Monday, October 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays add Ozzie Timmons to staff, lose head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield to Dodgers

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays completed the makeover of their staff Friday by promoting Ozzie Timmons to be the first base/assistant hitting coach, but they lost the leader of their well-respected athletic training staff as Ron Porterfield took a higher-level job with the Dodgers.

Timmons, 47, has coached in the Rays system for 11 years, the past two at Triple A after working his way up from Class A. He worked along the way with current hitting coach Chad Mottola. A Tampa native and Brandon High and University of Tampa product, Timmons played parts of five seasons in the majors, last with the Devil Rays in 2000, during a 16-year pro career.

Timmons was the first of a half-dozen candidates interviewed. Manager Kevin Cash said the more he talked to the others, and the more he heard from players and staff about Timmons, specifically regarding his approach and attitude, a difficult decision came to an obvious conclusion.

"The most impressive thing about Ozzie, besides the baseball, is that his demeanor is the same," Cash said. "He’s a very upbeat guy. His demeanor is consistent every day. … There’s a lot of people that had a lot of nice things to say about Ozzie throughout this process.’’

Timmons said he was thrilled to get back to the majors as a coach, admitting he didn’t expect it to take 12 years, and even more so with the hometown Rays. "To be able to work with the guys that I worked with in the minors is going to be even better because you have that relationship," he said. "It should be an easy transition."

Porterfield, 52, has been head athletic trainer for 12 years and in the organization for 21, making it "a difficult decision" to leave. He will join the Dodgers, working for former Rays boss Andrew Friedman, as medical director. The Rays are expected to replace him from within, candidates including assistants Paul Harker and Mark Vinson and minor-league training coordinator Joe Benge.

Also, former Rays outfielder Sam Fuld, known for his hustling and fearless style, announced his retirement as a player and took a front-office job with the Phillies.

AROUND THE MAJORS: The Marlins declined outfielder Ichiro Suzuki’s $2 million team option, making him a free agent. The 44-year-old has said he wants to play until he’s 50. … Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka said he will not exercise his opt-out clause and will remain with the team through 2020. … The Indians are convinced outfielder Michael Brantley will be healthy and productive, and they exercised his $11.5 million option for 2018. … The Pirates exercised their $14.75 million option on outfielder Andrew McCutchen.

Comments
Rays tales: Why Rocco Baldelli is a hot candidate for manager openings

Rays tales: Why Rocco Baldelli is a hot candidate for manager openings

(Updated Monday morning)ST. PETERSBURG — Rocco Baldelli has sure been popular this off-season.And busy.The current Rays coach and former outfielder interviewed with five of the six teams looking to hire a manager — the Angels, Blue Jays, ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Price helps Red Sox finish off Astros in 5 games, head to World Series

Price helps Red Sox finish off Astros in 5 games, head to World Series

Former Rays starter David Price put his postseason woes behind him, pitching the Red Sox past the defending champion Houston Astros 4-1 Thursday night in Game 5 of the AL Championship Series.
Published: 10/19/18
Rays’ Rocco Baldelli reportedly a finalist for Toronto job

Rays’ Rocco Baldelli reportedly a finalist for Toronto job

Rays coach Rocco Baldelli is one of five finalists for the Blue Jays manager's job, Sportsnet's Shi Davidi reported.Three other finalists were said to be Astros bench coach Joe Espada, Giants farm director David Bell and Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde...
Published: 10/16/18
Rays sending 4 trucks of supplies to hurricane-ravaged area

Rays sending 4 trucks of supplies to hurricane-ravaged area

The Rays will send four trucks of donated water, food and supplies to Bay County on Wednesday morning to help those affected by Hurricane Michael.About 20 staffers are making what will be a 36-hour trip to the Florida Panhandle as they deliver and di...
Published: 10/16/18
Rays make first 2019 signing, add LHP Ryan Sherriff

Rays make first 2019 signing, add LHP Ryan Sherriff

The Rays made their first move of the off-season, signing LHP Ryan Sherriff to a minor-league deal.Sherriff, 28, is recovering from June Tommy John elbow surgery so at best would be a late-season addition to the big-league roster.He has pitched parts...
Published: 10/16/18
Rays’ Rocco Baldelli interviews with Rangers

Rays’ Rocco Baldelli interviews with Rangers

Interest in Rays coach Rocco Baldelli as a manager continues to grow, as he interviewed for another opening on Monday, this time with the Texas Rangers.Baldelli, 37, has also interviewed with the Reds, and reportedly with the Twins. The Angels and Bl...
Published: 10/15/18
David Price finally leads Red Sox to a postseason victory. Sort of

David Price finally leads Red Sox to a postseason victory. Sort of

BOSTON — According to standard baseball measurements, David Price did not pitch well on Sunday night. The former Ray gave up four runs in fewer than five innings, handed back a lead that his Boston Red Sox teammates had given him in the first inning ...
Published: 10/15/18
Sports Illustrated: Rays were baseball’s ‘most consequential’ team in 2018

Sports Illustrated: Rays were baseball’s ‘most consequential’ team in 2018

They won't win the World Series. And they didn't even make the playoffs.Yet, the Rays were baseball's "most consequential baseball team" this season, according to Sports Illustrated.The opener strategy first employed by the Rays presents "the biggest...
Published: 10/15/18
Add Reds to teams Rays’ Rocco Baldelli has talked with

Add Reds to teams Rays’ Rocco Baldelli has talked with

We told you in Sunday's Tampa Bay Times that Rays coach Rocco Baldelli was a "hot name" for the six current managerial openings, and had already been connected with the Blue Jays, Rangers and Twins.There was word Sunday morning of formal contact with...
Published: 10/14/18
Rays Tales: Is moving on from C.J. Cron the right move?

Rays Tales: Is moving on from C.J. Cron the right move?

ST. PETERSBURG —The Rays' primary target this offseason seems to be adding a right-handed impact bat.And to do so, they are likely to get rid of the one they have, 30-homer hitting 1B/DH C.J. Cron.Why?In short, to try to upgrade. And gain some ...
Published: 10/13/18
Updated: 10/15/18