Friday, December 15, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rain allows Rays to realign rotation

BOSTON — There were inconveniences, such as having to wait around another hour and a half at Fenway Park and extending their 11-day trip, but overall the Rays were pleased with the decision to postpone Thursday's game against the Red Sox because of bad weather and to make it up Monday night.

And there could be a fringe benefit. LHP David Price is lined up to face the Red Sox on Monday.

RHP Jeremy Hellickson, who was to start Thursday, now faces the Yankees tonight, with RHP Chris Archer going Saturday and LHP Matt Moore on Sunday.

With rain falling much of Thursday afternoon and heavier stuff forecast for later in the night, manager Joe Maddon said he was concerned about starting and stopping and not getting in a full game. He praised umpire crew chief Brian Gorman for calling it off.

"Absolutely, the umpires did the right thing," Maddon said. "I have to give Brian a lot of credit. It was all about playing nine innings. It should be about playing nine innings. It should never be about starting the game and hoping to get in five. That should never be the way it is viewed."

The Rays and Red Sox have several common days off over the remaining 91/2 weeks of play, but Monday made the most sense because the Rays would be coming from New York and the Red Sox returning from Baltimore.

"We're already up in this neck of the woods. Let's get 'er done, and then you put it in the pile and don't have to worry about coming back and trying to slide it in among confusing travel components," Maddon said.

Neither Maddon nor Rays player rep LHP Matt Moore was pleased with Monday's 6:10 p.m. first pitch set by the Red Sox, preferring an earlier start because they have to fly home and face the Diamondbacks on Tuesday.

"I thought that was a little bit late, but there's nothing you can do about that," Maddon said.

HELLICKSON READY: Hellickson said being pushed back a day to face the Yankees isn't a big deal because he didn't warm up or do any preparation with the trainers.

"It doesn't change too much," he said. "It's a good lineup (the Yankees) and a tough place to pitch. I haven't pitched there in a while (since 2011), so I'm looking forward to it."

Hellickson was a little disappointed because he had a large group of fans at Fenway. His girlfriend is from Boston, and he had left tickets for 35 friends and relatives, some driving from his hometown, Des Moines, Iowa.

"It kind of (stinks) because they're from Boston and it would've been nice to come to Fenway and watch me throw," he said. "I told them if they want to drive down (to New York), I'll get them tickets there, too. So we'll see."

PITCHING IN: The decision to push Hellickson, Archer and Moore a day was obvious. So, too, is the decision to start Price, who threw a complete game to beat the Sox on Wednesday, in the makeup game, though Maddon insisted the Rays were still considering their options.

The other choice is RHP Roberto Hernandez, and whoever doesn't face the Red Sox will start at home Tuesday against Arizona.

As a side point, the Rays technically won what became a three-game series, their eighth straight series win. The makeup is considered a one-game series, the Elias Sports Bureau said.

REHAB REPORT: RHP Alex Cobb (concussion) is not ready to throw a bullpen session because of the blister on his right index finger, meaning his next rehab start may be pushed back until at least Tuesday. … RHP Brandon Gomes (lat strain) is scheduled to pitching one-plus innings tonight for Class A Charlotte.

MISCELLANY: Sun Sports officials had not determined as of Thursday night if there will be TV coverage of Monday's makeup game. … OF Wil Myers on Wednesday set a Rays rookie record with his sixth straight multihit game. The overall team record is eight games, by Carl Crawford in 2007.

Comments
No big deal for Rays at winter meetings, but it’s still coming

No big deal for Rays at winter meetings, but it’s still coming

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Here’s the one thing we definitely know:Rays officials headed home from the winter meetings and back across I-4 Thursday without making deals to trade any of their bigger-name, higher-paid players. Not closer Alex Colome, not third...
Published: 12/14/17
Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

UPDATE, 4:02: It doesn't sound like the Rays and Cardinals will be making a deal today, Derrick Goold writing for the St. Louis Post Dispatch that Cardinals execs "leave the Walt Disney Dolphin resort with good feel for what Tampa Bay would be willin...
Published: 12/14/17
Rays re-sign pitcher Jonny Venters, among 13 invited to spring training

Rays re-sign pitcher Jonny Venters, among 13 invited to spring training

LAKE BUENA VISTA — LHP Jonny Venters got as far as Triple A in September. Now the former All-Star is positioned to make it all the way back to the majors for the first time since 2012, re-signing with the Rays and headlining Thursday’s announcement o...
Published: 12/14/17
Veteran Jonny Venters, prospect Joe McCarthy among 13 Tampa Bay Rays spring invitees

Veteran Jonny Venters, prospect Joe McCarthy among 13 Tampa Bay Rays spring invitees

Inspiring veteran LHP Jonny Venters and intriguing prospect 1B/OF Joe McCarthy are among 13 players invited to major-league spring training camp with the Rays.Others coming as a result of signing minor-league contracts with invites are: RHP R.J. Alan...
Published: 12/14/17
Tampa Bay Rays lose RHP Burch Smith in Rule 5 draft, keep Nick Ciuffo

Tampa Bay Rays lose RHP Burch Smith in Rule 5 draft, keep Nick Ciuffo

The Rays lost RHP Burch Smith in Thursday's Rule 5 draft but were happy to see him get an opportunity in Kansas City.They also were pleased to hang on to C Nick Ciuffo, who was left exposed but not selected.Smith, 27, was acquired from the Padres as ...
Published: 12/14/17
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 4

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 4

UPDATE, 11:09: RHP Steve Cishek, who was a very effective addition to the Rays pen last season, has reunited with pitching coach Jim Hickey, agreeing to a deal with the Cubs.UPDATE, 10:40: Like most teams, Rays officials are heading out of the meetin...
Published: 12/14/17
Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

As part of its deal to buy a massive package of 21st Century Fox assets, Disney will acquire Fox Sports Regional Networks, which control the local cable rights to a slew of professional teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning.Assu...
Published: 12/14/17
Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Without getting into specifics – especially the who and the where – Rays officials are for the first time talking optimistically about making a trade before the winter meetings end Thursday.Speaking at around 5:15, senior VP Chaim Bloom s...
Published: 12/13/17

Winter meetings journal: Rays trade for money to sign top international free agent

LAKE BUENA VISTA — While most of the business conducted at the meetings impacts the big-league team one way or another, the Rays are working to finalize a move they hope pays off big sometime in the 2020s.In trading Wednesday to acquire $1 million in...
Published: 12/13/17
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

UPDATE, 5:55: Trade talks apparently picked up this afternoon, perhaps related to previous activity by other teams, and for first time Rays officials sound like something could happen tonight."At this point today, some of those conversations are movi...
Published: 12/13/17