Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Desmond Jennings travels with Tampa Bay Rays despite knee sprain

The Rays said Monday an MRI exam on LF Desmond Jennings revealed a left knee sprain, and he'll be monitored daily.

The good news for Tampa Bay is that Jennings isn't going on the disabled list — at least for now — and he traveled with the team on its eight-game, three-city road trip that starts in New York tonight.

Jennings left Sunday's game in the second inning with what the team described as "left knee soreness."

Manager Joe Maddon had said he thought the injury occurred on Jennings' first-inning head-first slide home, when the speedy leadoff man scored on a sacrifice fly.

Maddon said if Jennings can't play tonight, more than likely it'll be Matt Joyce in left, B.J. Upton in center and Ben Zobrist in right.

TOUGH TASK: The Rays have maintained a lead over the Yankees since their season-opening sweep at Tropicana Field but head into the series in New York wary of the task they face.

"They have good pitching, they have one of the best lineups in all of baseball," DH Luke Scott said. "They are a very good team. That's how we look at them. We respect our opponent, but we're also a very good team."

The Rays (19-10) spent the past few weeks facing every team in the American League West. RHP James Shields said it'll be nice to get back into "familiar territory" with this trip featuring three AL East foes, including a Baltimore team that entered Monday with the best record in the majors.

"You look at Toronto, that's a first-place team in any other division, Yankees are a first-place team, Boston, too," Scott said. "You've got five just dominant teams. There's no breaks."

STRONG SHIELDS: Shields, who allowed six runs in a no-decision opening day against the Yankees, has won every start since, carrying a major league-leading five wins into tonight's start.

"Obviously you can tweak a few things here and there, but for the most part I'm feeling really good right now," Shields said. "I've had some pretty decent bullpen sessions, and I've just got to keep rolling."

NO SLOUCH: While the absence of legendary Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, out with a torn ACL, leaves a significant void, the Rays say RHP David Robertson is a formidable fill-in.

Robertson, an All-Star last season, has not given up a run in 27 consecutive appearances dating to Aug. 29.

"I know from facing him, he's not a fun at-bat," Scott said. "He's got really good stuff. And he's got the longest stride of any pitcher in baseball. So when you see 94-96 (mph) on the gun, it's more like 98-100."

ON THE MOVE: Scott is working back into potentially being able to play in the field, saying he's 10-12 days into a throwing program as he attempts to strengthen his surgically repaired right shoulder.

"I can play first base right now," Scott said. "I can probably get the ball into the cutoff man now, but I want to be able to put a little bit on it, where I can hold guys to a single."

Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Rays put Jake Faria on DL, call up Vidal Nuno

Rays put Jake Faria on DL, call up Vidal Nuno

The Rays, as expected, are placing RHP Jake Faria on the 10-day DL with a left oblique strain that he sustained during Tuesday's game.Somewhat unexpectedly, they are calling up LHP Vidal Nuno to take his place.Nuno, 30, has pitched parts of five seas...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays morning after: Faria frustrated after latest letdown

Rays morning after: Faria frustrated after latest letdown

Whatever pain RHP Jake Faria was feeling as a result of the oblique muscle on the left side he strained throwing a fourth-inning slider to Boston's Hanley Ramirez couldn't compare to the hurt in his heart.Forced to leave Tuesday's game and likely hea...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Willy Adames homers, but Rays fall to Red Sox and suffer injuries

Willy Adames homers, but Rays fall to Red Sox and suffer injuries

ST. PETERSBURG — Top prospect Willy Adames is only going to get to stay with the Rays for a few days, so good for him for making the most of it with a home run in his first big-league game, and off Red Sox ace Chris Sale no less.But the good fe...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin's takeaways from Rays 4-2 loss to Red Sox on Tuesday:* The Rays record against a Red Sox team they consider a measuring stick doesn't look very good at 3-8. But, as manager Kevin Cash and several players pointed out, there is some consola...
Published: 05/22/18
Rays journal: Critics don’t faze Sergio Romo or team

Rays journal: Critics don’t faze Sergio Romo or team

ST. PETERSBURG — Criticisms of the Rays' latest innovative pitching strategy have piled up since Angels INF Zack Cosart said after Sunday's game that starting RHP Sergio Romo to get the first three-six outs was "bad for baseball.''One of the lo...
Published: 05/22/18
For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Faria on the mound

For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Faria on the mound

UPDATE, 6:04: Cash said the Rays don't know yet if Wendle will be  back Thursday or Friday, though with the Sox starting RHP Rick Porcello on Thursday that would make sense. …  Cash said OF Carlos Gomez (groin strain) will run the bas...
Published: 05/22/18
Rays call up top prospect Willy Adames – but only for a couple days

Rays call up top prospect Willy Adames – but only for a couple days

The Rays have called up top prospect INF Willy Adames – though likely for a short stay.INF Joey Wendle was placed on the paternity list Tuesday, which allows him to miss up to three days.Manager Kevin Cash said Adames is headed back to Triple-A...
Published: 05/22/18
Rays journal: Christian Arroyo set to play first game at Tropicana Field

Rays journal: Christian Arroyo set to play first game at Tropicana Field

ST. PETERSBURG  — Christian Arroyo has watched more than 50 Rays games at Tropicana Field from the stands. Has been on the turf for his younger sister's gymnastics competitions and once, while it was in football configuration, to take grou...
Published: 05/21/18
There’s a swing by Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier …. and a gender reveal for November baby

There’s a swing by Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier …. and a gender reveal for November baby

Tampa Bay Rays OF Kevin Kiermaier and his wife Marisa are having a boy.Kiermaier shared the news on Twitter over the weekend in a most appropriate themed gender reveal event — taking a swing at ball that exploded with blue powder.Looks like im ...
Published: 05/21/18
What’s next for the Rays’ new pitching strategy

What’s next for the Rays’ new pitching strategy

ST. PETERSBURG — When Kevin Cash called team president Matt Silverman Sunday morning to wish him happy birthday, he expected to get back some form of an "attaboy" for implementing the Rays' latest unorthodox pitching strategy in using reliever ...
Published: 05/21/18