Monday, September 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays journal: Jake Odorizzi okay after liner hits leg

ST. PETERSBURG — First there was a burning sensation. Then the foot went numb. So RHP Jake Odorizzi was expecting the worst as he was helped off the field Wednesday after being struck on his right foot by a line drive during the fifth inning of the Rays' 8-2 loss to the Red Sox.

But X-rays revealed nothing more than a bruise.

"We got the best news," Odorizzi said. "I'll be all right, and if all things go as they should, I should be good to go for my next start. We dodged a big bullet."

Odorizzi should have a better idea today when the foot is re-examined.

The ball hit by 3B Eduardo Nunez struck Odorizzi's foot so hard, the "pop" could be heard throughout Tropicana Field. But the ball hit just below the ankle, which likely saved Odorizzi from a more serious injury.

"Just got some nerves in there, more so than bones," he said. "The bones are fine, so that's all that matters."

Snell confident wins will come

LHP Blake Snell has confidence, which is a good first step to breaking his winless streak that is at 15 heading into tonight's game against the Indians.

"I'm throwing strikes. Pitches are moving how I want them to move. I feel good with my pitch selection. They're the right pitches. I feel happy with everything I'm doing," Snell said. "The outcome isn't where I want it, but I really do believe the way that I'm throwing is going to work."

Snell, optioned to Triple-A Durham after Thursday's start, was recalled Tuesday and will replace RHP Alex Cobb (turf toe) in the rotation.

What's in a name?

For the Aug. 25-27 new Players Weekend initiative, players will wear bright alternative style jerseys and, if they want, nicknames on their backs. Here are some of the best for the Rays, who will be in St. Louis:

Jose Alvarado — LA FLECHA (the arrow)

Matt Andriese — DREEZY

Chris Archer — FLACO FUERTE (skinny/strong)

Peter Bourjos — NEEDLER

Steve Cishek — SPEEDPASS

Alex Colome — THE HORSE

Adeiny Hechavarria — LA PANTERA (the panther)

Tommy Hunter — TOMMY TWO TOWEL

Brad Miller — RAT

Trevor Plouffe — SPECIAL T

Steven Souza Jr. — SOUZBOT

Show of support

Rays players and staff wore T-shirts with the Venezuelan flag for pregame work in a show of support for Venezuelans dealing with political unrest and violence.

C Wilson Ramos, one of several Venezuelans on the roster, said Archer was the organizer and "it's a good idea to show our support." Archer said it was "a collective" decision among the players, one that worked out well with ESPN providing national coverage of tonight's game.

"We thought it would be a good time to show support of our teammates and coaches that have to deal with a lot more adversity in their home country than we do right now," he said.

Miscellany

• CF Kevin Kiermaier (right hip fracture) was expected to hit on the field today.

• 1B Lucas Duda was scratched before the game because of a left thumb bruise.

• RHP Jose De Leon pitched only two innings Wednesday for Class A Charlotte, with no pitch over 84 mph.

Comments
Snell wins No. 21 as Rays beat Blue Jays 5-2

Snell wins No. 21 as Rays beat Blue Jays 5-2

TORONTO — Blake Snell doesn't look like he can be stopped.He pitched again for the Rays in Sunday's 5-2 victory over the Blue Jays, he dominated again and he won again.That's both a major-league-leading and team-record-breaking 21st victory for...
Published: 09/23/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Blue Jays game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Blue Jays game

Part of what makes LHP Blake Snell so good is his deep, high-quality repertoire, having four above-average pitches, which is more than most. When fastball command isn't sharp, he can still beat you with an assortment of top-notch curves, sliders and ...
Published: 09/23/18
Rays journal: Teammates come through for Blake Snell

Rays journal: Teammates come through for Blake Snell

TORONTO — LHP Blake Snell knows he is the one getting all the attention for the remarkable season he has compiled, but he wants to make sure his teammates get some of the credit."It's cool that it's under my name,'' Snell said, "but it's all of...
Published: 09/23/18
For starters: Rays at Jays, with Snell seeking No. 21

For starters: Rays at Jays, with Snell seeking No. 21

UPDATE, 12:14: Snell takes the mound today leading the AL in wins, ERA (1.97) and opponents average (.179). … Cash noted that Snell "is in elite company now with the Rays, and he has the chance to stand alone." …  The Rays note that ...
Published: 09/23/18
Rays journal: Blue Jays spoil wild-card bid

Rays journal: Blue Jays spoil wild-card bid

TORONTO — There was no drama, no emotional rescues after Saturday's game.After feeling, appropriately, crushed after they gave away Thursday's game, blowing a six-run lead in the ninth, then bouncing back Friday, the Rays on Saturday faced a st...
Published: 09/22/18
Updated: 09/23/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Blue Jays game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Blue Jays game

OF Tommy Pham insists he doesn't feel locked in at the plate. Interesting, since it's hard to imagine he could get much hotter: 345 in 31 games since coming to the Rays and .402 while reaching base in 24 straight games, a career best and current AL h...
Published: 09/22/18
20 things about Mr. 20 Blake Snell, including, yes, blocking his mom on his phone

20 things about Mr. 20 Blake Snell, including, yes, blocking his mom on his phone

TORONTO — Twenty things about Blake Snell as he takes the mound Sunday for the first time as a 20-game winner.Snell …• Is the first 20-game winner in the majors since 2016.• Will have the fewest innings of any 20-game winner i...
Published: 09/22/18
Rays Tales: And the winners are …

Rays Tales: And the winners are …

This season won't end up among the most successful in the Rays' 21-year franchise history, but I'd make the case it might be the most interesting.From the winter/spring purge of the veterans, dire predictions for 100-plus losses, frigid 1-8/4-13 star...
Published: 09/22/18
Rays lose again to Jays, 5-2, end is in sight

Rays lose again to Jays, 5-2, end is in sight

TORONTO – Friday's bounce back didn't carry over for the Rays, and after a 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Saturday, they are close to being officially bounced from the race for the final American League playoff spot.The Rays opened the series in ...
Published: 09/22/18
For starters: Rays at Blue Jays, with Meadows in the lineup

For starters: Rays at Blue Jays, with Meadows in the lineup

UPDATE, 2:41: Cash said Kiermaier was "a little banged up" from a slide on Thursday so he gave him the day off vs. the lefty but is available, and that allowed Meadows to be in the lineup. … Cash also said Ji-Man Choi, who left Friday's game wi...
Published: 09/22/18