Sunday, December 17, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Derek Shelton, Brian Anderson exult over Cavaliers' parade

CLEVELAND — Apart from the stadium workers picking confetti off the outfield grass and some programming on the video board, there were few signs at Wednesday' night's game of the historic Cavs championship parade that went through downtown hours earlier.

But for a few members of the Rays traveling party, it was a special day to be in Cleveland.

Hitting coach Derek Shelton, who spent 2005-09 with the Indians, watched the proceedings with his wife, Ali, and daughter Gianna from a perch at Progressive Field.

"It was really neat to see," Shelton said. "Obviously they've been waiting for a championship for a long time. I could definitely relate to it, having been a coach here, and being on the '07 team that had a 3-1 lead in the ALCS (and lost to Boston). And Ali is from here, so she is invested, too. My father-in-law remembers the '64 Browns (who won Cleveland's previous major championship). So it was cool."

Rays TV analyst Brian Anderson, who grew up near Cleveland and lives in suburban Chagrin Falls, watched from home, texting with a buddy whose office was along the route but because of the crowd, estimated in excess of 1 million, had to park 30 blocks away.

"It was surreal," Anderson said. "People were saying they couldn't believe how many people were jammed into the city and along the route, but you knew it would be something like this. You knew the city was waiting to explode for a championship. I'd never seen anything like we did today."

Anderson noted that the NHL champion Penguins had an estimated crowd of only 400,000 for their parade through Pittsburgh last week.

"That's what happens," Anderson said, "when you only do it once every half-century."

INF/OF Taylor Motter and OF Jaff Decker were among the players who crossed paths with part of the crowd on their way to the ballpark. "I walked by the arena (where the parade started), and whoever had to clean that up, good luck," Motter said. "There was a lot of confetti."

MEDICAL MATTERS: DH Steve Pearce is looking at a three- to four-week absence after an MRI exam showed his hamstring strain is similar to the one that has sidelined OF Brandon Guyer since June 4. "That's probably about where he's at," manager Kevin Cash said. … RHP Ryan Webb (right pectoralis strain) will make his fourth rehab appearance tonight for Triple-A Durham.

DOUBLE-DIPPING: The Rays set their pitching for Saturday's doubleheader in Baltimore, with RHP Matt Andriese starting the 1:05 game and RHP Jake Odorizzi the 7:05 nightcap. Cash said there wasn't much science to the decision: "Just going and asking Jake which game he wants." Andriese threw 36 pitches over 1⅔ innings Wednesday as a tuneup.

DRAFT REPORT: The Rays spent some of the bonus money they saved in under-slot deals with their top picks by signing sixth-round RHP Zack Trageton for a reported $525,000, well above the $275,900 value for the 180th selection. Trageton of Las Vegas' Faith Lutheran High had a scholarship offer from Utah. The team also signed eighth-round LHP Kenny Rosenberg of Cal-State Northridge, putting 13 of the first 16 picks under contract.

MISCELLANY: Cash said he welcomed today's off-day as a chance to hit the reset button: "We probably do need to think about resetting some things.'' … INF Nick Franklin, called up after OF Mikie Mahtook broke his hand Monday, started at second (went 0-for-3), with Logan Forsythe at DH. … RHP Jacob Faria, one of the top prospects, was promoted to Durham from Double-A Montgomery, where he was 1-6, 4.21 with 93 strikeouts in 831/3 innings.

Comments
Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

LAKE BUENA VISTA — There were a lot of reasons the Rays didn’t start the process of trading some of their bigger-name, higher-paid players at last week’s winter meetings.Most obvious was them not finding the just-right deal to move closer Alex Colome...
Published: 12/16/17
No big deal for Rays at winter meetings, but it’s still coming

No big deal for Rays at winter meetings, but it’s still coming

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Here’s the one thing we definitely know:Rays officials headed home from the winter meetings and back across I-4 Thursday without making deals to trade any of their bigger-name, higher-paid players. Not closer Alex Colome, not third...
Published: 12/14/17
Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

UPDATE, 4:02: It doesn't sound like the Rays and Cardinals will be making a deal today, Derrick Goold writing for the St. Louis Post Dispatch that Cardinals execs "leave the Walt Disney Dolphin resort with good feel for what Tampa Bay would be willin...
Published: 12/14/17
Rays re-sign pitcher Jonny Venters, among 13 invited to spring training

Rays re-sign pitcher Jonny Venters, among 13 invited to spring training

LAKE BUENA VISTA — LHP Jonny Venters got as far as Triple A in September. Now the former All-Star is positioned to make it all the way back to the majors for the first time since 2012, re-signing with the Rays and headlining Thursday’s announcement o...
Published: 12/14/17
Veteran Jonny Venters, prospect Joe McCarthy among 13 Tampa Bay Rays spring invitees

Veteran Jonny Venters, prospect Joe McCarthy among 13 Tampa Bay Rays spring invitees

Inspiring veteran LHP Jonny Venters and intriguing prospect 1B/OF Joe McCarthy are among 13 players invited to major-league spring training camp with the Rays.Others coming as a result of signing minor-league contracts with invites are: RHP R.J. Alan...
Published: 12/14/17
Tampa Bay Rays lose RHP Burch Smith in Rule 5 draft, keep Nick Ciuffo

Tampa Bay Rays lose RHP Burch Smith in Rule 5 draft, keep Nick Ciuffo

The Rays lost RHP Burch Smith in Thursday's Rule 5 draft but were happy to see him get an opportunity in Kansas City.They also were pleased to hang on to C Nick Ciuffo, who was left exposed but not selected.Smith, 27, was acquired from the Padres as ...
Published: 12/14/17
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 4

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 4

UPDATE, 11:09: RHP Steve Cishek, who was a very effective addition to the Rays pen last season, has reunited with pitching coach Jim Hickey, agreeing to a deal with the Cubs.UPDATE, 10:40: Like most teams, Rays officials are heading out of the meetin...
Published: 12/14/17
Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

As part of its deal to buy a massive package of 21st Century Fox assets, Disney will acquire Fox Sports Regional Networks, which control the local cable rights to a slew of professional teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning.Assu...
Published: 12/14/17
Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Without getting into specifics – especially the who and the where – Rays officials are for the first time talking optimistically about making a trade before the winter meetings end Thursday.Speaking at around 5:15, senior VP Chaim Bloom s...
Published: 12/13/17

Winter meetings journal: Rays trade for money to sign top international free agent

LAKE BUENA VISTA — While most of the business conducted at the meetings impacts the big-league team one way or another, the Rays are working to finalize a move they hope pays off big sometime in the 2020s.In trading Wednesday to acquire $1 million in...
Published: 12/13/17