Saturday, February 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays journal: Archer disappointed to be told not to join Team USA in WBC

PORT CHARLOTTE — RHP Chris Archer chose his words carefully, but it was clear he was disappointed to wake up early Sunday to a text telling him not to take his scheduled flight to Los Angeles because he wouldn't be pitching for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic final.

"I don't know what happened other than maybe they think there's a better option," he said. "I don't disagree, I think everybody there is capable of doing something special. But I was definitely looking forward to pitching on the 22nd if necessary."

If anything, that was the problem: Archer could only pitch Wednesday, the day of the championship game. Team USA has Toronto RHP Marcus Stroman to start then. First it has to win a semifinal Tuesday, and Archer was not going to be available then.

As thrilled as Archer was to be part of the WBC experience, he made it clear he was more committed to sticking to the pitching schedule the Rays laid out for him to be ready for opening day.

That was why he came out of the March 10 WBC opener after his four-inning limit, even while being perfect. That was why he left Team USA after Round 1 and rejoined the Rays, so he could pitch as planned March 16 when there was no WBC game. And that was why he was only available Wednesday, which led USA GM Joe Torre to text thanks but no thanks to Archer, creating media speculation team officials were unhappy with him for leaving and not being more flexible.

"The decision was based on Chris' pitching schedule more than anything," Team USA spokesman Rob Butcher said in an e-mail. "Because we can't guarantee we'll be playing on March 22, Joe suggested that if Chris wanted to stay on his scheduled day, he should remain in Florida rather than fly across the country and then maybe not pitch at all."

Archer will be pitching vs. the Orioles in Sarasota and rooting hard for his mates.

"I wanted to pitch there," Archer said. "I had planned on it the entire offseason. We have talked about it since February. There were three days I was able to throw."

More WBC

RHP Jake Odorizzi was not asked to join Team USA; Giants closer Mark Melancon was. … With the Dominicans out, RHPs Alex Colome and Jumbo Diaz are expected to rejoin the Rays this week; manager Kevin Cash hopes to see them today. … LHP Jose Alvarado, who pitched for Venezuela, is headed back and will be optioned to the minors.

Don't see it every day

INF Nick Franklin provided some rare spring fireworks, getting ejected after a strike three call by ump Ryan Blakney. Franklin said he asked about strike one being low and Blakney disagreed "with an exclamation point" then said, "Keep taking it, see what happens." So after strike three Franklin fired back with some choice words but didn't get his full say: "(Manager Kevin) Cash cut me short a little bit. I wish he would've walked out a little slower."

Game report: Rays beat Phillies 8-0

For the second time this spring, the Rays (11-9-2) lost a perfect game in the eighth, RHP Danny Farquhar allowing a one-out double to Tommy Joseph. … OF/DH Colby Rasmus, coming off hip and core muscle surgery, said he felt good after his debut, striking out three times, and expects to DH again today. … LHP Justin Marks, who can start or relieve, retired the first nine, extending his spring scoreless streak to 10 innings over six games. "He's going to help us, I don't know when," manager Kevin Cash said. … 1B Rickie Weeks and SS Tim Beckham both had several outstanding defensive plays.

Spring things

. No. 2 starter RHP Jake Odorizzi will throw in a minor-league game today as No. 4 starter LHP Blake Snell faces the Pirates.

. 3B Evan Longoria was scratched from the lineup due to a stiff neck.

Comments
Impact of Tommy John surgery cuts deeply for Brent Honeywell, Rays

Impact of Tommy John surgery cuts deeply for Brent Honeywell, Rays

PORT CHARLOTTE – Two things that tell you a lot about Rays cocksure top prospect Brent Honeywell given Friday's crushing news that he indeed tore a ligament in his prized right arm and is headed for Tommy John surgery that will sideline him wel...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rasmus says he ditched Rays to spend time with family

Rasmus says he ditched Rays to spend time with family

SARASOTA — Colby Rasmus is making a new start with the Baltimore Orioles after taking an eight-month break from baseball.Rasmus signed a minor-league contract with the Orioles this week, after abruptly leaving the Rays in midseason. The contrac...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays open exhibition season with 6-3 win over Pirates

Rays open exhibition season with 6-3 win over Pirates

The Rays won the home game of their opening-day, split-squad set, beating the Pirates, 6-3.1B Brad Miller, with an opposite-field double off the wall, and CF Kevin Kiermaier, with a bloop single to shallow center, provided the early offense.2B Daniel...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Rays journal: Miller time could be a good time, and more from openers

Rays journal: Miller time could be a good time, and more from openers

PORT CHARLOTTE — One of the key story lines in Rays camp is seeing what kind of bounce-back season they can get out of a healthy Brad Miller, coming off October core muscle repair surgery.And while Miller isn't feeling 100 percent — he st...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Split-squad Rays hold on for 6-3 win at Orioles

Split-squad Rays hold on for 6-3 win at Orioles

SARASOTA — A split-squad team of Rays held on for a 6-3 victory Friday against the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium.Yonny Chirinos, making his debut as a Ray, tossed a pair of scoreless innings. He allowed an infield single to former Ray Tim Beckham...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Live blog: Rays open spring training season against Pirates, Orioles

Live blog: Rays open spring training season against Pirates, Orioles

The Rays open the exhibition season with not one, but two games today.Non-roster pitcher Vidal Nuno will start against the Pirates at 1:05 p.m. in Port Charlotte. Denard Span, Matt Duffy, Kevin Kiermaier, Wilson Ramos, Mallex Smith and Adeiny Hechava...
Published: 02/23/18
Rays’ Honeywell has torn UCL, headed for Tommy John surgery

Rays’ Honeywell has torn UCL, headed for Tommy John surgery

The Rays got the worst-case news they were dreading, that top prospect RHP Brent Honeywell has a torn UCL and is headed for Tommy John  surgery.Honeywell said he plans to have the surgery as soon as possible to expedite his return sometime in th...
Published: 02/23/18
For starters: Split squad opener for Rays – vs. Pirates and at Orioles, 1:05

For starters: Split squad opener for Rays – vs. Pirates and at Orioles, 1:05

With 15 teams training in Florida,  there usually has to be either be at least one team off or one team playing two games. And with today the official opening day of spring training, the Rays had the bad draw of having to play split squad games....
Published: 02/23/18
Rays spring training info: Friday – vs. Pirates and at Orioles

Rays spring training info: Friday – vs. Pirates and at Orioles

Friday's games:Vs. Pirates1:05, Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte. Pitchers: Rays – LH Vidal Nuno; Pirates – RH Taylor Eppler.Radio: raysbaseball.com, MLB At Bat app (free with mlb.com account)Tickets: raysbasebal...
Published: 02/23/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays holding their breath

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays holding their breath

Rays top pitching prospect Brent Honeywell left practice Thursday after throwing a handful of pitches, and the fear (now confirmed) is he might need Tommy John surgery, ending his season before it begins.In his lastest podcast, Rick Stroud has the la...
Published: 02/23/18