Saturday, December 16, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays: Knutson Cup within reach

Cup check

The Rays lead 2-0 and need one more win to clinch their second Knutson Cup, which goes to the winner of the exhibition season series with the Twins in honor of Dukes Knutson, the invaluably helpful press box attendant who has worked for both teams.

Zim on the flex

No, the Rays don't have 83-year-old Don Zimmer flexing. But they do have him talking on an entertaining video to promote their new ticket flex packs. See it at tampabay.com/blogs/rays.

Number of the day

8 Strikeouts by LHP David Price in 5 innings

A replay precaution

OF David DeJesus made what looked like a heads-up move given the new replay rules, going back to touch the plate after being called out though it didn't appear he was tagged. The thinking is that if the play is reviewed, doing so could lead to the run being awarded. "You never know," DeJesus said. Alas, he admitted, he didn't think of it — the idea came from the guys on the bench: "I looked at them, they're like, 'Touch home plate, touch home plate,' " he said.

Who is this Ray?

Was a 28th-round draft pick in 2009 out of West Virginia. Acquired in trade from San Diego. Was MVP at Triple-A Durham.

The dish

Rays at Blue Jays

When/where: 1:05 today; Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin

TV/radio: None

Tickets: $16-31, available through bluejays.com, 1-888-525-5297.

Pitchers: Rays — RH Nathan Karns, Josh Lueke, Mark Lowe, C.J. Riefenhauser, Adam Liberatore; Jays — RH Marcus Stroman, Ricky Romero, Chad Jenkins

Rays information: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS)

Heads-up

Desmond Jennings, Matt Joyce and Ben Zobrist are the biggest names among the position players making the trip north.

On deck

Thursday: Pirates, 1:05. Rays — LH Matt Moore; Pirates — RH Jeanmar Gomez

Friday: at Braves (Disney), 1:05. Rays — RH Chris Archer; Braves — TBA

Exhibition schedule

All games 1:05 unless noted

March

15 (ss) Blue Jays; at Pirates

16 Red Sox

17 OFF

18 at Twins, 7:05

19 at Orioles

20 Twins, 7:05

21 Blue Jays

22 Orioles

23 at Red Sox

24 at Twins

25 Red Sox

26 Orioles 7:05

27 at Orioles, 7:05

28 at Tigers

29 at AA Montgomery (Ala.), 3:05

Who is this Ray: INF Vince Belnome

Spring in photos

Going to a spring training game in Florida? We want to see your photos. Post them on our Facebook wall at Tampa Bay Times Sports or tag them #springtrainingFL on Twitter and/or Instagram and we'll add them to our online gallery.

Follow our coverage all spring on The Heater blog (tampabay.com/blogs/rays) and on Twitter @TBTimes_Rays.

Comments
Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

LAKE BUENA VISTA — There were a lot of reasons the Rays didn’t start the process of trading some of their bigger-name, higher-paid players at last week’s winter meetings.Most obvious was them not finding the just-right deal to move closer Alex Colome...
Updated: 1 hour ago
No big deal for Rays at winter meetings, but it’s still coming

No big deal for Rays at winter meetings, but it’s still coming

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Here’s the one thing we definitely know:Rays officials headed home from the winter meetings and back across I-4 Thursday without making deals to trade any of their bigger-name, higher-paid players. Not closer Alex Colome, not third...
Published: 12/14/17
Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

UPDATE, 4:02: It doesn't sound like the Rays and Cardinals will be making a deal today, Derrick Goold writing for the St. Louis Post Dispatch that Cardinals execs "leave the Walt Disney Dolphin resort with good feel for what Tampa Bay would be willin...
Published: 12/14/17
Rays re-sign pitcher Jonny Venters, among 13 invited to spring training

Rays re-sign pitcher Jonny Venters, among 13 invited to spring training

LAKE BUENA VISTA — LHP Jonny Venters got as far as Triple A in September. Now the former All-Star is positioned to make it all the way back to the majors for the first time since 2012, re-signing with the Rays and headlining Thursday’s announcement o...
Published: 12/14/17
Veteran Jonny Venters, prospect Joe McCarthy among 13 Tampa Bay Rays spring invitees

Veteran Jonny Venters, prospect Joe McCarthy among 13 Tampa Bay Rays spring invitees

Inspiring veteran LHP Jonny Venters and intriguing prospect 1B/OF Joe McCarthy are among 13 players invited to major-league spring training camp with the Rays.Others coming as a result of signing minor-league contracts with invites are: RHP R.J. Alan...
Published: 12/14/17
Tampa Bay Rays lose RHP Burch Smith in Rule 5 draft, keep Nick Ciuffo

Tampa Bay Rays lose RHP Burch Smith in Rule 5 draft, keep Nick Ciuffo

The Rays lost RHP Burch Smith in Thursday's Rule 5 draft but were happy to see him get an opportunity in Kansas City.They also were pleased to hang on to C Nick Ciuffo, who was left exposed but not selected.Smith, 27, was acquired from the Padres as ...
Published: 12/14/17
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 4

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 4

UPDATE, 11:09: RHP Steve Cishek, who was a very effective addition to the Rays pen last season, has reunited with pitching coach Jim Hickey, agreeing to a deal with the Cubs.UPDATE, 10:40: Like most teams, Rays officials are heading out of the meetin...
Published: 12/14/17
Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

As part of its deal to buy a massive package of 21st Century Fox assets, Disney will acquire Fox Sports Regional Networks, which control the local cable rights to a slew of professional teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning.Assu...
Published: 12/14/17
Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Without getting into specifics – especially the who and the where – Rays officials are for the first time talking optimistically about making a trade before the winter meetings end Thursday.Speaking at around 5:15, senior VP Chaim Bloom s...
Published: 12/13/17

Winter meetings journal: Rays trade for money to sign top international free agent

LAKE BUENA VISTA — While most of the business conducted at the meetings impacts the big-league team one way or another, the Rays are working to finalize a move they hope pays off big sometime in the 2020s.In trading Wednesday to acquire $1 million in...
Published: 12/13/17