Monday, January 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Longoria named AL player of the week, eyes All-Star Game

PHOENIX — 3B Evan Longoria was appreciative of winning American League player of the week accolades for his robust showing over the previous seven games, his seventh such award but first since May 2013.

"It's an honor," Longoria said. "This league gets tougher and tougher every year. So to win one again feels good. It feels really good to put the work in and then for it to pay off."

Longoria's seven-game stat line was impressive, hitting .464 with five homers and nine RBIs.

"It should feel really good," manager Kevin Cash said. "It feels good for us for the production he has had and the way he's carried a huge load."

Longoria, hitting .281 with 14 homers and 34 RBIs after extending his hitting streak to 10 games Monday, admits he has his eye on a bigger prize: his first trip to the All-Star Game since 2010.

"I love the opportunity to represent the American League," he said. "The All-Star Game, there's nothing else like it."

Longoria said that each year, he and his family take note of the host city if he is chosen (San Diego this year) then plan a vacation getaway if he is not.

"That's always plan No. 1 when the season starts because it's such an honor, and I want to make the team," he said.

PEARCE UPDATE: With no DH available, INF Steve Pearce was not in the lineup as the Rays didn't want to risk a setback to his significantly improved right elbow. Pearce said the plan is for limited duty during this series (pinch-hit, first base if needed) then a return to the lineup Friday at home. "It's so much better," he said. "It's really making progress. It's just unfortunate the timing that we're playing a National League team."

MITCHELL BROTHERS: From their days in the Palm Harbor Little League through Mitchell High and into pro ball, Rays RHP Ryan Garton has always been a couple of years behind D'backs RHP Tyler Clippard.

Until Monday, when they would play against each other for the first time — and at the big-league level at that.

"That's pretty cool," Garton said.

Clippard played with Garton's older brother, Eddie, and on teams coached by Garton's dad, Ed, and their families are close. When Garton got into town Sunday, Clippard took him to dinner. At some point this week, they hope to get a photo together in uniform. "He's pumped for me," Garton said. "He's been watching my career."

Both are hoping to be joined soon in the majors by a third Mustang, as LHP Patrick Schuster is pitching well in relief for Oakland's Triple-A Nashville team.

PITCHING IN: The Rays have not announced their pitching plans for the weekend series against Houston, and moved scheduled Friday starter RHP Matt Andriese to the bullpen for Tuesday's game at least.

That could be a sign they are considering calling up top LHP prospect Blake Snell, who just won Triple-A International League pitcher of the week honors for back-to-back scoreless starts and last worked for Durham on Sunday, which puts him on schedule to pitch Friday. Snell tweeted over the weekend, "What I gotta do".

MINOR MATTERS: INF Ryan Brett is out for the season after having previously unannounced Tommy John elbow surgery in May. … Nick Ciuffo, one of the top catching prospects, is out for an extended time after fracturing his right pinky finger playing for advanced Class A Charlotte.

DESMOND SIGHTING: Facing Arizona LHP Robbie Ray, OF Desmond Jennings made his first start since Wednesday, Cash saying they need either Jennings (hitting .171 going into Monday) or Mikie Mahtook (.128) to get hot as the replacement for injured CF Kevin Kiermaier. Both had multi-hit games and Jennings reached base four times for the first time since June 2014.

.MISCELLANY: 2B Logan Forsythe (shoulder fracture) did a full batting and fielding workout at the Trop Monday and remains on track to rejoin the team on a nine-game homestand that starts Friday. ... OF INF Tim Beckham homered in the fifth, his third. … Six of the hitters in the Rays lineup had sub .200 averages. .. . … First pitch temperature was 108 degrees outside, 81 inside Chase Field. … There was a pre-game 10-bell salute to Muhammad Ali.

