Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Northside Christian's Redmond starts for Jays today against Rays at Trop

ST. PETERSBURG — Todd Redmond's homecoming today will be marked by a zealous party of family and friends who plan to perch as close as they can to the mound where the former Northside Christian standout will be starting for the Blue Jays.

"I'd say there are at least 50 people I know that plan to attend," said Redmond's mother, Kristi. "That's probably a low number because I've heard from friends, former teammates, even Little League coaches who said they are going. I know Todd has been deluged with calls, too."

On Tuesday, Redmond was called up from Triple-A Buffalo to start against the Red Sox. Soon after, Kristi mapped out the schedule and discovered her son's next start would be against the Rays.

"It will be a pretty awesome experience," Todd Redmond said. "The only time I've ever been on the mound at the Trop before was in a Perfect Game showcase when I was in high school. I didn't even have to look at the schedule. My mom does a pretty good job of keeping track of that stuff and called right away when she figured out I'd be starting against the Rays."

To appreciate how special Redmond's return home is, you have to look at the route the 28-year-old traveled to get here, a path that took nine years and included four other teams.

Selected by Pittsburgh in the 39th round of the 2004 amateur draft, Redmond lasted four years in the Pirates' minor-league system before he was traded to Atlanta. He moved rapidly up the Braves' organizational ladder, the highlight coming in 2010 when he threw a no-hitter for Triple-A Gwinnett.

But because of Atlanta's pitching depth, Redmond never was called up. Last year, he was traded to Cincinnati, where he made his major-league debut.

The moment didn't last. Redmond was waived by the Reds before the start of spring training. In February, he was claimed by Baltimore, which waived him a month later.

Eventually, Redmond's luck in baseball evened out. In March, he was claimed by Toronto, where he has bounced between the majors and Triple-A Buffalo. His latest promotion could last through the season considering the Blue Jays have had to deal with numerous injuries on their staff.

"I came up as a bullpen guy, and I've been given the chance to start," said Redmond, who is 1-1 with a 3.62 ERA this season. "I'm just trying to run with it and enjoy it. But this start should be memorable."

Redmond grew up a Rays fan. His family had season tickets, and he would bring baseball cards to games to have players sign.

"I still have a lot of that memorabilia," Kristi said. "Todd used to get everything from games, lineup cards, broken bats, you name it."

Kristi said the family dropped its season tickets in order to see her son pitch during his trek through the minors.

"It's been a tough road for Todd," Kristi said. "He's gotten the opportunity he has right now through a lot of hard work and some fortunate breaks.

"Really, the whole family is over the moon with him being able to come home and start. It's a blessing how it was able to all come together like this. I think it was by design."

Comments
Who is new Rays 1B/DH C.J. Cron? 10 things to know

Who is new Rays 1B/DH C.J. Cron? 10 things to know

Acquired Saturday night from the Angels (for a player to be named – a minor-leaguer, and not a top prospect), 1B/DH C.J. Cron is expected to join the Rays today in Port Charlotte.Here are 10 things to know about him:1. Full name: Christopher Jo...
Updated: 2 hours ago
As Kevin Kiermaier blasts changes, Rays see empowered Kevin Cash as stabilizer

As Kevin Kiermaier blasts changes, Rays see empowered Kevin Cash as stabilizer

PORT CHARLOTTE — The list of those no longer with the team was going to be noteworthy no matter what Monday as the holdovers, newcomers and wannabes gathered for the first full-squad workout in Camp Dis-A-Ray.Then even before Rays manager Kevin...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Ray Tank: Fans have fun with name of team’s new blog

Ray Tank: Fans have fun with name of team’s new blog

Rays fans upset about the team's recent moves found the perfect target for their ridicule Monday when the team announced the name of its new blog.The Ray Tank.Announcing... The Ray Tank!Our new blog will have behind-the-scenes stories, photos, and mo...
Published: 02/19/18
Rays journal: Matt Andriese not mad (but not happy either) with move to bullpen

Rays journal: Matt Andriese not mad (but not happy either) with move to bullpen

PORT CHARLOTTE — Having spent the offseason preparing for a spot in the rotation, RHP Matt Andriese said he was initially "shocked" when told Sunday that he will begin the season in the bullpen."Ultimately, I'm not happy with the decision," And...
Published: 02/19/18
The Yankees’ show of shows is off and homering

The Yankees’ show of shows is off and homering

TAMPA — Move over, Hamilton.The show of shows began Monday at Steinbrenner Field. The Boss would have loved it. Yankees shock and awe began during the first full workout. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton took batting practice. The mere sight o...
Published: 02/19/18
On deck in Rays ballpark quest: Tampa Bay’s business community

On deck in Rays ballpark quest: Tampa Bay’s business community

TAMPA — Columbia Restaurant owner Richard Gonzmart says he’s ready to put his checkbook where his heart is when it comes to supporting a Tampa Bay Rays move to Ybor City.So is the investment fund for the founding family of Ashley Furniture. So, it ap...
Published: 02/19/18
Live from Port Charlotte: First full squad workout

Live from Port Charlotte: First full squad workout

The Rays held their first full squad workout today, though RF Steven Souza Jr., did not work out because of a family matter. He had already reported to camp.More fallout from Saturday's Jake Odorizzi trade and DFA'ing of Corey Dickerson. This time fr...
Published: 02/19/18
Kevin Kiermaier sounds off on Rays’ weekend moves: ‘I am 100 percent frustrated and very upset’

Kevin Kiermaier sounds off on Rays’ weekend moves: ‘I am 100 percent frustrated and very upset’

Standout CF Kevin Kiermaier made very clear Monday what he thought of the Rays' weekend decisions to part ways with veteran OF/DH Corey Dickerson and RHP Jake Odorizzi:"I am 100 percent frustrated and very upset with the moves. No beating around the ...
Published: 02/19/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Goodbye, Jake Odorizzi and Corey Dickerson

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Goodbye, Jake Odorizzi and Corey Dickerson

The Rays continue their salary dump as they trade Jake Odorizzi to the Twins for a Single-A shortstop and designate All-Star Corey Dickerson for assignment, saving about $10 million in the process.In his latest podcast, Rick Stroud breaks down the mo...
Published: 02/19/18
As Odorizzi bids goodbye to Rays, Archer says he’ll be missed many ways

As Odorizzi bids goodbye to Rays, Archer says he’ll be missed many ways

RHP Jake Odorizzi was up early Sunday, driving over to the Rays training complex in Port Charlotte to pack his stuff and say his goodbyes after being traded Saturday night to the Twins.RELATED: Rays make a deal, three actually, to trade Odorizzi, DFA...
Published: 02/19/18