Wednesday, December 13, 2017
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
Is Alex Colome telling us something about Rays’ plans with his Instagram account?

Is Alex Colome telling us something about Rays’ plans with his Instagram account?

Closer Alex Colome was not traded by the Rays to the Cardinals on Tuesday night.But he appeared to be either prepping for or having some fun with the possibility.On his alexcolome37 verified Instagram account, Colome started following the Cardinals o...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 2 – with some news

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 2 – with some news

UPDATE, 8:45: Tommy Hunter parlayed his solid 2017 season with the Rays into a two-year deal with the Phillies.UPDATE, 7:13: Unexpected sighting in the meetings lobby: Luke Scott, who looked in great shape at 39 and is at least talking about playing ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Winter meetings journal: Rays add more infield depth, claim it isn’t prelude to a trade

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays on Tuesday adding their third infielder in the past two weeks would sure look like a precursor to trading front-liners such as 3B Evan Longoria or 2B Brad Miller.But GM Erik Neander insisted that was not the case and that ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
GMs-turned-pundits believe now may be the time for Rays to sell

GMs-turned-pundits believe now may be the time for Rays to sell

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays have been doing a lot of talking, making another small deal Tuesday while still working toward bigger ones of a still-being-determined degree.And there have been a lot of baseball people at the winter meetings talking abou...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Tampa Bay Rays make another small deal, acquiring INF Ryan Schimpf

Tampa Bay Rays make another small deal, acquiring INF Ryan Schimpf

The Rays made another small move to add infield depth on Tuesday, acquiring Ryan Schimpf from the Padres for minor league infielder Deion Tansel.Schimpf, 29, has played parts of the last two seasons in the majors, posting just a .195 average but with...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Could the Yankees’ new Death Star prompt a Rays surrender?

Could the Yankees’ new Death Star prompt a Rays surrender?

I have a theory that Major League Baseball is always way more interesting when the New York Yankees are good.Well, the Yankees got way better in the past few days.But baseball didn’t get more interesting. It got way worse.And it could get worse in Ta...
Published: 12/12/17
MLB ump Dale Scott retires rather than risk more concussions

MLB ump Dale Scott retires rather than risk more concussions

LAKE BUENA VISTA — As a big league umpire, Dale Scott saw maybe 1 million pitches from the field. His final call, it turned out, was the easiest of all. Rather than risk yet another concussion, Scott has decided to retire at 58. "I’m done," he told T...
Published: 12/12/17

Tampa Bay Rays make a small deal, acquire INF Joey Wendle

While continuing discussions on bigger topics, the Rays made a small deal Monday, acquiring INF Joey Wendle from the A's for a player to be named later or cash.Wendle, 27, spent part of the last two seasons in the majors, hitting .266 over 36 games. ...
Published: 12/11/17
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

UPDATE, 6:14: The Rays continued talks with no major moves seemingly close, but did make a small deal, acquiring INF Joey Wendle from the A's. Wendle, 27, has spent parts of the last two seasons in the majors, hitting .266 in 36 games. He is a lefty ...
Published: 12/11/17
Winter meetings journal: Rays closer Alex Colome drawing interest

Winter meetings journal: Rays closer Alex Colome drawing interest

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays made a small deal Monday in acquiring INF Joey Wendle from Oakland while continuing to discuss bigger ones that seem likely to eventually lead to the trade of closer Alex Colome and then others.The Rockies and Mets joined ...
Published: 12/11/17