Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays' Archer gets in work after rain cancels game

Rays starter Chris Archer heads off the field after getting two outs on six pitches in the first inning. The game is cancelled by rain, but Archer throws about 90 pitches in the batting cages.


Rays starter Chris Archer heads off the field after getting two outs on six pitches in the first inning. The game is cancelled by rain, but Archer throws about 90 pitches in the batting cages.

PORT CHARLOTTE — Rays RHP Chris Archer's start Saturday was cut short — extremely short — with heavy rains stopping Tampa Bay's spring training game with the Orioles after just two outs and six pitches.

The game was cancelled just 10 minutes after the initial delay, and to stay on schedule Archer went to the batting cages and threw about 90 pitches with C Curt Casali, with OF Steven Souza Jr. standing in as a batter.

"Obviously not the most ideal situation with the rain, but Arch handled it really well," manager Kevin Cash said of the 90-minute postgame workout. "We tried to simulate as much game as possible, and he threw the ball really well. There was a lot of intensity, him and Casali. What was really productive is they had an opportunity to talk through some things that maybe you're not able to do midgame."

Archer, who opened the game with a pop fly to center then got a three-pitch strikeout, has two more spring starts before the Rays' April 3 opener at home against Toronto. Cash said he'll be capped at seven innings or 105 pitches in his next outing Thursday, tapering off in his final spring outing.

"The effort and the intensity was the exact same," Archer said of his staying on course for the season opener. "Mentally, I put myself in certain situations I'm going to have during the season. … Anytime you can have a little adversity and you do well, it's a positive sign."

Three relievers scheduled to throw — RHPs Andrew Bellatti, Ryan Webb and Alex Colome — all threw in intrasquad games to stay on schedule.

TRANSACTIONS: The Rays continued to pare their roster down, with seven players leaving Saturday to leave 43 with two weeks until opening day.

The Rays optioned INF Nick Franklin and C Luke Maile and reassigned five players to minor-league camp: RHPs Neil Wagner, Parker Markel and Ryan Garton, LHP Jonny Venters and 1B Kyle Roller.

Franklin, who hit .375 in 24 spring at-bats, will still travel with the Rays to Cuba after today's game.

CLEARED: The Rays got final permission Saturday for Cuban-born OF Dayron Varona to make the trip into and out of Cuba with the team.

"I loved seeing the expression on his face when we told him he was able to go," travel director Chris Westmoreland said.

Varona's unexpected opportunity to play again in his home country has been one of the most touching storylines for next week's trip to Havana.

But the Rays didn't know until Saturday morning there was final approval from the Cuban government that Varona, who defected in 2013, will be allowed into and — more importantly — out of the country.

Times staff writer Marc Topkin contributed to this report.

Rays' Archer gets in work after rain cancels game 03/19/16 [Last modified: Saturday, March 19, 2016 8:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Muslim faith greater than fear for Wharton's Rania Samhouri (w/video)


    TAMPA — Rania Samhouri graduated Monday night from Wharton High School, and many times throughout the ceremony she flashed back to a moment that changed her life.

     Rania Samhouri stretches after track practice on Monday April 24, 2017 at Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida. Rania, who is Muslim, recently started wearing her hijab during track competitions. She graduates from Wharton this year and will attend University of South Florida on scholarship next year.
  2. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return


    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  3. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits


    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.

  4. Back to .500, Rays feel ready to roll (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Who wants to be mediocre? Middling? Average? Run-of-the-mill?

    Rays catcher Jesus Sucre tags out the Angels’ Mike Trout trying to score from second base after a perfect peg from rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. in the first inning.
  5. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. preserves shutout with perfect throw

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The closest the Angels came to scoring off RHP Matt Andriese in Thursday's 4-0 Rays victory occurred in the first inning, when DH Mike Trout tried to score from second on a single to right. But the throw from RF Steven Souza Jr. was on the money, and Trout was out.

    "That …

    Colby Rasmus collects high fives and shoulder rubs after driving in all four of the Rays’ runs in their victory Thursday. Rasmus had two run-scoring hits a day after hitting a home run.