Sunday, November 19, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Price rolls in final spring start

RECOMMENDED READING


SARASOTA — Cy Young Award winner David Price admittedly didn't pitch against the Orioles on Thursday night in his final exhibition outing the same as he will Tuesday against them in the regular-season opener.

But things couldn't have gone better. The left-hander looked sharp with his fastball, changeup and curve during a scoreless four-inning, 51-pitch tuneup in a 4-4, 10-inning tie.

"That was what we needed to do," Price said. "That was good to lead up to the next five days. I felt good. My body feels great. Arm, back, legs, it all feels ready for April 2."

Price said he was invigorated by pitching in a night game — saying at 27, he's "getting older" and it's tougher to get ready for day spring games — and knowing the season is just ahead.

Though it wasn't ideal to face the same team as he will in the opener — the Rays wanted Price to face big-league hitters because he already had pitched in two minor-league games this spring — he said it wasn't so bad, either.

"I feel like I threw some pitches that I might not have thrown in a real game situation. But I was able to get outs with it, so it is encouraging," he said. "But you do pitch them a little different because you don't want to throw them the same way you're going to throw them in five days. So it works both ways."

Manager Joe Maddon said Price was "really sharp" and "fun to watch."

GREAT SCOTT: Luke Scott's status for the opener remains in question.

Scott has been sidelined for nearly a week with right calf tightness, and though he felt well enough to run the bases during a workout at Tropicana Field and was said to have done well, he will return to action today as a DH in a minor-league game. That's a sign of concern because it preserves the Rays' ability to backdate a disabled-list move to Sunday (the day after his last major-league appearance) and would allow him to miss only six games and return April 8.

"When the bell rings (today), we'll see how he feels, if he can go out and do all that," Maddon said. "Not ask him to run as hard as he can, obviously, but just be able to see where he's at, because we need to know."

Maddon said it was not necessary for Scott to play in Saturday's exhibition finale to be on the active roster, "if legitimately he can look you in the eye and say 'I feel a lot better, and everything looks pretty good.' "

If Scott is not deemed healthy but is expected back fairly soon, the Rays would consider options on their 40-man roster such as Stephen Vogt, Chris Gimenez and Brandon Guyer.

GAME DETAILS: 3B Evan Lon­goria homered to dead centerfield and played into the 10th, then was pinch-run for by Craig Albernaz, whose spring fling continued with an appearance at second base. … CF Desmond Jennings had four hits, hiking his average to .345, and his seventh steal. … Double-A LHP C.J. Reifenhauser blew the ninth-inning lead. RHP Juan Sandoval, who is likely to open at Triple-A Durham, preserved the tie. … OF Sam Fuld had no issues with his hamstring playing in back-to-back games and made another sliding catch.

MISCELLANY: Maddon said he settled on his lineup against right-handed pitchers (assuming Scott is healthy). Longoria would bat fourth, with Jennings, Ben Zobrist and Matt Joyce in front of him, and followed by Scott, Yunel Escobar, James Loney, Jose Molina and Kelly Johnson. … The Burst Pass, a stored value card for season-ticket holders, has been expanded to several tiers of membership, with ticket holders getting a 12 percent cash back bonus for loaded funds, plus special promotions and discounts.

Comments
Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

After collecting intelligence at last week’s GM meetings, the Rays soon will launch their offseason mission of trading at least a couple of veterans to reduce payroll.The question is how far they will go — how many players they deal, and how big of n...
Published: 11/18/17
Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

The Rays completed the reorganization of their coaching staff by giving Rocco Baldelli the title of major league field coordinator.In being promoted from first-base coach, Baldelli will implement ideas and information from the staff, while assisting ...
Published: 11/17/17
Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays were banking on pitcher Alex Cobb declining their one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer based on the lure of a longer-term and more lucrative deal elsewhere as a free agent.With that decision official Thursday, now the ...
Published: 11/16/17
Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

LAKE BUENA VISTA — MLB commissioner Rob Manfred didn’t want to talk Thursday about what might happen if the current effort to build the Rays a new stadium at the Ybor City site falls through."I’m more focused on working with the community to figure o...
Published: 11/16/17
A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

Here is a message from RHP Alex Cobb after he officially left the Rays Thursday in declining their one-year, $17.4-milllion qualifying offer to seek a bigger and longer pact elsewhere:"Getting to this point in my career is truly bittersweet."Twelve y...
Published: 11/16/17
UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE, 5:01: Cobb did not accept the offer by the deadline, as expected.DEVELOPING: Sometime before today's 5 p.m. deadline, the Rays will get official word that their $17.4-million slight gamble on Alex Cobb paid off.The Rays made the free-agent ri...
Published: 11/16/17
As he prepares to leave the Rays, how will you remember Alex Cobb?

As he prepares to leave the Rays, how will you remember Alex Cobb?

Presuming Alex Cobb declines the Rays’ one-year, $17.4-million qualifying offer by 5 p.m. today, he has pitched his last game for Tampa Bay.Cobb has received preliminary interest from "lots of teams" already, agent Dan Horwits said. The Cubs and Twin...
Published: 11/16/17
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says progress must continue on new stadium to keep Rays

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says progress must continue on new stadium to keep Rays

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred made clear Thursday that identification of a site for a new Rays stadium is merely the first step for area leaders to show they want to keep the team long-term and that there needs to "consistent forward movement" on the ...
Published: 11/16/17
Sternberg: Tampa Bay Rays' share of new ballpark could be $150 million

Sternberg: Tampa Bay Rays' share of new ballpark could be $150 million

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Tampa Bay Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said Wednesday that the team is "genuinely excited" about the proposed Ybor City site for a new stadium and more than "cautiously optimistic" the project can be completed. But ...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Rays journal: No big deals at GM meetings, but possible groundwork laid

By MARC TOPKINLAKE BUENA VISTA — Rays officials left the GM meetings without making any big deals — such as trading Alex Colome or Chris Archer to the Cardinals — but more knowledgeable about the possibilities. "Expectations were to utilize these few...
Published: 11/15/17