Thursday, January 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Miller upset at move off shortstop

ST. PETERSBURG — SS Brad Miller was not happy to learn before Monday's game that he will no longer be the everyday shortstop once newly acquired INF Matt Duffy's Achilles heals and he joins the lineup.

"Extremely disappointed," Miller said. "Obviously, I'm a shortstop. I've been working hard and doing everything they ask and playing well there, and (Monday) was kind of a punch to the gut, them telling me he's our shortstop now."

Miller will move to first base. He could also see time in the outfield. He said the team did not mince words when telling him the reason behind the move.

"They said him playing shortstop was our best chance to win," Miller said.

Miller, whose 16 home runs as a shortstop are a franchise record, entered Tuesday's game tied for third among AL shortstops with 13 errors. His .959 fielding percent ranked last.

"I understand the disappointment with him, but we're constantly going to make decisions that are going to improve our entire club," manager Kevin Cash said. "We can't just focus on an individual. I understand where he is coming from, I appreciate it, but at the same time we feel we're going to be a better defense with this new alignment."

Cash said the infield defense will improve with Duffy at short and Miller, with his shortstop's athleticism, at first.

Miller was moved around during his three seasons with the Mariners, playing second, third and all three outfield spots. One reason he was glad for last November's trade to the Rays was because he was told the team saw him as an everyday shortstop.

"I feel like I've done everything I needed to do to keep the job, and they didn't see it that way," Miller said. "The same thing happened in Seattle. But I'm a professional and, obviously, I'm a young player and I have to do whatever they say."

Cash said 1B Logan Morrison, currently on the DL with a right forearm strain, will play first base and DH when he returns. But Cash emphasized that Miller will remain an everyday player.

"We want Brad Miller in there every day," Cash said. "He provides a huge offensive spark for us, and we're not going to take away from that."

GAME STUFF: RHP Matt Andriese replaced the traded Matt Moore and allowed one run in four innings in Tuesday's 3-2 loss to the Royals.

"I knew I wasn't going to be able to go that deep in the game, but to get four quality innings out there and (58) pitches, it's a good one to build on for me," Andriese said.

Cash used four relievers, including Xavier Cedeno, who took the loss after allowing a two-run homer to C Salvador Perez in the seventh inning. That snapped a streak of seven scoreless outings for Cedeno. 2B Logan Forsythe tied his season high with three hits and reached base four times.

The Rays have scored in just one of their past 20 innings.

MEDICAL MATTERS: RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) is scheduled to pitch Thursday for Class A Charlotte. RHP Chase Whitley (Tommy John) is scheduled to pitch Friday for Double-A Montgomery. … OF Mikie Mahtook (left hand fracture) was 1-for-3 with a walk Tuesday as the DH for the CGL Rays. He's expected to join the Stone Crabs tonight.

Comments
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...
Updated: 9 hours ago
A look at Rays 40-man roster with spring training starting in less than a month

A look at Rays 40-man roster with spring training starting in less than a month

With the start of spring training now less than a month away, here is what the Rays roster looks like, with the most glaring hole at first base, which at this point seems likely to be manned by Brad Miller, and some questions about the pitching staff...
Published: 01/17/18
Rays opener will be late-afternoon affair

Rays opener will be late-afternoon affair

The Rays' March 29 season-opener against the Red Sox has been set for a 4 p.m. first pitch at Tropicana Field.This will be the ninth straight year the Rays have opened at home, and the third time they have opened against the rival Red Sox.  The ...
Published: 01/17/18
Tony Perez, Dick Allen to highlight    Ted Williams museum inductions

Tony Perez, Dick Allen to highlight Ted Williams museum inductions

Hall of Famer Tony Perez and longtime Phillies/White Sox star Dick Allen will be inducted into the Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame next month in Clearwater.Former Yankees Cy Young Award winner Ron Guidry and longtime Astros ace J.R. Richard also wi...
Published: 01/16/18
Jones: Besties, Ball and bloopers -- itís TV tidbits time

Jones: Besties, Ball and bloopers -- itís TV tidbits time

Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.Best comebackExcuse Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp for getting so carried away that he dropped the queen bee of curse words on live television Sun...
Published: 01/14/18
Jesuit High product Lance McCullers gets big raise, avoids arbitration

Jesuit High product Lance McCullers gets big raise, avoids arbitration

Astros right-hander Lance McCullers, a Tampa native and former Jesuit High standout, reached a one-year deal for $2.45 million on Friday, avoiding arbitration. McCullers, 24, made $548,000 last season.
Published: 01/12/18
Jake Odorizzi, Adeiny Hechavarria lone Rays set for arbitration

Jake Odorizzi, Adeiny Hechavarria lone Rays set for arbitration

ST. PETERSBURG ó For the second straight winter, pitcher Jake Odorizzi is taking the Rays to arbitration.Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria will join him.They were the only two of the nine arbitration-eligible Rays to not agree to a one-year contract by Fr...
Published: 01/12/18
Odorizzi, Hechavarria heading to arbitration

Odorizzi, Hechavarria heading to arbitration

The Rays have reached agreements on 2018 contracts with seven of their nine arbitration-eligible players with pitcher Jake Odorizzi and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria heading to arbitration.Odorizzi made $4.1 million last season after taking the R...
Published: 01/12/18
Alex Colome, Corey Dickerson, Jake Odorizzi among Raysí arbitration-eligible players

Alex Colome, Corey Dickerson, Jake Odorizzi among Raysí arbitration-eligible players

ST. PETERSBURG ó The payroll for the 2018 season will become clearer this afternoon after the Rays and their nine arbitration-eligible players exchange figures on one-year contracts.Those who do not agree to the clubís offer will head to arbitration ...
Published: 01/11/18
Rays announce minor league coaching staffs

Rays announce minor league coaching staffs

Jim Morrison, the one-time manager of the Class A Charlotte Stone Crabs, will return to his old job in Port Charlotte this season.Morrison, the Tampa product, was named as the Stone Crabs manager Wednesday after spending the past four seasons as the ...
Published: 01/10/18