Sunday, January 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Chris Archer plans adjustments for next Rays start

ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Chris Archer takes the mound tonight against the Orioles with a pretty good idea what happened during his last start Thursday in Boston — how, after sailing through the first four innings, he couldn't throw strikes and couldn't get out of the fifth.

"I just tried to be a little too fine," he said. "I went away from my aggressive mentality, and it was only for like two hitters, but I put myself in a bind.

"So I learned to stick with my consistent thoughts. Don't get outside my consistent thoughts because against any team, let alone the Red Sox, things can change quickly. So as long as I stay within myself and stay within my thoughts, I'll be fine. And last game I didn't do that in the fifth inning. And then when I brought it back together it was a tough situation."

What Archer is not as clear on is why it happened.

"I don't know," he said. "I haven't really thought about that. I just know that it happened. And I know that if it happens for two pitches next game to get back to it immediately instead of waiting 10-12 pitches to make an adjustment with my mind. Because everything that was happening with my delivery — and I was out of synch — started with my mind.

"So as long as I stay consistent and recognize right away — take a deep breath, stay within your thoughts — regardless of the situation, regardless of the batter, it's pitch execution 100 percent, and not worry about anything else."

SUSPENSION NEWS: Triple-A Durham RHP Steve Geltz became the latest Rays minor-leaguer suspended for drug issues, given a 50-day ban after a second positive test for a drug of abuse. Geltz was 2-2, 3.86 in 11 games. … RHP Alex Colome, serving his 50-game suspension after testing positive for PEDs, worked two innings (47 pitches) for Class A Charlotte in his first rehab start. He is eligible to be reinstated May 25.

RELIEF COMING: The Rays are expected to add RHP Brad Boxberger to their bullpen for tonight's game, taking the spot created by designating RHP Heath Bell for assignment. Boxberger, who worked two innings in the nightcap of Thursday's doubleheader as the 26th man, has been impressive and gives the Rays depth and more flexibility.

HOT ROD: While OF Wil Myers showing signs of heating up might have been the most promising takeaway from the tail end of the road trip, INF/OF Sean Rodriguez was impressive, too, taking advantage of increased playing time to go 7-for-19 with four doubles and his team co-leading fourth homer while playing solid defense at several positions.

"The biggest difference is his at-bats," manager Joe Maddon said. "He's really developed a patience at the plate. Obviously we always knew the power was there; now he's working a higher quality at-bat on a consistent basis, even more so against right-handers than he has in the past. He's earned the right to get these opportunities."

MISCELLANY: 2B Ben Zobrist, in a 1-for-22 skid, is expected back in the lineup tonight after getting Sunday off. … At 6-0, the Rays are the only team in the majors not to lose a one-run game. … The Rays Tampa Chamber of Commerce luncheon is Friday, with Myers and OF Brandon Guyer set to join Maddon and team president Matt Silverman.

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