Comments
Brent Honeywell, Willy Adames lead Rays prospects in Baseball Americaís top 100

Brent Honeywell, Willy Adames lead Rays prospects in Baseball Americaís top 100

The Rays had two players in the top 20 and six overall in Baseball America's annual ranking of the game's top 100 prospects.RHP Brent Honeywell heads the Rays contingent at No. 14 with shortstop Willy Adames at No. 19.The other ranked Rays are 1B/LHP...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Why free agency hasnít turned out fun (yet) for ex-Rays pitcher Alex Cobb

Why free agency hasnít turned out fun (yet) for ex-Rays pitcher Alex Cobb

RHP Alex Cobb never expected to be going into late January without knowing where he was going for spring training.The longtime Ray's first foray into free agency hasn't gone as planned, much like the 150-plus others waiting for something to give in a...
Published: 01/20/18
Updated: 01/21/18
Rays infielder Daniel Robertson lends a hand to help families dealing with cancer

Rays infielder Daniel Robertson lends a hand to help families dealing with cancer

Rays infielder Daniel Robertson has much to be excited about heading into his second season in the majors.But before packing for spring training, he took some time last weekend to provide help for families needing assistance in dealing with cancer.Hi...
Published: 01/19/18
Ex-Rays star Longoria dons Giants jersey, looks forward to full-stadium environment in San Francisco

Ex-Rays star Longoria dons Giants jersey, looks forward to full-stadium environment in San Francisco

Longtime Rays star Evan Longoria was formally introduced in San Francisco today, adding the visual of him pulling on his new Giants jersey, switching to No. 10 since 3 is retired.Longoria said he welcomed the chance to play on a contending team stock...
Published: 01/19/18
What do Rays look like now? What will they look like March 29?

What do Rays look like now? What will they look like March 29?

ST. PETERSBURG — Since entering an off-season planning major change and pledging to be open to "anything and everything,'' the Rays have made a few minor moves and one massive one in trading franchise cornerstone Evan Longoria to San Francisco....
Published: 01/19/18
Reminder: Rays spring tickets go on sale today at 10 a.m.

Reminder: Rays spring tickets go on sale today at 10 a.m.

The Rays will put single game tickets for spring training home games on sale today at 10 a.m. via raysbaseball.com.The Rays are playing 14 home games in Port Charlotte, starting with the Feb. 23 opener vs. Pittsburgh. Tickets will be available at the...
Published: 01/19/18
Tampa Bay Rays 2018 spring training schedule

Tampa Bay Rays 2018 spring training schedule

Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Rd., Port Charlotte, 33948Get tickets here: (941) 206-4487Pitchers report: Feb. 13. Squad reports: Feb. 19TEAM SCHEDULE(games at 1:05 unless noted)(ss - split squad)Feb 23 at Orioles (ss) (Sarasota)Feb 23 PIRATE...
Published: 01/19/18
Ex-Phillies, Indians manager Charlie Manuel to get Ted Williams Museum award

Ex-Phillies, Indians manager Charlie Manuel to get Ted Williams Museum award

Former Phillies and Indians manager Charlie Manuel will receive the Ted Williams Lifetime Achievement Award on Feb. 10 in Clearwater.The honor is bestowed by the Ted Williams Museum at its annual Hitters Hall of Fame induction, moving this year from ...
Published: 01/19/18
Former Rays OF Matt Joyce to hold annual charity baseball camp at North Brandon complex

Former Rays OF Matt Joyce to hold annual charity baseball camp at North Brandon complex

Armwood High product Matt Joyce, the current A's and former Rays outfielder, hosts his ninth annual Sweet Swingin' charity baseball camp for kids 6-12 on Sunday at the North Brandon youth baseball complex (2929 S Kingsway Rd, Seffner).Registration st...
Published: 01/18/18
Rays spring tickets go on sale Friday

Rays spring tickets go on sale Friday

The Rays will put single game tickets for spring training home games on sale Friday at 10 a.m. via raysbaseball.com.The Rays are playing 14 home games in Port Charlotte, starting with the Feb. 23 opener vs. Pittsburgh. Tickets will be available at th...
Published: 01/17/18