Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Phils' Howard to visit with doctor

CLEARWATER — Phillies 1B Ryan Howard this week plans to visit the doctor who performed surgery in October on his ruptured Achilles tendon, csnphilly.com reported.

GM Ruben Amaro said Howard would meet with Dr. Mark Myerson in Baltimore on Monday or Tuesday and be in camp by Wednesday.

"Ryan is progressing well," he said. "We just thought it would be a good idea to see the doctor to make sure he's doing okay before he starts doing more activity."

Manager Charlie Manuel said Howard "had a little setback, but the setback is nothing to get alarmed about. It'll be healed up and he'll be fine. The doctors and the trainers say he's ahead of pace."

Assistant GM Scott Proefrock said "setback" was an overstatement. "It's not a setback," he said. "He's going to get a checkup."

LEE NICKED: LHP Cliff Lee, who is nursing a minor abdominal injury, will work in a side bullpen session today when Philadelphia's pitchers throw to hitters for the first time in camp.

Jays: Good vibes

DUNEDIN — Despite a relatively quiet offseason, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos said he is as confident as he has ever been going into a season.

Toronto returns a young roster that is mostly intact from the end of last season, when the Blue Jays went 81-81. Several minor-league analysts rate Toronto's farm system among baseball's best.

"There's no doubt about it, this is probably the best I've felt about the talent we have in the organization top to bottom," Anthopoulos said. "I just feel we're really starting to solidify, we did a lot of work drafting and developing and so on, that's going to continue, but at the same time, the big-league roster just continues to get better and better and there's more talent there. … This is the best the group has been since I've been the GM."

Yanks: Too tempting

TAMPA — Just about every left-handed hitter finds Yankee Stadium's short rightfield porch inviting.

Raul Ibanez does, too, but added his hope is not to be "corrupted" by it.

"I try not to think about that because the only thing that matters is having a quality approach, a quality at-bat and hitting the ball hard," said Ibanez, signed to be the Yankees' primary DH against righties. "And for me, if I start thinking about the porch or the fence, then I'm not thinking about hitting the ball on the barrel and stroking line drives. The more you think about line drives, the more the ball's going to go into the seats. And the more you think about the fence, the more you ground out to first."

Ibanez said what he likes most about the stadium is the expansive outfield with "nice gaps."

"I'm going to try and live in the gaps and the alleys," he said.

Comments
Rays journal: Blake Snell outlasts Justin Verlander in 2-1 win

Rays journal: Blake Snell outlasts Justin Verlander in 2-1 win

HOUSTON — The starting pitcher walked seven over seven otherwise solid innings Tuesday. That seemed weird enough for the Rays. Then the next pitcher they brought in was the one who started Monday's game. Even more bizarre.And then there was thi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Raysí Kevin Kiermaier returns, with energy to spare

Raysí Kevin Kiermaier returns, with energy to spare

HOUSTON — Energy.That's what Kevin Kiermaier said he felt he'd provide most in rejoining the Rays Tuesday against the Astros after missing two-plus months recovering from thumb surgery."I like to think I bring energy on both sides of the ball, ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Marc Topkinís takeaways from Rays-Astros

Marc Topkinís takeaways from Rays-Astros

This is how odd LHP Blake Snell's night was — he became the first pitcher to work seven or more innings and walk at least seven since Edwin Jackson threw his 149-pitch, eight-walk no-hitter at the Rays on June 25, 2010.If you weren't aware of t...
Updated: 7 hours ago
For starters: Rays at Astros, with Kiermaier back and an ace-high matchup

For starters: Rays at Astros, with Kiermaier back and an ace-high matchup

UPDATE, 6:45: Cash said Smith will continue to play a lot, getting time in LF and RF, meaning something of a rotation system for rookie Johnny Field and veteran Carlos Gomez.UPDATE, 4:49: Kiermaier is batting leadoff and playing center as expected, w...
Updated: 11 hours ago
So, how exactly did the Rays end up losing Monday?

So, how exactly did the Rays end up losing Monday?

The Rays lost Monday's game when Sergio Romo failed them in the ninth inning.Called on to protect what was whittled to a one-run lead from 4-0, Romo got off to a bad start, walking the first batter on four pitches and then allowing a single to the se...
Published: 06/19/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays continue to struggle in close games

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays continue to struggle in close games

The Rays blow a four-run lead in Houston and lose on a walkoff hit to the Astros in the opener of their three-game series. It's the 19th one-run loss for the Rays this season as they continue to struggle in close games. Fortunately, reinforcements ar...
Published: 06/19/18
Rays DFA Rob Refsnyder to make room for Kevin Kiermaier

Rays DFA Rob Refsnyder to make room for Kevin Kiermaier

The Rays made official after Monday's game that CF Kevin Kiermaier would be activated on Tuesday.And to make room on the 40- and 25 man rosters, they designated for assignment OF Rob Refsnyder.Acquired from the Indians for cash considerations just be...
Published: 06/19/18
Rays journal: A 4-0 lead disappears in loss at Houston

Rays journal: A 4-0 lead disappears in loss at Houston

HOUSTON — The Rays brought up several of their top prospects so they can get as much experience as possible.And Monday that included seeing how the relentless defending champion Astros worked their way back from an early four-run deficit to sco...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18
Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella pondered upside-down pitching in 2005

Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella pondered upside-down pitching in 2005

HOUSTON — Well before the idea of using a reliever to open games, as the Rays did against the Astros Monday for the 12th time, and then bringing in a starter was even a gleam in the eyes of the current Rays staff, former manager Lou Piniella wa...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18
Marc Topkinís takeaways from Rays-Astros

Marc Topkinís takeaways from Rays-Astros

RHP Ryne Stanek continues to look comfortable and confident as the game opener, retiring all five batters he faced. His six starts now cover a complete game, and he has allowed only two runs in the nine innings.OF Carlos Gomez's feelings about not li...
Published: 06/18/18