Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Archer passes early tests on tight forearm

LOS ANGELES — RHP Chris Archer was pretty sure the forearm tightness that cut short his Wednesday outing was nothing to be concerned about. But he acknowledged feeling much better Friday after testing his arm playing catch and long toss, and is now set to make his next start Tuesday as scheduled.

"Everything felt normal," Archer said. "I knew afterwards that it wasn't serious, but (Friday) to get out there and throw and it let it go like 85-90 percent was nice."

Archer still has to throw his usual between-starts bullpen today but said there is no further apprehension. Head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield and manager Joe Maddon feel the same.

The cause of the tightness Archer felt on several pitches remains something of a mystery. Maddon said it might have been just a cramp.

"For whatever reason, I don't know if it was from swinging the bat or what, it tightened up on me," Archer said.

MOORE BETTER: LHP Matt Moore (elbow soreness) was also upbeat after his workout, playing catch at a distance of 100 feet. He has plans to do so again today, then throw off the mound Sunday, his first such session.

"Just played catch like a normal day and things went really well," Moore said. "It was pretty encouraging to come off an off-day and be able to get in here and get the treatment done and then go and play catch and feel like I did today."

Maddon said how Moore comes through Sunday will play a large role in determining his timetable. Moore said if it goes well, he expects to throw another bullpen Tuesday and Wednesday, and he would hope to return to the rotation shortly after that.

COBB ON TARGET: RHP Alex Cobb worked 4⅓ innings, allowing three runs on five hits while throwing 78 pitches (50 strikes), for Class A Charlotte on Friday in what was likely his last rehab start. Out since being hit by a line drive June 15 and further delayed by a blister, Cobb is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list Thursday and could start then. "I feel ready," Cobb said from Fort Myers. "If (team officials) asked me, I'd be ready to step right back in."

BACK AT IT: 1B James Loney figured it would be a bit odd to come back to Dodger Stadium as a visitor after playing seven years for the Dodgers. But he also welcomed the chance to see familiar faces. The Dodgers traded him to Boston last August, but on Friday it showed a video tribute pregame, and manager Don Mattingly said: "Everybody likes James."

UNFAIR A-ROD RULING: 3B Evan Longoria told si.com that he didn't think it was right for Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez to play and impact the pennant races while waiting to appeal his PED-related suspension. Longoria also called for stronger penalties.

"I don't think it's fair for the other teams, because I'm in the American League East," Longoria said. "Whether he is 100 percent or not, whether his mind is where it needs to be or not, he can affect the game in a positive way. He can affect the game in a tremendous way, which is being in the lineup. In a pennant race, he's a guy you don't want in the lineup. Looking at it from that perspective and that perspective only, I don't think it's fair that we can't have an arbitrator hear the case sooner."

For more of Longoria's comments, see tampabay.com/blogs/rays.

MISCELLANY: OF Wil Myers singled in the second to extend his streak of reaching base to 22 straight games, two off the team rookie record. … 3B Longoria's errant throw in the seventh ended the Rays' errorless streak at nine games, one shy of the team mark. … A former Ray will be honored today with a bobblehead and first pitch: former Dodgers star Hideo Nomo, who finished his career in Tampa Bay. … The Rays get national exposure with today's game on Fox and Sunday's on ESPN.

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