Friday, April 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Grady Sizemore makes good first impression on Rays

ST. PETERSBURG — Less than two weeks after signing 32-year-old Grady Sizemore to a minor-league deal, the Rays inserted the three-time All-Star into the No. 2 spot as the DH on Sunday.

Whether the move represents a career resuscitation or cameo for Sizemore, whose career has been derailed by back and knee surgeries, remains to be seen. But if he can replicate Sunday's effort — 3-for-5, double, RBI — the former scenario could prevail.

Sizemore's three hits tied Tino Martinez (2004) and Gerald Williams (2000) for most in a Rays debut. A fourth well-hit ball resulted in a flyout to center.

"It was one of those days where you just feel good at the plate and you have good timing," said Sizemore, released by the Phillies on June 1. "I've gotten some good at-bats down in (Class A Charlotte) to help out, so I just try to come in here and put good at-bats together and do what I can."

For the short term, look for Sizemore, a left-handed hitter, to remain in the lineup, perhaps even periodically in the outfield. Cleveland, for whom Sizemore earned each of his All-Star nods, is expected to start all right-handers when it arrives at the Trop for a four-game series starting tonight.

KK IS OKAY: Sunday's addition of a veteran left-handed bat (Sizemore) prompted speculation about the health of CF Kevin Kiermaier, held out of the lineup for the second straight game Sunday. Kiermaier pinch-hit in the ninth, striking out on three pitches against Red Sox closer Koji Uehara.

"Just keeping him off the turf one more day," manager Kevin Cash said. "His legs are a little drained. He's fine."

ANDRIESE TO DURHAM: To make room on the active roster for Sizemore, the Rays optioned RHP Matt Andriese to Triple-A Durham. They made room on the 40-man roster by transferring OF Desmond Jennings (left knee surgery) from the 15- to the 60-day disabled list.

Less than 24 hours before, Andriese had his best start as a big-leaguer, holding the Red Sox to a hit over six innings in a 70-pitch gem. Still, Sunday's demotion was no surprise, with LHP Matt Moore returning this week.

"He looks like he's really figuring some things out," Cash said. "His last three outings were really good, and to do what he did (Saturday) against a very good team is pretty impressive."

NOT-SO-MINOR MATTER: Casey Gillaspie, the Rays' 2014 first-round pick, hit a grand slam in his debut for advanced Class A Charlotte. He had a Midwest League-high 16 home runs at Bowling Green before his promotion.

ODDS AND ENDS: Sizemore became the 46th player used by the Rays this season, extending a club record before the All-Star break. … The Rays have lost three times when recording double-digit hits during this homestand. In their first 71 games, they lost four when notching that many. … Red Sox RHP Justin Masterson, making his first start in nearly seven weeks following a DL stint, allowed no earned runs in five innings. "He wasn't throwing the same velocity that we're used to seeing him throw," Cash said. "But you could tell he had a lot of depth on his sinker and the slider had a lot of sweep to it." … The combined attendance for the Red Sox series was 63,347, highest for a three-game home series this season.

Comments
Span, Rays top Twins in 10 innings

Span, Rays top Twins in 10 innings

ST. PETERSBURG — Roughly four hours before taking the field against his former team Friday, Rays outfielder Denard Span spoke admirably about the Minnesota Twins, their organization in general, even hometown icon Joe Mauer.But business is busin...
Updated: 5 minutes ago
Rays journal: Miller back from DL, KK surgery successful

Rays journal: Miller back from DL, KK surgery successful

ST. PETERSBURG — For a change, the physically snake-bitten Rays got some vigor, versatility and even a veteran presence back in their lineup  when INF Brad Miller was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list.To make room, they DFA'd INF/OF...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Plan to entice developers to help pay for Rays ballpark hits speed bump

Plan to entice developers to help pay for Rays ballpark hits speed bump

TAMPA — Private developers would bear much of the cost of a new Rays stadium in Ybor City under a plan Hillsborough County officials are putting together.Developers would benefit by cashing in on commercial, retail and other construction around a ne...
Updated: 3 hours ago
For starters: Rays vs. Twins, 7:10 p.m.

For starters: Rays vs. Twins, 7:10 p.m.

Tonight's Rays lineup against the Twins. Brad Miller back in the lineup following his DL stint (left groin strain). First pitch at 7:10 p.m.LF Denard SpanDH C.J. CronRF Carlos Gomez1B Brad Miller3B Daniel Robertson2B Joey WendleC Wilson RamosCF Malle...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays DFA Brandon Snyder to activate Brad Miller

Rays DFA Brandon Snyder to activate Brad Miller

The Rays activated INF Brad Miller off the DL for Friday's game.Miller had been out 11 days due to a groin strain.To make room on the roster, they DFA'd INF/OF Brandon Snyder, who was called up on Tuesday.
Updated: 9 hours ago
Wall Street Journal: Baseball in Florida ‘has been a disaster’

Wall Street Journal: Baseball in Florida ‘has been a disaster’

The Rays and Miami Marlins "are at a moment of reckoning" after histories of low attendance and an offseason in which they sold off many of their top players and were singled out by the MLB Players Association for failing to spend revenue-sharing mon...
Published: 04/20/18
Rays’ Chris Archer ready to move past messy outing tonight against Twins

Rays’ Chris Archer ready to move past messy outing tonight against Twins

Rays RHP Chris Archer goes into tonight's start against the Twins with no trouble moving on from his messy Saturday performance against the Phillies that included arguably the worst inning of his career."It's already gone," Archer said Wednesday...
Published: 04/20/18
Memorable off day for Rays’ Ryan Yarbrough

Memorable off day for Rays’ Ryan Yarbrough

Rays rookie LHP Ryan Yarbrough has enjoyed everything about his first major-league experience, from pitching in the games to traveling in top-notch style to getting to play in front of family and friends to seeing his first paycheck.And then the Lake...
Published: 04/20/18
The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

ST. PETERSBURG — Mallex Smith has style.Effervescent personality. Pop culture hipness. Sense of fashion with accoutrements.Now the Rays are going to find out if he has game.More specifically, enough game to be a front-line outfielder, even an i...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Rays journal: Whew. Alex Colome gets the job done

Rays journal: Whew. Alex Colome gets the job done

ST. PETERSBURG — In the end, Alex Colome got the three outs to save the game, the day and the stomach linings of his bosses from further deterioration, so in theory that should be what mattered most Wednesday.And the fact that he was smiling in...
Published: 04/18/18