Saturday, May 26, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Chris Archer done talking about David Ortiz

BALTIMORE — RHP Chris Archer is typically a man of many words, one of the most thoughtful and loquacious players in the Rays' clubhouse.

But he was pointedly short in his comments about facing Boston DH David Ortiz tonight for the first time since they exchanged words — via media interviews — in late July.

That was when Ortiz flipped his bat after hitting a homer. Archer spoke about Ortiz acting like he was "bigger than the game," and Ortiz questioned whether Archer had been around long enough to speak out.

Archer on Wednesday said — in not so many words — that he hadn't talked to Ortiz since, had "no expectations" of further issues, was over it and didn't know if Ortiz was.

"I'm not going to say anything about it," he said.

His focus, he insisted, will be on pitching: "Like always, 100 percent — intent, focus, pitch execution, period."

The Rays and Red Sox have a long history of brawls, scuffles, accusations and other such on- and off-field incidents. David Price also had issues with Ortiz this year.

Rays manager Joe Maddon said he had not given any thought to the possibility of extracurricular activities from either side in the four-game series. "I have a short-term memory when it comes to stuff like that," he said. "Sometimes players carry it a little deeper, longer; I get that. But I'm not wanting that. I hope it doesn't happen."

SMYLY LIMITED: LHP Drew Smyly has pitched well in his first five starts since coming from Detroit in the Price trade, his 1.50 ERA the best of anyone in his first five Tampa Bay starts.

But the 25-year-old may pitch only two or three more times this season. The Rays want to limit what already is a career-high total of 1411/3 innings. The Rays seek to cap innings increases for young pitchers to 20 to 30 percent in a year; Smyly threw 117 innings in 2012, then 76 in 2013 working exclusively in relief. "This is uncharted territory," Maddon said. "In a perfect world, 150, 160 (pitches) looks like the magic number."

HELP ON THE WAY: Maddon said four-five players — "the usual suspects" — would be added when rosters expand Monday. Two are expected to be OF David DeJesus, coming off the disabled list, and C Curt Casali. Two will be relievers from Triple A. RHP Brandon Gomes seems likely; other possibilities include LHP C.J. Riefenhauser (who is on the 40-man roster), and RHP Steve Geltz and LHP Adam Liberatore (who are not). The Bulls also have RHP Josh Lueke. The Rays plan to add a starting pitcher but may wait because the Bulls are in the playoffs. A few others are likely to be added when the Bulls are done.

'LONGO' LEGGING IT: Maddon said chatter from scouts that 3B Evan Longoria's lack of power is the product of not using his legs or lower half properly, and an accompanying insinuation he may be injured, is not valid.

"I couldn't disagree more," Maddon said, noting a shift in Longoria's approach to "push" the ball more to the right side. "Whenever you do that, your bottom half is not going to work like it would as if you were hitting the ball straightaway or you were pulling the ball.

"What I'm hearing is that they're saying he's hurt or his bottom's not working as well. I think it's been more approach, what he's been thinking. … His legs are fine; his bottom half is fine. I just think the approach was different, and now he's getting back to where he had been." And on cue, Longoria pulled a homer to left in the first inning.

MISCELLANY: Short-season A Hudson Valley secured a playoff spot with a 5-3 win over Connecticut. Class A Bowling Green has to wait another day after an 8-1 loss to South Bend. … Saturday is the annual "mystery ball" fundraiser benefitting All Children's Hospital.

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