Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Matt Moore struggles with mechanics in poor outing

PORT CHARLOTTE — LHP Matt Moore didn't have much of an explanation for his ugly start Saturday, allowing the first seven Pirates to reach while throwing 41 pitches in failing to get through the first inning.

Moore said he was fine physically (and did hit 95 mph) but, despite the promise of last week's debut, was somewhat of a mess mechanically, evidenced by a walk, a hit batter and a wild pitch. "It takes me a little while to figure that rhythm out," he said.

Moore had similar issues last spring, which Rays manager Joe Maddon said wasn't necessarily a bad thing. "If I just go on recent history, a tough spring training equals an 8-0 start, so I'm not really worried about that," Maddon said, noting Moore has a complex delivery. "It was just one of those days."

DOWN UNDER: RHP Grant Balfour had another rough outing, allowing a three-run homer to Russell Martin, making it pretty much a normal spring for him thus far: feeling good and getting bad results (19.29 ERA).

"I feel like I'm out there going through the motions sometimes," he said. "I find it hard to get pumped up for it when I probably should be. … I feel like I'm going through that period right now, too, with my arm. The first couple games it felt like it was coming out all right. Now it just felt a little flat, a little dead (Saturday), there's really not much in there."

PAIN IN THE NECK: Maddon said RHP Joel Peralta was fine after he took him out of the game one batter in after the pitcher experienced "kind of a whiplash" from reacting to a comebacker.

Peralta said he felt "real uncomfortable" on the back of his neck and upper shoulder at first and still was a bit stiff afterward. "I don't think it's anything serious," he said. "I hope not."

MEDICAL MATTERS: 2B Ben Zobrist, who played in two games after recovering from back tightness, was scratched from the lineup due to a stiff neck. … OF David DeJesus hasn't played since Tuesday, and might not play until this Tuesday, due to soreness on his right side. "Nothing worth noting," he said. … INF Wilson Betemit, who reported Thursday, will work out for a few days and likely debut Monday.

FIRST CUTS: The Rays made their first roster reduction, sending down six pitchers and two others so they can start getting regular work to prepare for the minor-league season.

Optioned to Triple-A Durham were RHP Alex Colome and LHPs Mike Montgomery and Enny Romero; reassigned were RHPs Matt Andriese, Merrill Kelly and Victor Mateo, plus OF James Darnell and C Luke Maile.

RHP Nathan Karns, a long-shot candidate for the No.  5 starter's job, survived the cut, but Maddon said not to "read into it too heavily."

GAME DETAILS: Down 6-0 early, the offensive highlights for the Rays (5-2-1) came primarily from nonroster INF/OF Jerry Sands, who had another long homer, and DH Curt Casali, who had three hits. … RF Brandon Guyer booted a routine fly ball for a run-scoring error.

MISCELLANY: Saturday's crowd of 5,729 was the team's fifth of the spring without a sellout. … LHP Erik Bedard had to return to Canada to get his visa and was expected back late Saturday.

Comments
Rays trade team MVP Steven Souza Jr. in three-team deal that nets prospects

Rays trade team MVP Steven Souza Jr. in three-team deal that nets prospects

PORT CHARLOTTE — Evan Longoria traded in December. Jake Odorizzi and Corey Dickerson dumped over the weekend. Then, in a stunning move Tuesday night, 2017 team MVP Steven Souza Jr. shipped to Arizona as part of a three-team deal that netted onl...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Who are Anthony Banda and Nick Solak

So, who did the Rays get back for RF Steven Souza Jr.?LHP Anthony Banda, 24, who appeared in eight games/four starts for the Diamondbacks last season, and 2B Nick Solak, 23, from the Yankees organization in addition to two players to be named later f...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Steven Souza trade: Instant reaction to the Rays latest deal

Steven Souza trade: Instant reaction to the Rays latest deal

The Rays traded right fielder Steven Souza, Jr., their 2017 team MVP, to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night in a three-team deal for Arizona's No. 2 prospect, lefty Anthony Banda, Yankees infield prospect Nick Solak and two players to be named...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Steven Souza Jr. on Rays’ roster moves: ‘This is not a shocker’

Steven Souza Jr. on Rays’ roster moves: ‘This is not a shocker’

PORT CHARLOTTE — RF Steven Souza Jr. returned to camp Tuesday after missing four days while he went home to Seattle to attend to a family matter.When asked if everything was okay, Souza said, "Right now. We'll just leave it at that."S...
Updated: 8 hours ago
After whirlwind few days, C.J. Cron joins Rays

After whirlwind few days, C.J. Cron joins Rays

PORT CHARLOTTE – C.J. Cron knew he was spending Tuesday night in a Punta Gorda hotel. Beyond that, he knew little of his future with the Rays."I haven't talked to anybody about anything really," Cron said.The right-handed hitting first baseman ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Who is new Rays 1B/DH C.J. Cron? 10 things to know

Who is new Rays 1B/DH C.J. Cron? 10 things to know

Acquired Saturday night from the Angels (for a player to be named – a minor-leaguer, and not a top prospect), 1B/DH C.J. Cron is expected to join the Rays today in Port Charlotte.Here are 10 things to know about him:1. Full name: Christopher Jo...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Rays tread new turf (literally) for second straight year

Rays tread new turf (literally) for second straight year

PORT CHARLOTTE — Tropicana Field is getting new turf — again.Shaw Sports will replace the surface installed last spring in a mutual decision with the Rays that it did not look as good — from the stands or on TV — as expected.T...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Longtime fan Dick Vitale sounds off on Rays’ latest roster moves

Longtime fan Dick Vitale sounds off on Rays’ latest roster moves

Longtime and extremely popular ESPN college basketball announcer Dick Vitale is arguably the Rays' most prominent fan.The Lakewood Ranch resident has season tickets adjacent to the visitors' dugout at Tropicana Field and is often seen at Rays games.A...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Is ‘The Ray Tank’ a noun, or a verb?

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Is ‘The Ray Tank’ a noun, or a verb?

The name of the Rays’ new blog, "The Ray Tank’’, inadvertently took on new meaning for fans following the departures of Jake Odorizzi and Corey Dickerson this past weekend.Rick Stroud has the latest from Port Charlotte in his latest podcast, as Kevin...
Published: 02/20/18
Ray Tank: Fans have fun with name of team’s new blog

Ray Tank: Fans have fun with name of team’s new blog

Rays fans upset about the team's recent moves found the perfect target for their ridicule Monday when the team announced the name of its new blog.The Ray Tank.Announcing... The Ray Tank!Our new blog will have behind-the-scenes stories, photos, and mo...
Updated: 11 hours ago