting go hand in glove, but the Rays did not look like a team that could swing the bats very well until this completed homestand.In their series sweep over the Twins, Tampa Bay scored 8, 10 and 8 runs. ...
Published: 04/22/18
Rick Stroud’s takeaways from Rays-Twins

Rick Stroud’s takeaways from Rays-Twins

–Yonny Chirinos may be the Rays fourth starter, but it seems to be in name only. He was lifted after pitching 4 2/3 innings against the Twin on Sunday, the shortest start of his career and his second-shortest appearance.  "Going into the g...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays’ Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

Rays’ Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

ST. PETERSBURG — With every swing, there is a chance Carlos Gomez is going to do something extraordinary with the baseball bat.He may swing so violently that he spins himself into the ground as if he were an oil drill. Or, you could see him sna...
Published: 04/22/18
For starters: Rays vs. Twins, going for the first series sweep of the season, 1:10 p.m.

For starters: Rays vs. Twins, going for the first series sweep of the season, 1:10 p.m.

Rays pitcher Yonny Chirinos is no longer just part of a bullpen day, he's the No. 4 starter and who goes to the mound at 1:10 p.m. against Phil Hughes to try to help Tampa Bay attempt to complete a three-game sweep of the Twins.Catcher Wilson Ramos g...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Members of the Rays organization sent their thoughts and prayers to former teammate Danny Farquhar, who was hospitalized Saturday night in Chicago in stable but critical condition after suffering a brain hemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm.Farqu...
Published: 04/22/18