Thursday, June 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays: Ex-Ray Gabe Kapler visits

The Longoria calendar

It's hard keep the days of the week straight given the repetitive routine of spring training, and it has been even more of a whirlwind for 3B Evan Longoria, given the unexpected early birth of his daughter last week. So he probably can be excused for saying Tuesday about his readiness for the season: "The target is April 1, it's not Feb. 30."

On the run

So why was Longoria, he of the previous hamstring problems, even trying to score from second base in the first inning against the Astros on Tuesday? Because 3B coach Tom Foley didn't stop him. Foley said as much, saying he was "caught in between" and could only yell to Longoria, who didn't hear him. The lesson? It's spring training for coaches, too.

Rays at Pirates

When/where: 1:05 today; McKechnie Field, 1611 9th Street W, Bradenton

Tickets: $14-$24, available through pirates.com, toll-free 1-877-893-2827

Pitchers: Rays — Jeff Niemann, Jeremy Hellickson, Juan Sandoval, Dane De La Rosa, Alex Torres, Felipe Rivero, J.D. Martin, Frank De Los Santos; Pirates — A.J. Burnett, Gerrit Cole, Vic Black, Brooks Brown, Jason Grilli, Jared Hughes, Mark Melancon

Heads-up

Most of the front-line players — though not 3B Evan Longoria — are scheduled to make the trip, including OF/INF Ben Zobrist, CF Desmond Jennings, SS Yunel Escobar, plus OF prospect Wil Myers.

On deck

Thursday: Tigers, 1:05. Rays — Matt Moore; Tigers — Anibal Sanchez

Friday: at Blue Jays (Dunedin), 1:05. Rays — Jake Odorizzi; Jays — TBA

Saturday: Orioles, 1:05. Rays — Alex Cobb; Orioles — TBA

Who is this Ray: INF/OF Sean Rodriguez.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Remaining exhibition games

Tickets: $10-$27, available at raysbaseball.com, Charlotte Sports Park and Trop box offices, Tampa team store, through Ticketmaster.

Info: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS)

All games 1:05 unless noted

March

3: vs. Twins

4: at Red Sox, 1:35

5: at Twins

6: Off

7: at Pirates

8: vs. Phillies

9: at Phillies

10: vs. Red Sox

11: vs. Twins, 7:05

12: vs. Yankees

13: Off

14: at Orioles

15: vs. Phillies

16: vs. Red Sox

17: at Red Sox, 1:35

18: Off

19: at Tigers

20: at Twins, 7:05

21: vs. Jays

22: vs. Orioles, at Pirates

23: vs. Twins

24: at Yankees

25: vs. Pirates, 7:05

26: at Phillies

27: vs. Jays

28: at Orioles, 7:05

29: at Tigers

30: vs. Tigers at Trop, 1:10



Familiar face of the day

Former Rays OF Gabe Kapler, right, was in uniform for the first of two days, fulfilling what he said was a need for "a baseball fix." Kapler, whom manager Joe Maddon introduced as "possibly the best teammate you've ever had in your life," said he'd like to get into coaching at the appropriate time but now wants to spend time with his sons.

Quote of the day

"No comment."

RHP Alex Cobb, joking, on what the Rays learned in Tuesday's media training session

Who is this Ray?

His father is a career baseball man, currently managing in Class A, and his brother played in the minors. He played at the Trop while in high school. Has played seven positions in the majors. (See answer below, at left.)

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