Sunday, February 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays see value in win-loss success, using caution

PORT CHARLOTTE — With the Rays set to open their exhibition season today, manager Joe Maddon joked that he might have trouble sleeping Thursday.

But as much as the games are more about process, repetitions and evaluation, he did note that spring success has some value.

"Normally when the Rays do well in spring training, we do have a good season," he said. "That normally seems to follow, so keeping that part of it in mind … when we do well here, we do well there. So, we'll see."

Most of the regulars will starttoday, but they'll play only three or so innings, with reserves and then minor-leaguers to follow. "Three shifts,'' Maddon said.

The planned lineup: David DeJesus, lf; Yunel Escobar, ss; James Loney, 1b; Evan Longoria, 3b; Matt Joyce, DH; Wil Myers, rf; Desmond Jennings, cf; Jose Molina, c; Logan Forsythe, 2b.

2B Ben Zobrist won't play until early next week. The Rays are being cautious because he missed the first week of workouts with a sore and tight back. The pitchers similarly will have light duty, limited for the most part to an inning the first time out.

ARCHED UP: After opting for a light bullpen session rather than batting practice Tuesday, RHP Chris Archer threw about 30 pitches to hitters Thursday, putting him on a regular five-day routine leading up to his first start Tuesday.

Working primarily on fastball command and his changeup, Archer said he got good feedback from David Price and the other starters who hung around to watch and from Zobrist, who was one of the hitters. "All in all, a good day," he said.

HAPPY JUAN: Nonroster RHP Juan Sandoval reported to camp after a delay of two weeks because of visa issues in his native Dominican Republic after re-signing late in the offseason.

"The process was a little slow," he said. "Down in the Dominican, the embassy, they have their process, and every year it's getting worse."

Sandoval, likely headed to Triple-A Durham, said he was working out regularly and throwing to hitters so he should not be far behind. He said RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo, waiting since a Feb. 6 consular interview, has been doing the same: "He wants to be here. He's ready to go, too.''

He's got his MTV: OF Wil Myers was thrilled to be among the players invited to take part in the new MTV2 show Off the Bat from the MLB Fan Cave.

Myers has already taped a segment playing shuffleboard, and he will be executive producer for an episode. "I grew up watching MTV," he said. "It's a cool thing to be involved in."

MISCELLANY: The team is close to signing all of its pre-arbitration players, with a deadline of Sunday to agree to terms or be renewed. … Sun Sports announced it will televise 150 games, with four others carried by Fox or Fox Sports 1.

Spring fling

Rays spring records, with playoff seasons that followed noted:

Year W-L-T

2013* 15-17-2

2012 10-16-6

2011* 15-14-2

2010* 20-8-2

2009 15-16-1

2008* 18-8-2

2007 10-19-2

2006 13-16-1

Year W-L-T

2005 13-16-0

2004 11-8-0

2003 8-19-3

2002 10-16-1

2001 12-15-1

2000 14-17-0

1999 14-14-1

1998 12-18-0

Comments
Ellsbury ready to play, but where?

Ellsbury ready to play, but where?

By ROGER MOONEYTimes Staff WriterTAMPA – Jacoby Ellsbury reported Sunday and said all the right things when he faced the Yankees media for the first time this spring.He is excited to begin spring training. He worked hard this offseason. He is e...
Updated: 1 hour ago
What were Rays thinking in ditching Odorizzi, Dickerson, adding Cron?

What were Rays thinking in ditching Odorizzi, Dickerson, adding Cron?

PORT CHARLOTTE – Rays officials insisted Sunday they made the best deals they could in a bad market, trading No. 2 starter Jake Odorizzi for an unheralded Class A shortstop prospect and DFA-ing 2017 All-Star Corey Dickerson in essentially a swa...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Live from Port Charlotte: Rays will open with 4-man rotation, Andriese in pen

Live from Port Charlotte: Rays will open with 4-man rotation, Andriese in pen

While most of the talk at Rays camp on Sunday was about the series of late Saturday deals that saw Jake Odorizzi traded, Corey Dickerson DFA'd and C.J. Cron acquired, there was some news.Manager Kevin Cash said they that because of a lot of early sea...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Morning after comments on Rays’ busy Saturday, dealing Odorizzi, Dickerson; adding Cron

Morning after comments on Rays’ busy Saturday, dealing Odorizzi, Dickerson; adding Cron

Here are some of the comments from Rays camp this morning after the Rays' busy Saturday night in which they traded RHP Jake Odorizzi to the Twins for Class A SS prospect Jermaine Palacios, designated for assignment 2017 All-Star DH/OF Corey Dickerson...
Updated: 7 hours ago
‘Babe Ruth of Japan’ already talks the talk of an MLB pitcher

‘Babe Ruth of Japan’ already talks the talk of an MLB pitcher

TEMPE, Ariz. – Major league pitchers nowadays emerge from the womb, or at the very least arrive at the end of their minor-league apprenticeships, already knowing that the only proper answer to any question pertaining to your first stint on a mo...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Rays trade Odorizzi to Twins, acquire Cron from Angels, DFA All-Star Dickerson

Rays trade Odorizzi to Twins, acquire Cron from Angels, DFA All-Star Dickerson

The order from ownership to cut payroll stymied by the same market freeze that has stalled transactions throughout the game, the Rays on Saturday night burst into action with a series of somewhat confusing moves that saved them around $10 million.The...
Published: 02/17/18
Updated: 02/18/18
Who was right in Archer-Honeywell exchange? How about both?

Who was right in Archer-Honeywell exchange? How about both?

ROSTER REPORTFirst of our weekly semi-educated guesses at the makeup of the 25-man opening day roster, projecting that Jake Odorizzi and Denard Span will be traded:PITCHERS (12): Jose Alvarado, Matt Andriese, Chris Archer, Alex Colome, Nathan Eovaldi...
Published: 02/17/18
For Rays Wilson Ramos, horrors of 2011 kidnapping remain

For Rays Wilson Ramos, horrors of 2011 kidnapping remain

PORT CHARLOTTE – Lying on the floor of a Venezuelan mountain hideout as his kidnappers and would-be rescuers exchanged gunfire for more than five minutes, Wilson Ramos, understandably, feared the worst."Everything I was thinking in that moment ...
Published: 02/17/18
Denard Span happy to be with Rays now, would be happier March 29

Denard Span happy to be with Rays now, would be happier March 29

PORT CHARLOTTE – OF Denard Span was truly happy to be here in Rays camp on Saturday.But the Tampa product said he'll be much happier – and more relaxed – if he actually makes it to the regular season with his hometown team.The Rays ...
Published: 02/17/18
Live from Port Charlotte: Rays to continue parade of arms

Live from Port Charlotte: Rays to continue parade of arms

UPDATE, 9:59: Span, Williams and Velazquez have all reported to camp, leaving the Rays just Hechavarria shy of  a full house.Velazquez, who played last season at Double-A Montgomery, said he was pleasantly surprised to get a call on Tuesday, whi...
Published: 02/17/18