Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays give slumping Zobrist day off

MINNEAPOLIS — 2B Ben Zobrist usually shuns talk of taking a day off.

But when Rays coaches broached the idea after Friday's game, he didn't even put up a fight.

"When things start getting frustrating and you start getting too emotionally wrapped up in what's happening, that's when you know you mentally need the rest," Zobrist said. "And I think physically, too, after playing 21 out of 22 days. I think at this point of the season, I was pretty tired."

It showed, as Zobrist is hitless in his past 15 at-bats and 2-for-his-past-24. Plus he made two errors in a five-game span on the last road trip and a few misplays, or at least missed plays, since.

Manager Joe Maddon said he thought Zobrist, whom he refers to as a metronome because of his consistent effort, had looked a bit heavy-legged. "He just needed a day off," Maddon said.

Another sign of concern was that the mild-mannered Zobrist had slammed his bat a few times. "I've been frustrated," he said.

NOT-SO-MINOR MATTERS: Triple-A Durham won its fourth International League championship in 12 years, beating Pawtucket (Red Sox) 7-0 to wrap up the Governor's Cup in Game 4 on Saturday. Kevin Kiermaier hit a home run and Merrill Kelly worked six solid innings. Durham will face the PCL winner Tuesday in the Triple-A National Championship game in Allentown, Pa. This is Bulls' second championship under manager Charlie Montoyo, also in 2009.

CRAIN TRAIN: RHP Jesse Crain indeed came through Friday's bullpen session feeling good and will throw to hitters Monday at the Trop in what could be the final test of his previously strained shoulder before he is activated and pitches in games. A final decision on his next step will be made Tuesday.

"It could be (pitching in a game); I'm not going to deny that it could be," Maddon said. "I really believe when he gets a hitter out there he's going to crank it up a little bit more, and that next day after that is really going to tell us what we've got."

PRICE CHECK: Maddon joked there were "all kinds of sirens" going off in the Rays offices when he allowed LHP David Price to throw a career-high 127 pitches Tuesday, but the Rays ace said there has been no carryover effect as he prepared to start today.

"I felt great all week," Price said. "I felt great the next day. Honestly, there was no difference. I didn't feel any different in my bullpen. I haven't felt any different playing catch in my three previous days. I feel like I take care of myself. I feel like I'm a very well-conditioned baseball player and I want to be out there for as long as possible."

Though frustrated that the Rays lost the game to the Red Sox, Price took some solace in how well he pitched, specifically throwing 92 strikes — most by an American League pitcher this season — in eight innings. Price joined Cliff Lee as the only pitchers since 2008 to throw that many strikes in eight innings and get the loss.

ARCHER IN: Rookie RHP Chris Archer extended his career-high innings workload to 166 between the majors and minors, but Maddon said they expect him to make his three remaining regular-season starts.

That was part of the reason they limited him to 87 pitches and six innings in Friday's win and pulled him earlier in his two previous starts. "Under the circumstances, let's be prudent and squeeze all the utility you can out of him," Maddon said. "By continuing to do what we've been doing I think you can get three quality starts out of him."

MISCELLANY: The Rays beat the Twins for the 11th straight time, their second longest such streak over an opponent, beating the Orioles 12 straight in 2008. ... The Rays logged their 15th shutout, second in the AL to the Indians. Their 30 over the last two seasons are the most in the league. It was their 35th game this season allowing one or no runs, second to the Tigers. ..,

LHP Matt Moore threw his AL-leading 13th wild pitch. … The Rays went into play Saturday as one of just two teams to have used only two catchers this season; the Angels are the other. … OF Wil Myers went into play Saturday leading all rookies with 44 RBIs since his June 18 debut.

Rays give slumping Zobrist day off 09/14/13 [Last modified: Sunday, September 15, 2013 1:49am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jones: Koetter-Winston exchange highlights latest 'Hard Knocks'


    There are certain things that make HBO's Hard Knocks must-see television.

    Jameis Winston, left, has an exchange with Dirk Koetter that highlights Hard Knocks.
  2. Trevor Plouffe is DFA'd by Rays, Kittredge recalled for now


    INF Trevor Plouffe didn't do much with the opportunity the Rays gave him, and time ran out Tuesday when he was designated for assignment after the game.

    Plouffe hit just .178, with one homer and two RBIs, in 31 games for the Rays, his primary playing time from starting at first or third against lefties.

  3. Rays journal: Offense shows signs of waking up in win over Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The drought was so severe that it's still probably too soon to say the Rays are out of it, but scoring a half-dozen runs in Tuesday's 6-5 win over the Blue Jays was another promising sign.

    Corey Dickerson high-fives Wilson Ramos after hitting a solo home run in the third inning, putting the Rays up 2-1.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    C Wilson Ramos, coming off right knee surgery, often takes it easy on the bases, though it's not always a good look. But he hustled when he needed to Tuesday and got the Rays a run by beating out a two-out infield single, finishing with three more hits.

  5. Rays are full of ideas they'd like to share when commissioner visits

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Commissioner Rob Manfred is coming to the Trop today. Hmm. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg will be there to greet him. Hmmmm. And they have a scheduled joint media session. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred isn’t expected to say anything definitive about the Rays’ stadium situation when he visits the team today.