Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Longoria receives Don Zimmer Award as Rays MVP (w/ video)

ST. PETERSBURG — 3B Evan Longoria thought of Don Zimmer as he shaved Friday morning. Soot Zimmer had told her late husband she preferred Longoria without facial hair.

Longoria saw Soot a few hours later when she presented him with the Don Zimmer Award as the Rays MVP for this season. The presentation was at the annual end-of-season Clutch Hitters Luncheon at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront.

"Every time I look at her I see Zim in her," Longoria said.

Longoria has often talked about Zimmer's influence on his career. The two often played cards together before games.

"I loved Don. He meant a lot to me," Longoria said. "Receiving an award in his name is a tremendous honor."

Longoria also received the Paul C. Smith Champion Award, given to the Ray who best exemplifies the spirit of true professionalism on and off the field. The award is named after Smith, the former sports editor of the Tampa Tribune who passed away in 2005 while covering the Rays for MLB.com.

LHP Blake Snell was named the Rays rookie of the year.

The awards were voted on by the Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Longoria was the unanimous winner for MVP. He entered Friday's game against the visiting Red Sox leading the team in batting (.279), home runs (a career-high 36) and RBIs (95).

Longoria said his success this season is due in part to his willingness to change from his routine last offseason to widening stance at the plate in May.

"I don't think any of us ever look to make changes," Longoria said. "I think change kind of finds you."

TOP MINOR LEAGUERS: 1B Casey Gillaspie was named the Rays' minor league player of the year, and RHP Brent Honeywell was named the organization's minor league pitcher of the year. OF Zac Law received the Erik Walker Community Champion.

Gillaspie hit .284 with 18 home runs and 64 RBIs while splitting his season between Montgomery and Durham.

"I feel very honored that they chose me for this award," Gillaspie said. "You look at our organization, there are so many young players and great players that we have."

Honeywell was 7-3 with an organization-best 2.34 ERA while pitching at both Charlotte and Montgomery.

"It's an honor," Honeywell said. "I can't thank 'em enough just because they put a lot of time and effort in me and I give 'em everything I got."

MINOR-LEAGUE AWARDS: Team MVPs were: RH Austin Pruitt (Triple-A Durham), 1B/OF Jake Bauers (Double-A Montgomery), RH Greg Harris (High A Charlotte), INF Michael Russell (Low A Bowling Green), LH Travis Ott, (Short season A Hudson Valley), OF Eleardo Cabrera (rookie league Princeton), OF Jesus Sanchez (GCL Rays), C Ronaldo Hernandez (Dominican Summer League Rays 1) and OF Sabriel Polanco (Dominican Summer League Rays 2).

OF Jake Fraley won the baserunner of the year award, RH Joe Serrapica was reliever of the year and C Nick Ciuffo was defensive player of the year.

NOTEWORTHY: RF Steven Souza Jr. (hip surgery) said he should be cleared to resume baseball activities by Jan. 1 and expects to be ready for spring training … 1B/DH Logan Morrison said his wrist surgery has been rescheduled for Oct. 4 … The Rays celebrated Roberto Clemente Day on Friday as part of Hispanic Heritage Night.

 
Comments
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from the Rays’ 4-1 loss to the Yankees

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from the Rays’ 4-1 loss to the Yankees

1. Jalen Beeks doesn't have much margin for error. As billed, Beeks doesn't have overpowering stuff. Thus, he relies on mixing his pitches and sequencing them to his advantage, but he also has to throw them where he aims them.2. RHP Hunter Wood is in...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Rays morning after: Jake Faria looks for Blake Snell-like turnaround

Rays morning after: Jake Faria looks for Blake Snell-like turnaround

RHP Jake Faria is a team player, but he welcomes the chance to make a traditional start Wednesday night for the Rays against the Yankees rather than come out of the bullpen."I have more time as a starter to get ready for the day, I can take things a ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Archer trade gets even better as Rays add promising young pitcher

Archer trade gets even better as Rays add promising young pitcher

NEW YORK — The return the Rays got from the Pirates for Chris Archer already looked good.Right-hander Tyler Glasnow has been increasingly impressive in three starts using his high-octane fastball and cruel breaking balls, and outfielder Austin ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays journal: Solid not good enough in loss to Yankees

Rays journal: Solid not good enough in loss to Yankees

NEW YORK — The Rays got another solid outing from LHP Jalen Beeks on Tuesday, though the few mistakes he did make were costly. Add their inability to muster much of anything offensively against J.A. Happ and two relievers, and the result was ye...
Published: 08/14/18
For starters: Rays at Yankees, opening a challenging week

For starters: Rays at Yankees, opening a challenging week

The Rays are in New York tonight to open – assuming the rain clears out – a challenging week of playing the AL East heavyweight Yankees and Red Sox.RHP Hunter Wood is slated to be on the mound to open the game for the Rays. LHP J.A. Happ ...
Published: 08/14/18
Rays get RHP Shane Baz as player to be named from Pirates in Chris Archer deal

Rays get RHP Shane Baz as player to be named from Pirates in Chris Archer deal

RHP Shane Baz, the No. 12 pick in the 2017 draft, will join the Rays from the Pirates as the player to be named in the Chris Archer trade.That makes the Rays' complete haul in the deal RHP Tyler Glasnow, OF Austin Meadows and Baz.Baz, 19, has been pi...
Published: 08/14/18
What’s in the way of the Rays’ rebuild

What’s in the way of the Rays’ rebuild

So here's the good news.The Rays are 60-58 after taking two out of three in Toronto. Their so-called "tanking'' plan isn't really a total tank job after all. Call it a rebuilding project, and this rebuilding project looks way ahead of schedule. Not o...
Published: 08/13/18
Updated: 08/14/18
Another strong Tyler Glasnow start, but Rays fall to Blue Jays

Another strong Tyler Glasnow start, but Rays fall to Blue Jays

By KEEGAN MATHESONTimes CorrespondentTORONTO — The Rays might just be onto something with Tyler Glasnow.In his third start since coming over from Pittsburgh in the Chris Archer trade, the 6-foot-8 right-hander pitched five solid innings Sunday ...
Published: 08/12/18
Rays journal: Despite cooling off, Jake Bauers keeps impressing

Rays journal: Despite cooling off, Jake Bauers keeps impressing

By KEEGAN MATHESONTimes CorrespondentTORONTO — In a room full of rookies, Rays 1B Jake Bauers still stands out as one of the kids.The 22-year-old was back in the lineup and batting third in Sunday's series finale in Toronto, and he has the pote...
Published: 08/12/18
Rays journal: Kevin Cash appreciates versatility in lineup

Rays journal: Kevin Cash appreciates versatility in lineup

BY KEEGAN MATHESONTimes CorrespondentTORONTO — On a Rays roster stacked with rookie talent and a steady stream of new faces, players like Joey Wendle and Daniel Robertson have made manager Kevin Cash's life a bit easier.Their ability to play mu...
Published: 08/11/18