Sunday, May 27, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Luke Maile looking to stick around as Rays catcher

ST. PETERSBURG — C Luke Maile certainly enjoys being praised for his defense, especially since that's why he was recalled Friday to replace Hank Conger, who was optioned to Triple-A Durham.

But the rookie is hoping his recent success at the plate continues against major-league pitching and leads to an extended stay with the Rays.

"No question," Maile said before Saturday's game against the Orioles. "I don't ever have the expectations to set the world on fire, necessarily. Not that I don't want to do that or strive to do that. But I don't want to be a one-way guy either. I want to be able to produce on the offensive front and not be an automatic out or a base-clog.

"I want to be a guy who can do it all, move runners, make contact, drive the ball every once in a while and drive some runs in, that makes your defense stand out even more."

Maile, who hit .305 with two home runs since June 1 in Durham, followed his two-hit night Friday at Tropicana Field with a double in his first at-bat Saturday that hopped over the centerfield wall. He said he feels more confident at the plate, and it shows. The only change he made in his swing was a commitment to getting his hands to the ball quicker.

"And something clicked about six weeks ago," he said.

With the success has come more confidence, and with more confidence has come more success.

"Just to walk up to the plate the last month and see that your numbers are slowly getting better, mix in a home run or two, have a couple of extra-base hits, I think mentally that confidence goes a long way," he said.

Fellow catchers Curt Casali and Conger have hit a combined .190 this season with a .268 on-base percentage and a .327 slugging percentage, so the bar is not high. Any offense Maile provides would be a boost for him and the team's slumping offense.

"Without a doubt," manager Kevin Cash said. "That goes along with any player that we bring up. But the last thing that we want is for Luke to come up here and put too much pressure on himself and be something that he's not. But any additional hitting (helps). This is something that's he's worked on and had reaped some rewards as of late, and we expect that to continue."

Odo searches for Odo of yore: RHP Jake Odorizzi, who has pitched past the fifth inning twice in his past seven starts, is striving to recapture the form that allowed him to pitch at least six innings in his first 11 starts of 2015.

That run was stopped by an oblique strain suffered in Seattle.

"(Get) back to being consistent, reliable and be capable of what I'm doing," Odorizzi said. "It starts (today), and I just need to keep it going for the next two-plus months, and I'll be a happy guy."

Medical matters: A timetable has not been set for the return of DH Steve Pearce (hamstring), who began his minor-league rehab assignment Saturday with Class A Charlotte. Pearce was the DH and was 2-for-4 with a double a two runs. The scheduled second half of a doubleheader was rained out. … LF Desmond Jennings (hamstring) began his running program and took batting practice with the team. … RHP Brad Boxberger (oblique) and RHP Chase Whitley (Tommy John surgery) both played catch. The team plans to make a decision today on the next step for both pitchers.

Comments
Rays bats come alive with six-run rally to beat Orioles 8-3

Rays bats come alive with six-run rally to beat Orioles 8-3

ST. PETERSBURG — If you think the Rays are holding their pitching staff together with baling wire, duct tape and by wearing out the shuttle to Triple-A Durham, a bigger story might be how their bats keep producing runs no matter who is swinging...
Updated: 1 hour ago
For starters: Rays RHP Sergio Romo opens the game for the second time in 48 hours vs. Orioles

For starters: Rays RHP Sergio Romo opens the game for the second time in 48 hours vs. Orioles

ST. PETERSBURG – Speaking of openers, the Rays will start RHP Sergio Romo (1-1, 4.66 ERA) for the fourth time this season, the second time in 48 hours vs. the Orioles. The 35-year-old Romo did not make it out of the first inning Friday, allowin...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays journal: After Alex Colome trade, Rays’ closer situation is fluid, Kevin Cash says

Rays journal: After Alex Colome trade, Rays’ closer situation is fluid, Kevin Cash says

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays have had to get creative in how they start games. Now, after Friday's trade of closer Alex Colome, they might have to get creative in how they finish them.How they handle the ninth inning going forward will be a fluid ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays pitchers Ryne Stanek, Anthony Banda dominate in 5-1 win over Orioles

Rays pitchers Ryne Stanek, Anthony Banda dominate in 5-1 win over Orioles

THE BASEBALL LABORATORY IN ST. PETERSBURG — Up is down. Down is up. Hello is goodbye. Goodbye is hello. A reliever is a starter. A starter is a reliever.These are your 2018 Tampa Bay Rays.You never know what's going to happen. And just when you...
Published: 05/26/18
Updated: 05/27/18
Thomas Bassinger’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Orioles game

Thomas Bassinger’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Orioles game

Interesting decision by the Rays to start RH reliever Ryne Stanek on Saturday. The Orioles' Nos. 1 through 5 hitters were righties, and Stanek came in allowing a 1.228 OPS against righties and a .592 OPS against lefties. It ended up working.How ...
Published: 05/26/18
Rays Tales: What the trade of Alex Colome and Denard Span leads to next

Rays Tales: What the trade of Alex Colome and Denard Span leads to next

The reality of Friday's surprising trade of Alex Colome and Denard Span to Seattle is, of course, between the extremes.One side is screaming this is the latest proof the Rays are driven more to pocket money than winning games (and, for the loudest, o...
Published: 05/26/18

For starters: Rays vs. Orioles; Ryne Stanek makes first start, Carlos Gomez returns

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' bullpenning experiment continues, with right-hander Ryne Stanek to open this afternoon's game against the Orioles at Tropicana Field. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10.It is the first career start for Stanek, who has ...
Published: 05/26/18
Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

ST. PETERSBURG – In January, sure.In July, absolutely.But, now?And, once again, for someone who they hope helps in the future.The Rays made a shocking trade at a surprising time of year Friday, dealing All-Star closer Alex Colome and Tampa...
Published: 05/25/18
Updated: 05/26/18
Rays journal: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

Rays journal: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

By Joey JohnstonTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — Rays LHP Ryan Yarbrough deserved better Friday. But the offense didn't offer much, allowing the Orioles to escape with a 2-0 victory before an announced crowd of 11,354 at Tropicana Field."It ...
Published: 05/25/18
Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

The Rays made a major trade Friday afternoon, sending All-Star closer Alex Colome and OF Denard Span to the Mariners.The return is two minor-leaguers, RHP Andrew Moore and RHP Tommy Romero. The Rays also sent cash to the Mariners.Span, a Tampa produc...
Published: 05/25/18