Monday, October 15, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Boxberger says he's been tipping pitches

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As bad as the ending of Tuesday's matinee was for Rays All-Star RHP Brad Boxberger, giving up a walkoff grand slam to the Royals' Paulo Orlando, there may be some good.

After reviewing video in consultation with pitching coach Jim Hickey, Boxberger said Wednesday it was obvious he was tipping his pitches, which explained by Orlando was locked and loaded for a 1-and-0 changeup.

"It was pretty obvious, looking at the video," Boxberger said. "So I'll definitely make some changes with that and get back to not telling every hitter what's coming."

As well as Boxberger has pitched, converting 20 of 22 save chances to earn the favor of American League/Royals manager Ned Yost, he has had struggles, getting five losses (the last two by walkoff) and allowing five homers.

Boxberger acknowledged some other planned changes — to "reverse the battle" — as hitters have started to change their style and methods against him.

"It's a combination of me not making my pitches along with a hitter's different approach," he said.

"(Tuesday's game) definitely made me look at the video and see how I was attacking hitters and probably getting a little too happy with the changeup when they're going to be looking for it. So I'll definitely change my approach."

SMYLY GUY: Baseball operations president Matt Silverman said the team is optimistic LHP Drew Smyly can return in August from shoulder issues, based on his response to a throwing program that has included several bullpen sessions. "He's been getting his work in, he's been pain free, and he's starting to build up," Silverman said, though live batting practices and rehabilitation games will be a truer test. Smyly has been sidelined since early May due to a torn labrum. It is possible the tear had been there and his discomfort was related to other issues.

INSIDE OUT: INF Logan Forsythe logged an inside-the-park homer on a play when Royals All-Star LF Alex Gordon went down with a groin strain, the 14th in Rays history. Then Kansas City's Jarrod Dyson got one on a ball that got past Rays LF David DeJesus. That made it the first big-league game with inside-the-parkers by both teams since May 26, 1997, when the Cubs (Sammy Sosa) and Pirates (Tony Womack) did it.

PITCHING IN: RHP Jake Odorizzi came through his Wednesday bullpen session fine and was set to come off the DL and start Saturday after missing more than a month after an oblique strain. … RHP Andrew Bellatti, reinstated from the DL late Tuesday, said his previously sore shoulder "feels 100 percent." … LHP Jake McGee's lack of use since Friday is based purely on the situations, Cash said. "There is nothing wrong with Jake McGee. Nothing."

MINOR MATTERS: Class-A Advanced Charlotte 1B Casey Gillaspie, the Rays' top draft pick in 2014, will miss about eight weeks because of a fracture of the fifth metacarpal (pinky) in his left hand. He was recently promoted after hitting 16 homers in 64 games at Class-A Bowling Green. … Top 2015 draft pick OF Garrett Whitley was expected to make his pro debut with the Rays' Gulf Coast League team Monday or Tuesday. … Double-A Montgomery OF Joey Rickard drew a Southern League-record six walks Tuesday, seeing 31 pitches without a swing.

WHEN IT RAINS … : The Rays team bus broke down Tuesday as they left the stadium after being swept in the day-night DH and they had to wait about 10 minutes for a new bus.

MISCELLANY: DH John Jaso had three hits and is 6-for-8 since coming off the DL on Tuesday. … First-pitch temperature — on July 8 — was 64 degrees. … The Rays will give away All-Star T-shirts featuring RHP Chris Archer and Boxberger to the first 10,000 fans Saturday. … Sun Sports viewership for Rays games is up 7 percent from last year to this point in the season, the network said.

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