Sunday, December 17, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays: Loney draws Stabler comparison

Rays vs. Marlins

When/where: 7:10 tonight; Tropicana Field

TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

Tickets: $10-190, available at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team Tampa store; $3 surcharge within 5 hours of game time.

Probable pitchers

Rays: RH Jeremy Hellickson (2-2, 5.37)

MARLINS: RH Kevin Slowey (1-5, 3.30)

On Hellickson: Coming off a season-high eight-inning outing at Toronto. Has allowed a .350 average with runners in scoring position, .500 with two outs. Beat Marlins last June 8 in an ugly seven-walk start.

On Slowey: Former Twin is coming off a May 22 loss to the Phillies, when he left with a left lat strain. Has allowed three or fewer runs in eight of his 10 starts. Is 0-1, 6.75 in two starts vs. Rays.

Key matchups

Rays VS. SLOWEY

Yunel Escobar1-for-7

Matt Joyce1-for-7, HR

Luke Scott3-for-6

MARLINS VS. HELLICKSON

Greg Dobbs1-for-2

Jeff Mathis1-for-7

Miguel Olivo2-for-9, HR

On deck

Wednesday: at Marlins, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — RH Roberto Hernandez (2-5, 5.73); Marlins — RH Tom Koehler (0-2, 3.18)

Thursday: at Marlins, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — LH Matt Moore (8-0, 2.21); Marlins — RH Ricky Nolasco (3-5, 3.65)

Call him James 'The Snake' Loney

Manager Joe Maddon often praises 1B James Loney's smooth and accurate throws, and after another example Monday — perhaps inspired by Loney's "Just Win Baby" T-shirt, or his dart-thrower motion — he went for the Oakland Raiders football comparison. "My goodness, it's just like (Kenny) Stabler over the middle to (Dave) Casper. Perfectly led double play. It was outstanding."

All in a day's work

LF Kelly Johnson had an eventful day with two three-run homers, but also an interesting one with a infield pop-up the Marlins lost in the Trop roof and played into a double — "(Matt) Joyce still has me beat," he said — and a steal of third base during an intentional walk to Evan Longoria that he regretted when it was a close play. "I'll never do that again," Johnson said. "I felt I was going to be a whole lot more safe than I was, that's for sure."

Number of the day

6

RBIs by Kelly Johnson, most by a Ray in a game since Ben Zobrist had 8 at Minnesota on April 28, 2011.

 
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...
Published: 12/16/17
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