Monday, June 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays bring food truck in for lunch

Numbers of the day

1,395 Career homers hit by players union executives attending Friday's meeting with the Rays: Dave Winfield (465), Bobby Bonilla (287), Tony Clark (251), Jose Cruz Jr. (204), Jeffrey Hammonds (110) and Phil Bradley (78).

2,539 Homers hit in Rays franchise history.

Star of the day

RHP Alex Cobb was going hard during fielding drills, running, diving, making off-balance throws. He joked that he was just trying to set a good example, but LHP David Price said there might be more involved. "He wants a Gold Glove," Price said. "He wants whatever (RHP Jeremy Hellickson's) got."

Dodge of the day

As national media come through Rays camp, one of the common questions has been whether this is the best team in franchise history. When a writer from USA Today asked that question Friday, manager Joe Maddon said: "It's the best Rays team … of 2014 I've ever seen."

Who is this Ray?

Was drafted by the Orioles (37th round, 2007) and Indians (22nd, 2009) before being taken by the Rays in eighth round in 2010. Pitched at Arizona State. First name is Kenneth, but he goes by his middle name.

The dish

Today's abbreviated full-squad workout starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Charlotte Sports Park (2300 El Jobean Road) and will last about 1½ hours. Admission and parking free. Driving time from the bay area is 1½-2 hours. Suggested route: Interstate 75 South to Toledo Blade Road, go west 6½ miles to El Jobean Road (SR 776), go right 2 miles, stadium complex is on left. Information: (941) 235-5025.

Heads-up

It's the first day pitchers will throw batting practice, though many don't swing much, or at all, preferring just to track pitches.

Exhibition schedule

Rays tickets: Single-game range from $10-$29, available at raysbaseball.com, via phone (toll-free 1-800-745-3000), CSP or Tropicana Field box offices, team Tampa store (400 N Tampa St.), all Ticketmaster outlets.

All games 1:05 unless noted.

February

28 Orioles

March

1 at Pirates

2 Twins

3 Phillies

4 at Red Sox

5 Yankees

6 at Orioles

7 at Blue Jays

8 Pirates

9 at Yankees

10 at Red Sox

11 Twins

12 at Blue Jays

13 Pirates

14 at Braves

15 (ss) Blue Jays; at Pirates

16 Red Sox

17 OFF

18 at Twins, 7:05

19 at Orioles

20 Twins, 7:05

21 Blue Jays

22 Orioles

23 at Red Sox

24 at Twins

25 Red Sox

26 Orioles 7:05

27 at Orioles, 7:05

28 at Tigers

29 at AA Montgomery (Ala.), 3:05

Who is this Ray: RHP Merrill Kelly

Follow our coverage all spring on The Heater blog (tampabay.com/blogs/rays) and on Twitter @TBTimes_Rays.

Those hipster Rays …

Always looking to do things a little differently and keep it interesting, the Rays had a food truck on site Friday serving lunch. The menu included the Cuban specialty Sancocho, plus roasted pork and barbecued chicken. Pitcher C.J. Riefenhauser, near right, paid a visit.

Quote of the day

"I'm pretty excited because I'm going crazy just throwing bullpens."

Alex Cobb, Rays RHP, on advancing to throwing batting practice today

Comments
For starters: Rays at Astros, trying to stop a streaking champion

For starters: Rays at Astros, trying to stop a streaking champion

UPDATE, 6:40: Cash said he had a good talk with Hechavarria, and that he understood the situation. Cash said Hechavarria will get to play some, and when he does it will be at short. … RHP Chris Archer (abdominal strain) is slated to throw a bul...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Kevin Kiermaier set to rejoin Rays Tuesday

Kevin Kiermaier set to rejoin Rays Tuesday

CF Kevin Kiermaier is here in Houston and will work out with the Rays today, and said that if all goes well he will be activated on Tuesday.That would be a couple days ahead of his most recent timetable, which had him slated to return to Friday.Kierm...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays drop three of four in New York

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays drop three of four in New York

The Rays lose three of four games in New York as Rick Stroud says they fail to figure out the Yankees' pitching. With Christian Arroyo injured, they activate Adeiny Hechavarria — one of the stars of Sunday's win — from the disabled list a...
Published: 06/18/18
Rays journal: Adeiny Hechavarria returns and plays short, but now what?

Rays journal: Adeiny Hechavarria returns and plays short, but now what?

NEW YORK — The Adeiny Hechavarria situation is going to be interesting for the Rays. The veteran seemed destined to be traded or even released as he completed his recovery from a hamstring strain rather than play again for the Rays after last ...
Published: 06/18/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Yankees game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Yankees game

The Rays remain committed to using an "opener" three times in five game stretches, but that seems to tax the bullpen too much. Wilmer Font showed Sunday that he should be able to handle starting, at least until Chris Archer returns.It was only one wi...
Published: 06/17/18
Updated: 06/18/18
Rays journal: Adeiny Hechavarria returns and plays short, but now what?

Rays journal: Adeiny Hechavarria returns and plays short, but now what?

NEW YORK — The Adeiny Hechavarria situation is going to be interesting for the Rays.The veteran seemed destined to be traded or even released as he completed his recovery from a hamstring strain rather than play again for the Rays after last week’s p...
Published: 06/17/18

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Yankees game

The Rays remain committed to using an "opener" three times in five game stretches, but that seems to tax the bullpen too much. Wilmer Font showed Sunday that he should be able to handle starting, at least until Chris Archer returns.e_SClBIt was only ...
Published: 06/17/18
Rays leave New York with a smile after beating Yankees 3-1

Rays leave New York with a smile after beating Yankees 3-1

NEW YORK — You had seen this game before.So had the radio guys, the coaches, the manager, the players and, certainly, the bosses.The Rays grab an early lead over the Yankees. They look like they are headed to a rare win in the Bronx. And then when th...
Published: 06/17/18
Rays leave New York with a smile after beating Yankees 3-1

Rays leave New York with a smile after beating Yankees 3-1

NEW YORK – You had seen this game before.So had the radio guys, the coaches, the manager, the players and, certainly, the bosses.The Rays grab an early lead over the Yankees. They look like they are headed to a rare win in the Bronx. And t...
Published: 06/17/18
Rays journal: Adeiny Hechavarria returns and plays short, but now what?

Rays journal: Adeiny Hechavarria returns and plays short, but now what?

NEW YORK — The Adeiny Hechavarria situation is going to be interesting for the Rays.The veteran seemed destined to be traded or even released as he completed his recovery from a hamstring strain rather than play again for the Rays after last we...
Published: 06/17/18