Monday, April 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays hope WBC-bound players get their work in

PORT CHARLOTTE — Rays officials will be more than just casual observers as they have five players participating in the next round of World Baseball Classic games that start tonight.

INF/OF Ben Zobrist is playing for the United States team, closer Fernando Rodney for the Dominican Republic, C Jose Molina for Puerto Rico, LHP Cesar Ramos for Mexico and LHP Alex Torres for Venezuela.

Injury is obviously the Rays' biggest worry, but so is workload, specifically that they don't get overused in the games, especially the pitchers, and they get enough repetitions in before the games.

"Sometimes I think the concern is that they're going to play too much or pitch too much, but actually I think the concern is just the opposite, that they don't play enough, they don't get enough at-bats, they don't get enough innings, enough consistent work," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

"That's the greater concern right now. I think the ultimate concern is injury, but I don't really focus on that as much as them getting their work in."

The players, who left camp earlier this week to join their national teams, could be gone a while. Pool play extends through this weekend, with second-round games March 12-16 in Miami and the semifinals and finals March 17-19 in San Francisco.

PITCHING IN: RHP Alex Cobb starts today against the Pirates in Bradenton, having had one rough outing this spring and one good one.

"It's kind of been the opposite ends of the spectrum," Cobb said. "So I think the third outing will be kind of more telling where I'm at with my consistency and delivery and being able to make adjustments. But I do feel really good. Honestly, every outing I've thrown, dating back to the first bullpen through live BP have been really good. There was that one blip in there in that first game, but I think I'm back on track and made the right adjustments. So I'm looking forward to seeing what the third one's going to bring."

COMMUNITY SERVICE: Maddon, players Chris Archer, Tim Beckham, Jeremy Hellickson, Desmond Jennings and Jose Lobaton, and the coaching staff will attend the fifth annual Rays BaseBALL Dinner & Auction benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Charlotte County on Friday at the Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center in Punta Gorda. For tickets, call (941) 979-8379. … Cobb, Dane De La Rosa, Jake McGee and Sean Rodriguez will represent the Rays on the runway Saturday in the 10th annual Veredus Fashion Funds the Cure event, benefiting the Pediatric Cancer Foundation. For tickets, see fastercure.org or call (813) 269-0955.

Comments
Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Hereís what they see.

Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Hereís what they see.

ST. PETERSBURG — Absolutely, Alex Cobb was saying over the phone, it's going to be weird pitching Tuesday against the Rays.The organization that he owes so much for rearing him since high school, standing by him through assorted injuries, enabl...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays win on Carlos Gomezís walkoff home run

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays win on Carlos Gomezís walkoff home run

Carlos Gomez, who had been struggling, delivers a two-run, walkoff home run as the Rays sweep the Twins for the first time at Tropicana Field. Rick Stroud discusses the moment and the celebration that followed Gomez's first career walkoff hit in toda...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays are suddenly swinging hot bats, but will it last?

Rays are suddenly swinging hot bats, but will it last?

ST. PETERSBURG — Good pitching and hitting go hand in glove, but the Rays did not look like a team that could swing the bats very well until this completed homestand.In their series sweep over the Twins, Tampa Bay scored 8, 10 and 8 runs. ...
Published: 04/22/18
Rick Stroudís takeaways from Rays-Twins

Rick Stroudís takeaways from Rays-Twins

–Yonny Chirinos may be the Rays fourth starter, but it seems to be in name only. He was lifted after pitching 4 2/3 innings against the Twin on Sunday, the shortest start of his career and his second-shortest appearance.  "Going into the g...
Published: 04/22/18
Raysí Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

Raysí Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

ST. PETERSBURG — With every swing, there is a chance Carlos Gomez is going to do something extraordinary with the baseball bat.He may swing so violently that he spins himself into the ground as if he were an oil drill. Or, you could see him sna...
Published: 04/22/18
For starters: Rays vs. Twins, going for the first series sweep of the season, 1:10 p.m.

For starters: Rays vs. Twins, going for the first series sweep of the season, 1:10 p.m.

Rays pitcher Yonny Chirinos is no longer just part of a bullpen day, he's the No. 4 starter and who goes to the mound at 1:10 p.m. against Phil Hughes to try to help Tampa Bay attempt to complete a three-game sweep of the Twins.Catcher Wilson Ramos g...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Members of the Rays organization sent their thoughts and prayers to former teammate Danny Farquhar, who was hospitalized Saturday night in Chicago in stable but critical condition after suffering a brain hemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm.Farqu...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays on Sunday: 1:10 vs. Twins

Rays on Sunday: 1:10 vs. Twins

Sunday vs. Twins1:10, Tropicana FieldTV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 760-AM (Spanish)Tickets: $20-$300; available at Tropicana Field box office, raysbaseball.com, surcharge of up to $5 within five hours of game.Promotion: Mascot socks for kids 14 a...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

ST. PETERSBURG – Let's be clear here, the Rays still have a long way to go, and a lot of ground to make up.But seeing them play like they did Saturday in beating the Twins 10-1, putting on a solid all-around show in cobbling their first three-g...
Published: 04/21/18
Updated: 04/22/18
Marc Topkinís takeaways from Raysí 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

Marc Topkinís takeaways from Raysí 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

* Is it time to take the leap and believe this is the real Blake Snell? He talked a good game this spring and pitched well in his debut, but that rough second outing raised old doubts. But a good outing in Chicago and two dominant ones on the homesta...
Published: 04/21/18