Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays excited about Dodger Stadium experience

LOS ANGELES — Playing in Dodger Stadium will be a new and welcomed experience for a lot of the Rays.

"You see it on TV all the time, and it looks beautiful and it holds a ton of people," CF Kevin Kiermaier said.

"I'm looking forward to playing there. I've never been there, and I'm excited to play there and just see what it has to offer. It's pretty cool that (legendary Dodgers broadcaster) Vin Scully has called games for thousands of guys, and now I can be part of that group, a guy with his resume and how long he's been in the game. Just to know that at some point he'll say my name is pretty cool to think about."

Rays with National League experience say the combination of the atmosphere, weather and quality of the playing surface offset the lack of space and modern amenities to make for a positive experience.

"It's a beautiful field," 2B Logan Forsythe said. "It's kind of in the middle of nowhere, but once you pull up, you're like there's some history here. You get Scully over the speakers and you're like, this is baseball."

This is just the second time in 19 seasons the Rays have played in Chavez Ravine, and it is the only one of the 41 stadiums in which they have played regular-season games where they haven't won, being swept in a three-game series in 2013.

3B Evan Longoria is the only Ray who played in those games still with the team; RHP Chris Archer was active but didn't pitch, LHP Matt Moore was on the DL.

"Ton of history there," said Longoria, who grew up in somewhat nearby Downey. "It's a place I grew up watching ballgames. Dodger Stadium is cool."

TRADE WINDS: The Pirates, who have scouted the Rays heavily, are considered more motivated to deal for a starter with top RHP prospect Tyler Glasnow sidelined with shoulder issues, with Moore a potential fit. … Count the Giants among the teams that could be a fit for INF Steve Pearce, who says he'd prefer not to go anywhere. … Though most of the speculation with the Rays starters has been on the Dodgers, Pirates and Rangers, it's worth noting the Marlins had senior adviser Orrin Freeman watching them in Oakland all weekend.

STEPPING UP IN CLASS: Starting tonight, the Rays play 50 of their remaining 64 games against teams with current winning records. That's not a good thing, as they are 15-12 against teams under .500 while 23-48 vs. teams over. Their 71 games against teams over .500 are most in the majors.

MISCELLANY: 1B Logan Morrison is expected to be back in the lineup for the first time since July 18, having received a cortisone shot Thursday to quell inflammation in his right forearm. … RHP Brad Boxberger (oblique) tonight is slated for the first of back-to-back rehab appearances for the Stone Crabs, the final step before being activated. … RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session today at the Trop, with the possibility the next step is a return to pitching in minor-league games.

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