Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Alex Cobb pleased with progress

DETROIT — In trying to pitch better and more consistently overall since coming off the disabled list in late May after missing six weeks with an oblique strain, RHP Alex Cobb feels he is making progress in what has been an ongoing battle to get his mechanics right.

Thursday, Cobb acknowledged that his struggles may be the result of not putting in enough work on his mechanics before rejoining the rotation.

"It could be in part that maybe I didn't give enough respect to the fact that I was out for a month and I'm working back into it, and maybe it does need to require a little bit more attention on my part," he said, "But … I've been feeling much better every outing and getting to the point where it's more consistent."

Cobb, tonight's starter against the Tigers, said his approach may have been affected by the success he had in returning from a longer layoff last season, though that was after being struck in the head by a line drive and not an injury tied directly to his delivery.

"Maybe since it was so easy for me to come back last year, or I thought it was so easy to come back last year, I didn't really — I don't want to say I didn't put 100 percent effort into it because I always do every start — but maybe I took a little bit for granted that the mechanics were just going to show up," he said. "I don't know if that was the case, but something to look into."

Bell ringer: As debuts go, it wasn't much. DH Vince Belnome struck out twice and flied out in Thursday's 8-1 loss to the Tigers. But the results couldn't tarnish the significance of the accomplishment of getting to the major leagues for Belnome, a 26-year-old who worked his way up from a 28th-round draft pick and was acquired in a minor-league trade with San Diego.

"This is the ultimate goal, to get up here and play in the big leagues," he said. "It's just an awesome moment."

It was equally so for Belnome's family. His parents drove seven-plus hours from their Coatesville, Pa., home Thursday, and his fiancee drove even farther, from Durham, N.C., to Cleveland, where she picked up her mom and dropped off their dog, and then to Detroit.

Belnome spent a day in the big leagues earlier, called up April 3 when Sean Rodriguez went on the paternity list, but he didn't play. Thursday he was in the lineup hitting sixth.

For every action: To add Belnome, the team sent down LHP Jeff Beliveau, who had been called up Tuesday to bolster the bullpen but didn't pitch. But Beliveau is likely to be back today. After working 3 1/3 innings Thursday, LHP Cesar Ramos is expected to start his paternity leave today — possibly a day sooner than planned — to return to St. Petersburg to join wife Melanie for the birth of their first child, with plans to induce labor Saturday, if necessary. The rule requiring an optioned player to spend 10 days in the minors does not apply in paternity-list cases.

Rehab report: RHP Jeremy Hellickson had a much better outing for Triple-A Durham on Thursday, working 52/3 innings while allowing seven hits and two runs (the second after he left), walking two, striking out four and throwing 86 pitches (55 strikes) in what likely was his last rehabilitation start. "He pitched well; his stuff was good," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. Pitchers are allotted 30 days on a rehab assignment; Hellickson's clock expires Sunday. If the Rays don't consider him ready to return, they could option him to the minors for additional work.

Miscellany: To mark July 4, the Rays will wear a dark blue cap with a flag-striped star and a red bill tonight. … The Rays were nearly 21/2 hours late getting to Detroit on Wednesday night due to severe storms in New York. They stuck around Yankee Stadium for an hour, then sat on their bus on the airport tarmac for more than an hour as lightning flashed.

Comments
For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Archer facing Price

For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Archer facing Price

The Rays are set to take on the Red Sox again tonight with a bit of a student-mentor framing as Chris Archer takes on former Tampa Bay ace David Price.The Rays announced they are putting RHP Jake Faria on the 10-day DL due to the oblique strain he su...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays put Jake Faria on DL, call up Vidal Nuno

Rays put Jake Faria on DL, call up Vidal Nuno

The Rays, as expected, are placing RHP Jake Faria on the 10-day DL with a left oblique strain that he sustained during Tuesday's game.Somewhat unexpectedly, they are calling up LHP Vidal Nuno to take his place.Nuno, 30, has pitched parts of five seas...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays morning after: Faria frustrated after latest letdown

Rays morning after: Faria frustrated after latest letdown

Whatever pain RHP Jake Faria was feeling as a result of the oblique muscle on the left side he strained throwing a fourth-inning slider to Boston's Hanley Ramirez couldn't compare to the hurt in his heart.Forced to leave Tuesday's game and likely hea...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Willy Adames homers, but Rays fall to Red Sox and suffer injuries

Willy Adames homers, but Rays fall to Red Sox and suffer injuries

ST. PETERSBURG — Top prospect Willy Adames is only going to get to stay with the Rays for a few days, so good for him for making the most of it with a home run in his first big-league game, and off Red Sox ace Chris Sale no less.But the good fe...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin's takeaways from Rays 4-2 loss to Red Sox on Tuesday:* The Rays record against a Red Sox team they consider a measuring stick doesn't look very good at 3-8. But, as manager Kevin Cash and several players pointed out, there is some consola...
Published: 05/22/18
Rays journal: Critics don’t faze Sergio Romo or team

Rays journal: Critics don’t faze Sergio Romo or team

ST. PETERSBURG — Criticisms of the Rays' latest innovative pitching strategy have piled up since Angels INF Zack Cosart said after Sunday's game that starting RHP Sergio Romo to get the first three-six outs was "bad for baseball.''One of the lo...
Published: 05/22/18
For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Faria on the mound

For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Faria on the mound

UPDATE, 6:04: Cash said the Rays don't know yet if Wendle will be  back Thursday or Friday, though with the Sox starting RHP Rick Porcello on Thursday that would make sense. …  Cash said OF Carlos Gomez (groin strain) will run the bas...
Published: 05/22/18
Rays call up top prospect Willy Adames – but only for a couple days

Rays call up top prospect Willy Adames – but only for a couple days

The Rays have called up top prospect INF Willy Adames – though likely for a short stay.INF Joey Wendle was placed on the paternity list Tuesday, which allows him to miss up to three days.Manager Kevin Cash said Adames is headed back to Triple-A...
Published: 05/22/18
Rays journal: Christian Arroyo set to play first game at Tropicana Field

Rays journal: Christian Arroyo set to play first game at Tropicana Field

ST. PETERSBURG  — Christian Arroyo has watched more than 50 Rays games at Tropicana Field from the stands. Has been on the turf for his younger sister's gymnastics competitions and once, while it was in football configuration, to take grou...
Published: 05/21/18
There’s a swing by Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier …. and a gender reveal for November baby

There’s a swing by Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier …. and a gender reveal for November baby

Tampa Bay Rays OF Kevin Kiermaier and his wife Marisa are having a boy.Kiermaier shared the news on Twitter over the weekend in a most appropriate themed gender reveal event — taking a swing at ball that exploded with blue powder.Looks like im ...
Published: 05/21/18