Sunday, February 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Phillies' Howard feels better

CLEARWATER — Phillies 1B Ryan Howard arrived to camp before position players had to report. And he has come a long way since last year, when he missed half the season recovering from surgery on his left Achilles tendon.

"My left leg feels phenomenal compared to this time last year," Howard, 33, said Thursday. "When I came back, there was obviously still a limp. I tried to do what I could. Having this offseason to work out again and build up strength in my leg, my Achilles is a nonfactor."

Howard was hurt making the final out in Game 5 of the 2011 National League Division Series against St. Louis. After a few setbacks, he returned July 6. He hit .219 in 71 games but had 14 homers and drove in 56 runs. That's compared to averages of 44 homers and 133 RBIs from 2006-11.

"You're just not 100 percent confident in it. You can't do the things you normally could do," Howard said of last year. "Now it's not even a second thought in my mind."

Third shot: Injuries derailed OF Domonic Brown's chances to make the team the past two springs. Now the ex-Pasco High star says he's healthy. But with CF Ben Revere, RF Delmon Young, OF John Mayberry and OF Laynce Nix almost assured of jobs, Brown likely will battle Darin Ruf for the final outfield spot. "I'm just going to go out, keep having fun and really not worry about anything," Brown, 25, said. "If I get sent down, that'll be that, too. I'll just go down and work hard."

Jays: Romero arrives in different situations

DUNEDIN — LHP Ricky Romero arrived at spring training last year as the Blue Jays' No. 1 starter. Now because of the arrivals of R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle and the emergence of Brandon Morrow, he is No. 5.

And after going 9-14 with a 5.77 ERA in an injury-plagued 2012, he is healthy. In the offseason he receive platelet-rich plasma injections in each knee to alleviate tendinitis and had arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow to clear up scar tissue.

"It feels 100 times better," Romero said of the elbow. "I wasn't able to rotate it at one point. The knees have been a work in progress. I'm getting treatment, doing the small things … to get them ready."

Yankees: Teammates put past behind them

TAMPA — 3B Kevin Youkilis agrees with RHP Joba Chamberlain: Any tension over tight fastballs between the new Yankees teammates is in the past.

"It's something (reporters) keep going on and on about," Youkilis said. "But we're here as a team and ready to play. I hope the only drama this year we create is walkoff home runs and hits. At some time we'll all sit down and talk. But things are all going to be okay. Don't worry."

Comments
Rays Journal: A key step back for Venters, sharp day for Snell, big blast by Cron

Rays Journal: A key step back for Venters, sharp day for Snell, big blast by Cron

FORT MYERS – The big heartwarming story will be when – and thus if – LHP Jonny Venters makes it back to the majors for the first time since 2012, having battled through three elbow surgeries.But Sunday was worth a headline, too, as ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
On what Odorizzi has to feel good and bad about after trade from Rays to Twins

On what Odorizzi has to feel good and bad about after trade from Rays to Twins

Two things were pretty clear in talking to RHP Jake Odorizzi this morning in Fort Myers about being traded from the Rays to Twins.He couldn't be much happier than to be a new that that has legitimate playoff aspirations, and that he feels for those h...
Updated: 7 hours ago
For starters, Rays at Twins, with Venters making first spring outing since 2013

For starters, Rays at Twins, with Venters making first spring outing since 2013

As the Rays head back to Fort Myers today for a game on the other side of I-75 to take on the Twins at 1:05, there are several spring debuts worth noting:First, that LHP Jonny Venters, trying to make it back to the majors for the first time since 201...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Ex-Rays prospect Andrew Toles working his way back from knee surgery for Dodgers

Ex-Rays prospect Andrew Toles working his way back from knee surgery for Dodgers

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Andrew Toles made a two-base error and went 0-for-3, and his team lost. All told, it was still a pretty good day for the Dodgers left fielder.In his first game since a serious knee injury last May, the former Rays prospect ret...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Inside the Raysí plan to prove the tanking truthers wrong

Inside the Raysí plan to prove the tanking truthers wrong

PORT CHARLOTTE – The Rays know tanking."We tanked in 2006 and '07, if you want to call it that," principal owner Stuart Sternberg said. "We were the original tankers. Or tankees. It seems to be all the fad now."In losing 101 and 96 games in the...
Published: 02/24/18
Rays Journal: Duffy not just playing but playing well, Faria struggles, more

Rays Journal: Duffy not just playing but playing well, Faria struggles, more

FORT MYERS – Just playing on back-to-back days was significant for Rays 3B Matt Duffy.Playing well has made the start of spring training even better."Really liked the way Duffy has continued to play," manager Kevin Cash said after a 4-3 loss to...
Published: 02/24/18
That guy standing by Cash in the dugout? All part of Raysí plan

That guy standing by Cash in the dugout? All part of Raysí plan

Jonathan ErlichmanFor a moment Friday, it looked as if a young businessman, accountant or computer guy had won one of those charity auctions to spend a game in uniform in the Rays dugout.Actually, it was Rays analytics director Jonathan Erlichman, a ...
Published: 02/24/18
For starters: Back to back starts for Duffy as Rays face Red Sox, 1:05

For starters: Back to back starts for Duffy as Rays face Red Sox, 1:05

UPDATE, 11:36: Manager Kevin Cash said the plan is to play Duffy on back to back days a couple times early in spring, believing the short bursts of activity will best help him build up after missing all of 2017. … Matt Andriese will come out of...
Published: 02/24/18
The truth about the Tampa Bay Raysí reset

The truth about the Tampa Bay Raysí reset

The Tampa Bay Rays are not going to be very good this year.We already knew that.They have gutted a team that won 80 games last season. Among those sent packing: Evan Longoria, Corey Dickerson, Jake Odorizzi and team MVP Steven Souza Jr.Yeah, this thi...
Published: 02/24/18
Rays spring training info: Saturday at Red Sox, 1:05

Rays spring training info: Saturday at Red Sox, 1:05

Rays Saturday scheduleAt Red Sox1:05, JetBlue Park, 11500 Fenway South Drive, Fort MyersPitchers: Rays – RH Jake Faria, RH Matt Andriese, RH Dustin McGowan, LH Ryan Yarbrough, RF Chaz Roe, LH Jose Alvarado, RH Evan Scribner, RH Jose Mujica; Red...
Published: 02/24/18