Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Matt Duffy to be recalled by Rays on Friday

TORONTO — Richie Shaffer's stay with the Rays did not last long, as he was sent back to Triple A after Wednesday's game to make room for the planned activation of new SS Matt Duffy on Friday.

Duffy, who was rehabbing a left Achilles strain when acquired from the Giants on Aug. 1, played his fifth and final rehab game for Durham on Wednesday, going 0-for-4 on the night and 5-for-17 overall between the Stone Crabs and Bulls.

Rays manager Kevin Cash said he wanted to check in again with Duffy to be sure he was ready. But he said Duffy had told him before Wednesday's game that he was feeling good physically and feeling comfortable at the plate and in the field, which was even more important because the Rays are moving him from third back to his natural shortstop position.

"He feels like he's in a good spot," Cash said. "His timing at the plate is really good. … He feels good around the bag."

Shaffer's plan was to make the most of the opportunity. Wednesday, that meant his first start since being called up Aug. 3, and he rapped two hits.

After struggling much of the year at Durham, hitting only .227 with eight homers, 41 RBIs and a .686 OPS, Shaffer said just being with the big-league team had him feeling "so much better" about things.

"I think actually probably one of the best things that could have happened was coming up, getting in this environment," Shaffer said. "And then actually not playing for a couple days was really a chance for me to work on some things, decompress a little bit. And I feel great."

Though Shaffer is having a down year, and the Rays have other rising 1B prospects, Cash said Shaffer, 25, can still be a big part of the future.

"We definitely feel that way," Cash said. "This is a guy, his season may have been a little quiet this year, but it was nothing quiet at all last year, it was 30 home runs (between minors and majors)."

GIANT RESOLUTION: The Rays-Giants issue over traded prospect Lucius Fox is closed, with no compensation. Both teams agreed that his foot pain had not yet been diagnosed as an injury.

REHAB REPORT: RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) had a rough outing as he moved up to Triple-A Durham for the third start of his resumed rehab, allowing four runs on eight hits (including two homers) over three innings at Pawtucket, throwing 58 pitches, though 42 for strikes. … OF Oswaldo Arcia (right elbow strain) played his second and third rehab games for the advanced Class A Stone Crabs at Jupiter, going 2-for-4 with a walk in parts of a doubleheader. 1B Logan Morrison (right forearm strain) went 1-for-4 with a double in his first game. … RHP Chase Whitley (Tommy John surgery) tonight makes his fifth, and potentially next to last, start, pitching for Double-A Montgomery, slated for five innings/75 pitches.

ARCHER IMPACT: RHP Chris Archer enjoyed his half-hour Wednesday morning session talking with 120 or so teenaged youth coaches and counselors from the Toronto Community Housing rookie league program as part of an International Youth Day workshop. "It was awesome," Archer said. "Good group of kids, very engaging, had some great questions. Seems like they took the overall message well."

MINOR MATTER: Biscuits OF Justin Williams was named the Rays' top minor-league player for July after hitting .382-6-24 in 23 games. Short-season Class A Hudson Valley LHP Travis Ott, was the top pitcher, going 2-0, 0.43 over four starts.

MISCELLANY: The Jays were without slugging OF Jose Bautista, who was placed on the DL with a left knee sprain after an awkward play Tuesday. … The New York weekend forecast includes heavy rain, raising an interesting question if Friday's planned farewell for Alex Rodriguez were to be postponed.

Comments
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