Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Alex Cobb's simulated game goes well

RECOMMENDED READING


ST. PETERSBURG — Rays RHP Alex Cobb took what he said was a "huge" step in his recovery from a strained left oblique by throwing 49 crisp pitches, breaking balls included, in a three-inning simulated game Friday.

"I felt good," Cobb said, adding his biggest concern was his mechanics and not the injury, which no longer is painful.

"I think that's a good sign on its own," he said. "It's out of my mind. I'm trying to work on baseball stuff instead of being cautious and trying to heal."

Cobb, on the disabled list since April 13, said much depends on how he feels today. But the tentative schedule, written "in pencil," he said, includes one or two additional simulated games (one of four innings Monday), one or two rehab starts (though Cobb said he doesn't believe he needs any) and a return to the rotation late in the month.

Whatever the schedule, "I don't think it's going to be a whole long period of time from now to (when) you're going to see him pitch in a game for us," manager Joe Maddon said.

"Everything is going to go off how I feel the next day," Cobb said. "I'm happy with it right now. Hopefully, (today) we'll be even happier when there's nothing wrong."

HELLICKSON UPDATE: RHP Jeremy Hellickson, rehabbing from February's elbow surgery, said he likely will throw 45 pitches in today's bullpen session but will stay away from breaking balls.

Except for a couple he said he'll spin before getting on the mound.

Hellickson said his elbow was "pretty sore" after previous bullpen sessions but added the discomfort is normal for where he is in his recovery.

HISTORY: Though its records admittedly are incomplete, the Elias Sports Bureau has no record of a major-league pitcher accomplishing what Rays RHP Brad Boxberger did Thursday against the Orioles: strike out the side on nine pitches after entering the game with the bases loaded.

"Kind of surreal," said Boxberger who added of later watching his performance on video, "I was kind of in disbelief. It's going to be pretty cool to be able to tell my kids and future family members I was able to do something and make a little bit of history."

PROACTIVE: CF Desmond Jennings said he wasn't disappointed he was held out of Friday's starting lineup.

"I'm disappointed I haven't been producing," he said.

Jennings' 1-for-15 dip comes after he was named AL player of the week for the week ending Sunday after hitting .355 (11-for-31) with three home runs in seven games.

"The last couple of nights weren't typical," Maddon said. "So why not be proactive and get him down before he gets really tired and absolutely needs a day? You look for those little signs to give guys a moment because he's been outstanding."

LITTLE HELP: It has become an annual thing for those attending the Rays' Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Tampa to help Maddon formulate a lineup for that day's game.

So when OF Brandon Guyer's table was, as Maddon said, "really loud," the manager joked that was the excuse to get him in and give Jennings the night off.

"I was easily talked into it because I was looking for a day to give (Jennings) off anyhow," Maddon said.

The Rays now are 2-2 with a lineup out of the luncheon.

Miscellany: Maddon in the first inning successfully challenged an out call at first base that originally was the back end of an inning-ending double play. The inning ended on a double play anyway as James Loney struck out and Ben Zobrist was caught trying to steal second. … The Rays' longest home stretch without a victory happened in 1999: 34 days between May 21 over the Angles and June 25 over the Blue Jays. After Friday's loss, the Rays have gone 17 days since beating the Twins on April 22.

Comments
Rays INF Matt Duffy has to say big goodbye to 27-pound cat Skeeter

Rays INF Matt Duffy has to say big goodbye to 27-pound cat Skeeter

When the Rays acquired INF Matt Duffy from the Giants during the 2016 season, we also heard about the giant and somewhat famous cat he had, an up-to-27-pounder named Skeeter.Duffy announced over the weekend on Instagram that the family had to have Sk...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

ST. PETERSBURG — That the Rays went right up to Monday’s 8 p.m. deadline in deciding to add seven players to the 40-man roster, and that a couple they left off seem to be potential Rule 5 draft losses, was apparently a good thing."There’s always some...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
UPDATE: RHP Brent Honeywell among 7 added to Rays 40-man roster

UPDATE: RHP Brent Honeywell among 7 added to Rays 40-man roster

UPDATE, 8:11: RHP Jose Mujica was an additional addition to the roster, beyond the six previously reported. Mujica, 21, was 14-8, 3.04 ERA in 27 starts between Class-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery.So among those left unprotected and potentially ...
Published: 11/20/17
Former Devil Ray Aubrey Huff among newcomers to Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Former Devil Ray Aubrey Huff among newcomers to Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Aubrey Huff isn't going to make the Baseball Hall of Fame.But at least the former Devil Rays standout has the satisfaction of making the cut to get onto the ballot, one of 19 first-timers up for election this year.Other newcomers with Rays ties are O...
Published: 11/20/17
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