Thursday, February 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays: In Cincinnati, chili is hotly debated

Rays at Reds

When/where: 7:10 tonight, Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM

Probable pitchers

RAYS: LHP David Price (1-0, 4.05)

Reds: RHP Johnny Cueto (0-0, 1.93)

On Price: Battled through illness to work six innings vs. the Rangers on Saturday, allowing three runs. Faced the Reds in June 2011 at the Trop, retiring the first 14 and working into the eighth. Is 2-for-24 as a hitter.

On Cueto: Hard thrower made his third straight opening day start, with no signs of spring shoulder/back soreness. Limited to 11 starts last year due to injuries. Got a no-decision in a solid 2011 start vs. the Rays.

Key matchups

Rays vs. CUETO

David DeJesus 5-for-22

James Loney 2-for-12

Yunel Escobar 0-for-3

REDS VS. PRICE

Jay Bruce 0-for-3

Ramon Santiago 4-for-9

Joey Votto 1-for-3

On deck

Saturday: at Reds, 1:10. Rays — RH Alex Cobb (0-1, 3.00); Reds — RH Alfredo Simon (1-0, 1.29)

Sunday: at Reds, 1:10. Rays — TBA; Reds—- LH Tony Cingrani (0-1, 2.45)

Monday: at Orioles, 7:05. Rays — RH Chris Archer (1-0, 1.38); Orioles — LH Wei-Yin Chen (1-1, 6.75)

Tuesday: at Orioles, 7:05. Rays — RH Jake Odorizzi (1-1, 5.73); Orioles —- RH Miguel Gonzalez (0-1, 9.64)

Wednesday: at Orioles, 12:35. Rays — LH David Price (1-0, 4.05); Orioles — RH Chris Tillman (1-0, 1.35

A moment in time

This is the Rays first trip to Cincinnati since June 2005, which was the beginning of the end for manager Lou Piniella (above), as Stuart Sternberg was about to take over as owner and hire Joe Maddon. Here is the Devil Rays lineup from the June 9, 2005, series finale:

Carl Crawford, LF

Julio Lugo, SS

Aubrey Huff, RF

Travis Lee, 1B

Jorge Cantu, 2B

Reggie Taylor, CF

Toby Hall, C

Alex Gonzalez, 3B

Casey Fossum, P

Rays disabled list

• INF Tim Beckham, knee surgery, 15-day, eligible April 14 (targeting post-All-Star break)

• RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo, right elbow surgery, 15-day, April 14 (on rehab assignment)

• RHP Jeremy Hellickson, right elbow surgery, eligible April 14 (targeting June 1)

• LHP Matt Moore, left elbow soreness, eligible April 23

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Cincinnati means chili ...

As the Rays are sure to notice, chili is a big deal in Cincinnati. But here it's not the heavy, meat-laden, meal-in-a-bowl chili many are used to, but a lighter sauce-style mix, usually served over spaghetti or on hot dogs with lots of cheese on top. Skyline Chili is the most well-known, the largest of several chain restaurants that serve it up.

... but it's an acquired taste

Among several Rays who've played in or visited Cincinnati we didn't find many fans of the local delicacy except for RHP Josh Lueke, who has several favorite places that serve it up, with various degrees of spice. C Ryan Hanigan, who played parts of seven seasons with the Reds, wasn't even interested in trying. "I know it's probably a sin being in Cincinnati, but it just doesn't look appealing to me," he said. "A lot of people love it, so who knows, but I've never had it."

Familiar face

Rays manager Joe Maddon has an interesting connection with Reds counterpart Bryan Price — he used to be his boss. When Maddon was managing the Angels' Double-A Midland team in the Texas League in 1985-86, Price spent parts of both seasons as one of his starting pitchers. Though Price wasn't all that good on the mound — going 2-4, 6.05 and 4-1, 4.62 — he impressed Maddon, and they've stayed in contact. "He's a great guy — outstanding, bright, he was a very good pitching coach. Not unlike (Padres manager) Buddy Black," Maddon said.

Comments
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays are adding players?

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays are adding players?

The Rays signed veteran outfielder Carlos Gomez to a one-year contract one day after trading Steven Souza Jr. to Arizona. In his latest podcast, Rick Stroud discusses reaction to the moves from players, as well as super fan Dick Vitale.Plus, the Bucs...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Grapefruit League 2018 day-by-day schedule

Grapefruit League 2018 day-by-day schedule

Here is the 2018 day-by-day Grapefruit League schedule. Check out the Tampa Bay Times’ 2018 Spring Training Guide for stadium locations, contact information, team-by-team schedules, ticket information and more.Thursday, Feb. 22U. of Tampa vs. Philade...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Dick Vitale to Rays owner Stu Sternberg: Sell the team

Dick Vitale to Rays owner Stu Sternberg: Sell the team

PORT CHARLOTTE – Dick Vitale, the Rays' most visible and, as of late, vocal fan, took to Twitter and the 620-AM airwaves Wednesday morning and later in the day in a phone call to the Tampa Bay Times to blast his local baseball team.Vitale, ESPN...
Updated: 1 hour ago
What if the Rays actually have a good plan?

What if the Rays actually have a good plan?

PORT CHARLOTTE — Going against popular opinion, here's an odd thought to ponder:What if the Rays actually know what they're doing?The deal agreed to Wednesday afternoon with veteran outfielder Carlos Gomez — one year for a hefty-for-them ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Denard Span on new Ray Anthony Banda: ‘Guy is pretty legit’

Denard Span on new Ray Anthony Banda: ‘Guy is pretty legit’

PORT CHARLOTTE — 2B Nick Solak reported to camp Wednesday, while LHP Anthony Banda, the other player acquired in the Steven Souza Jr. trade, is on his way.Banda, whose fastball hits the mid-90s, pitched in eight games last season with the Diamo...
Published: 02/21/18
Rays move fast to fill void, sign Carlos Gomez

Rays move fast to fill void, sign Carlos Gomez

PORT CHARLOTTE — The Rays moved quickly to fill the void created by Tuesday's trade of RF Steven Souza Jr., agreeing to a one-year deal Wednesday afternoon with veteran OF Carlos Gomez.The deal, pending a physical, will pay Gomez $4-million...
Published: 02/21/18
The brawls new Rays rightfielder Carlos Gomez inspired

The brawls new Rays rightfielder Carlos Gomez inspired

The Rays new rightfielder Carlos Gomez is, as the Times' Rays beat writer Marc Topkin describes him, a "somewhat emotional" player.That reputation in part comes from his role in inspiring a handful of benches-clearing brawls. Here's a look at few of ...
Published: 02/21/18
With Souza the latest to be gone, what do Rays have left? Well …

With Souza the latest to be gone, what do Rays have left? Well …

The first question to ask, understandably, is who do the Rays have left?And, after they Tuesday added 2017 team MVP Steven Souza Jr. to the list of departees that had just included Corey Dickerson and Jake Odorizzi, the next to ask is what do they ha...
Published: 02/21/18
Another question for Rays after trading Souza: What to do with these …

Another question for Rays after trading Souza: What to do with these …

Having traded 2017 team MVP Steven Souza Jr. to Arizona, Rays baseball officials are now looking for a way to replace him on the field.And now Rays marketing officials also have to decide what to do with the spot he held in their lineup, having sched...
Published: 02/21/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: The Rays fire sale is on

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: The Rays fire sale is on

The fire sale is on for the Rays, as they trade Steven Souza, Jr., to Arizona to trim more payroll for this season.In his lastest podcast, Rick Stroud says he feels bad for Rays fans, as many of their favorite players have left the team, including Ev...
Published: 02/21/18