Saturday, April 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays open to new second-base rules, but will wait and see

PORT CHARLOTTE — The Rays aren't the only players to have questions about the changes MLB made Thursday regarding plays at second base.

In one way, the new rules should make the game safer, forcing runners to slide directly to and remain on the base, and outlawing roll blocks where the runner makes contact with the infielder before the ground with the penalty for violation being a double play.

But in another way, the changes could make it riskier, as umpires will now enforce the so-called "neighborhood play," and be able to use replay to do so, which will require infielders to actually tag second where in the past they got the out call just for being close.

"It's going to be interesting to see what happens," Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe said. "I like the slide rule. I'm not 100 percent on the neighborhood play just yet because there's going to be certain plays where we are going to be open and vulnerable and there's nothing we are going to be able to do."

Players union chief Tony Clark, after visiting with the Rays on the second day of his tour of all camps, said player safety was the driving force, and if the rule changes aren't producing the desired effect they could be tweaked during the season.

"I think everyone is very sensitive that there's an adjustment that is happening here," Clark said. "And we're going to have to be very diligent in appreciating what that adjustment looks like once the lights come on, such that if players are actually in harm's way more than they were beforehand, that we sit back down and make a determination as to what makes the most sense, against the premise that we started with, which is player safety."

Among other topics, Clark also said players are "cautiously optimistic" a new labor agreement can be negotiated without a work stoppage and that given an unusual number of players who were left on the free agent market "the union is "interested in appreciating how all the moving pieces fit in this offseason."

ATHLETICS: New utility player Chris Coghlan, newly acquired from the Cubs, unpacked and had his first full day with Oakland. The former East Lake High standout said he was surprised by the trade, but added that he is ready to embrace his expected role of playing several positions.

CARDINALS: Catcher Yadier Molina, recovering from surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb, took part in his first catching drills of the spring and said he hopes to play on opening day.

Cubs: Outfielder Shane Victorino, 35, signed a minor-league contract and will compete for one of the final roster spots. Last season he hit .230 in 71 games for the Red Sox and Angels.

Indians: Outfielder Abraham Almonte was suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, Boldenone, an anabolic steroid generally used by veterinarians on horses. Almonte, 26, can play in spring training.

RANGERS: Right-hander Yu Darvish, continuing a comeback from Tommy John surgery, threw 25 pitches off the half-size mound.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Comments
Span, Rays top Twins in 10 innings

Span, Rays top Twins in 10 innings

ST. PETERSBURG — Roughly four hours before taking the field against his former team Friday, Rays outfielder Denard Span spoke admirably about the Minnesota Twins, their organization in general, even hometown icon Joe Mauer.But business is busin...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays journal: Miller back from DL, KK surgery successful

Rays journal: Miller back from DL, KK surgery successful

ST. PETERSBURG — For a change, the physically snake-bitten Rays got some vigor, versatility and even a veteran presence back in their lineup  when INF Brad Miller was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list.To make room, they DFA'd INF/OF...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Plan to entice developers to help pay for Rays ballpark hits speed bump

Plan to entice developers to help pay for Rays ballpark hits speed bump

TAMPA — Private developers would bear much of the cost of a new Rays stadium in Ybor City under a plan Hillsborough County officials are putting together.Developers would benefit by cashing in on commercial, retail and other construction around a ne...
Updated: 8 hours ago
For starters: Rays vs. Twins, 7:10 p.m.

For starters: Rays vs. Twins, 7:10 p.m.

Tonight's Rays lineup against the Twins. Brad Miller back in the lineup following his DL stint (left groin strain). First pitch at 7:10 p.m.LF Denard SpanDH C.J. CronRF Carlos Gomez1B Brad Miller3B Daniel Robertson2B Joey WendleC Wilson RamosCF Malle...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Rays DFA Brandon Snyder to activate Brad Miller

Rays DFA Brandon Snyder to activate Brad Miller

The Rays activated INF Brad Miller off the DL for Friday's game.Miller had been out 11 days due to a groin strain.To make room on the roster, they DFA'd INF/OF Brandon Snyder, who was called up on Tuesday.
Published: 04/20/18
Wall Street Journal: Baseball in Florida ‘has been a disaster’

Wall Street Journal: Baseball in Florida ‘has been a disaster’

The Rays and Miami Marlins "are at a moment of reckoning" after histories of low attendance and an offseason in which they sold off many of their top players and were singled out by the MLB Players Association for failing to spend revenue-sharing mon...
Published: 04/20/18
Rays’ Chris Archer ready to move past messy outing tonight against Twins

Rays’ Chris Archer ready to move past messy outing tonight against Twins

Rays RHP Chris Archer goes into tonight's start against the Twins with no trouble moving on from his messy Saturday performance against the Phillies that included arguably the worst inning of his career."It's already gone," Archer said Wednesday...
Published: 04/20/18
Memorable off day for Rays’ Ryan Yarbrough

Memorable off day for Rays’ Ryan Yarbrough

Rays rookie LHP Ryan Yarbrough has enjoyed everything about his first major-league experience, from pitching in the games to traveling in top-notch style to getting to play in front of family and friends to seeing his first paycheck.And then the Lake...
Published: 04/20/18
The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

ST. PETERSBURG — Mallex Smith has style.Effervescent personality. Pop culture hipness. Sense of fashion with accoutrements.Now the Rays are going to find out if he has game.More specifically, enough game to be a front-line outfielder, even an i...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Rays journal: Whew. Alex Colome gets the job done

Rays journal: Whew. Alex Colome gets the job done

ST. PETERSBURG — In the end, Alex Colome got the three outs to save the game, the day and the stomach linings of his bosses from further deterioration, so in theory that should be what mattered most Wednesday.And the fact that he was smiling in...
Published: 04/18/18