Saturday, February 17, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

After extra rest, Smyly set to return for Rays

ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Drew Smyly returns to the mound tonight after being skipped over during the last turn through the rotation. It was the first time the Rays did that with a starting pitcher this season, and it won't be the last.

"(With the four-man rotation) those guys really never got a day here, a day there like they normally would have," pitching coach Jim Hickey said before Tuesday's game. "We'll do the same things with the other guys coming up, probably relatively soon."

The Rays have an off day on the upcoming road trip. They also have RHP Matt Andriese, who has made seven starts, in the bullpen, and manager Kevin Cash said that Andriese will likely get another start this season.

That combination could be used to give one or more starters extra rest between starts.

"We do it every year," Hickey said. "It's just early right now."

Smyly, who pitches tonight for the first time in 10 days, said he was glad to have the rest.

"I was obviously in a little bit of a slump so I just think the team used it as the time to give me a few extra days," he said. "It really only translates to three extra days rest. I feel fine, but I'll take it, take a breather and get right back out there."

The down time allowed Smyly the opportunity to throw an extra bullpen session and work on his breaking pitches, which have not been as sharp as late.

"I think him feeling a little bit more energized is going to help," Hickey said.

SOUZA LEAVES WITH INJURY: RF Steven Souza Jr. left Tuesday's game in the seventh inning with left-hip soreness. He missed a diving attempt on a sinking liner by DH Nelson Cruz and limped as he chased after the ball. "I think right now it doesn't look too bad. We'll know more tomorrow," Souza said. X-rays were negative.

THIRD-ROUND PICK SIGNS: The Rays signed five draft picks, including third round pick RHP Austin Franklin from Paxton (Fla.) High.He signed for $600,000, which is under the $676,200 suggested bonus for that slot (90th pick). "When I got drafted it didn't seem real. It felt like a dream," Franklin said. "But once I signed the contract it finally set it, and I'm eager to get going." The Rays also signed RHP Brandon Lawson of USF (12th round), RHP Joe Serrapica (24), C Jean Ramirez (28) and SS Deion Tansel (32).

KARNS RETURNS: RHP Nathan Karns, voted the 2015 Rays rookie of the year by the Tampa Bay chapter of the BBWAA, faces his old team tonight when he makes his 13th start of the season for the Mariners. Asked if this is a special outing, Karms said, "It's different in that it's the most former teammates in a lineup that I'll face, where I can sit there and compete against guys that I joked around with and said, 'What if we faced (each other)?' Now we finally get those answers and see whose smack talk is going to get backed up. It's going to be fun."

MEDICAL MATTERS: RHP Ryan Webb (right pectoral strain) is scheduled to pitch one inning tonight for Class A Charlotte. CF Kevin Kiermaier (left hand fracture) will be examined today by Rays hand specialist Dr. Douglas Carlan. He will have an X-ray taken Friday. LHP Johnny Venters (Tommy John surgery) completed the second half of back-to-back appearances Tuesday for Charlotte.

LONG BALL: LF Corey Dickerson homered off the D-ring catwalk in rightfield during the second inning Tuesday. Dickerson is the first to reach the D-ring this season.

Comments
Live from Port Charlotte: Rays to continue parade of arms

Live from Port Charlotte: Rays to continue parade of arms

UPDATE, 9:59: Span, Williams and Velazquez have all reported to camp, leaving the Rays just Hechavarria shy of  a full house.Velazquez, who played last season at Double-A Montgomery, said he was pleasantly surprised to get a call on Tuesday, whi...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
Dave Martinez has brought a slightly different approach to spring training

Dave Martinez has brought a slightly different approach to spring training

WEST PALM BEACH – Washington Nationals pitchers and catchers began Friday's workout at 9:30 a.m. with their daily Circle of Trust meeting. The gathering, designed to foster communication and competition, closed with hearty applause before the p...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Miami-Dade County sues seeking money from sale of Marlins

Miami-Dade County sues seeking money from sale of Marlins

MIAMI — Miami-Dade County is suing former Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and the new ownership group led by Derek Jeter seeking money from the $1.2 billion sale of the team.The suit contends a 2009 agreement calls for the county and city of ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
What does Rays Kiermaier want to prove? Only that he’s best on the planet

What does Rays Kiermaier want to prove? Only that he’s best on the planet

PORT CHARLOTTE  — Kevin Kiermaier has his own honey do list.Married life has been good since he and Marissa had the "best-day-ever" November wedding then a "week-in-paradise" honeymoon in Antigua. And if that didn't make for a hectic enoug...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Joe Maddon impressed by Anthony Rizzo’s emotional speech at vigil

Joe Maddon impressed by Anthony Rizzo’s emotional speech at vigil

By Paul SullivanChicago Tribune (TNS)Anthony Rizzo's emotional speech Thursday in Florida at the vigil for victims of the Parkland school shooting continued to reverberate a day later.Manager Joe Maddon texted his first baseman afterwards, telling Ri...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Rays journal: Odorizzi knows how much he’ll get paid, but from who?

Rays journal: Odorizzi knows how much he’ll get paid, but from who?

PORT CHARLOTTE — RHP Jake Odorizzi was pleased to get resolved how much he will get paid this season, winning a $6.3 million salary when he prevailed in an arbitration hearing for the second straight year.But he is still dealing with the uncert...
Published: 02/16/18
Live from Port Charlotte: Arms impress, Sternberg visits, Sucre reports

Live from Port Charlotte: Arms impress, Sternberg visits, Sucre reports

UPDATE, 12:45: Having seen all pitchers in camp throw over the first few days, manager Kevin Cash has been impressed:"There's a lot of "wow" arms."Also Friday:* Principal owner Stuart Sternberg made his first visit to camp, and spoke just briefly abo...
Published: 02/16/18
Rizzo leaves Cubs camp, returns home to Parkland in wake of shooting

Rizzo leaves Cubs camp, returns home to Parkland in wake of shooting

MESA, Ariz. — Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo left spring training Thursday for his home in Parkland in South Florida to offer support in the wake of a deadly shooting at his former high school.RELATED: 'When you're killing children &#...
Published: 02/16/18
MLB’s Manfred likes Ybor site, says business community must step up to get Rays stadium built

MLB’s Manfred likes Ybor site, says business community must step up to get Rays stadium built

ST. PETERSBURG — The last time MLB commissioner Rob Manfred spoke at Tropicana Field in August, he called for urgency and pushed for action in the Rays oft-stalled pursuit of a new stadium.Now that the Rays have advanced to selecting and commit...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Tropicana Field may be named for a Pepsi product, but it will now only serve Coke

Tropicana Field may be named for a Pepsi product, but it will now only serve Coke

ST. PETERSBURG — The Tampa Bay Rays’ stadium may be named for PepsiCo’s Tropicana orange juice, but that’s not stopping the baseball team from switching its pouring rights to Coke.The Rays said Wednesday the ballpark would begin serving Coca-Cola pro...
Published: 02/15/18