Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays send Gimenez to minors, name Lobaton backup catcher

RECOMMENDED READING


PORT CHARLOTTE — C Jose Lobaton will be the Rays' second catcher behind Jose Molina to start the season.

The Rays decided one of their few position battles Monday night when they optioned C Chris Gimenez to Triple-A Durham.

The news wasn't unexpected, even to Gimenez. Even though Gimenez had a much better spring, hitting .368, Lobaton was out of minor-league options, meaning he could be lost on waivers.

Gimenez said he was disappointed but appreciated the Rays' honesty in telling him it was the options that were the culprit. Manager Joe Maddon said Gimenez "definitely could be in the big leagues right now" but "it's part of the business."

"I'm not going to go down and, like I said last year, be 'Bitter Bob,' " Gimenez said. "You've just got to take it for what it is, and keep working to keep yourself doing the same things. It'll just be a matter of time."

Lobaton, who admittedly struggled in hitting .257, said he didn't know what would happen, telling his wife Monday morning to prepare for anything.

"I'm excited," Lobaton said. "I know it was a really tough decision for the GM and the manager, 'cause I know Gimenez was killing the ball. So in the moment when he told me, I was like, 'Oh wow.' Really sad for (Gimenez). But that's baseball."

The Rays also reassigned OF Shelley Duncan, who had a team-high five home runs, OF Jason Bourgeois and INF Mike Fontenot to minor-league camp.

PITCHING IN: LHP Matt Moore labored through another tough outing, needing 106 pitches to last 42/3 innings in a 6-2 victory over the Pirates.

Moore was able to pitch well "with my back against the wall," allowing just two runs on six hits, but he had five walks, saying he continues to struggle getting a feel for his fastball.

Moore isn't concerned, saying "it's there when I need it," and Maddon noted that the lefty is healthy and a "notoriously slow starter." "You just got to be patient," Maddon said.

GREAT SCOTT: DH Luke Scott was scratched from Monday's lineup as a precaution due to tightness in his right calf. Maddon didn't have a projection for how long Scott would be out, but he didn't appear concerned.

GAME STUFF: 3B Evan Longoria and 2B Ben Zobrist each hit two-run homers in the fifth inning for the Rays (15-14), who snapped a five-game skid. Longoria's was his first of the spring. … Longoria had two errors on one play in the fourth. … RHP Brandon Gomes and RHP Joel Peralta were strong in relief.

MEDICAL MATTERS: OF Sam Fuld, sidelined with right hamstring tightness, batted six times (0-for-5 with a walk) and played five innings in centerfield during a minor-league game Monday. He said all went well, and he plans to take today off and play in the Rays' spring home finale Wednesday against the Blue Jays.

RHP Kyle Farnsworth said his bruised middle finger is better, that he threw all his pitches with no issues on Sunday and he expects to make his scheduled appearance Wednesday in a minor-league game.

PITCHING IN: RHPs Jeff Niemann and Fernando Rodney and LHP Jake McGee will pitch in Wednesday's exhibition against the Blue Jays. RHP Alex Cobb, Farnsworth and RHP Jamey Wright will appear in a minor-league game the same day.

MINOR MATTERS: The Rays acquired minor-league C Curt Casali from the Tigers in exchange for LHP Kyle Lobstein, who had been lost in the Rule 5 draft to the Mets, who then sold him to the Tigers the same day. … Touted prospect OF Wil Myers, sidelined in minor-league camp with right wrist soreness, tweeted he will return to game action Wednesday and is "ready for the season."

Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Rays INF Matt Duffy has to say big goodbye to 27-pound cat Skeeter

Rays INF Matt Duffy has to say big goodbye to 27-pound cat Skeeter

When the Rays acquired INF Matt Duffy from the Giants during the 2016 season, we also heard about the giant and somewhat famous cat he had, an up-to-27-pounder named Skeeter.Duffy announced over the weekend on Instagram that the family had to have Sk...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

ST. PETERSBURG — That the Rays went right up to Monday’s 8 p.m. deadline in deciding to add seven players to the 40-man roster, and that a couple they left off seem to be potential Rule 5 draft losses, was apparently a good thing."There’s always some...
Updated: 5 hours ago
UPDATE: RHP Brent Honeywell among 7 added to Rays 40-man roster

UPDATE: RHP Brent Honeywell among 7 added to Rays 40-man roster

UPDATE, 8:11: RHP Jose Mujica was an additional addition to the roster, beyond the six previously reported. Mujica, 21, was 14-8, 3.04 ERA in 27 starts between Class-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery.So among those left unprotected and potentially ...
Published: 11/20/17
Former Devil Ray Aubrey Huff among newcomers to Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Former Devil Ray Aubrey Huff among newcomers to Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Aubrey Huff isn't going to make the Baseball Hall of Fame.But at least the former Devil Rays standout has the satisfaction of making the cut to get onto the ballot, one of 19 first-timers up for election this year.Other newcomers with Rays ties are O...
Published: 11/20/17
Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

After collecting intelligence at last week’s GM meetings, the Rays soon will launch their offseason mission of trading at least a couple of veterans to reduce payroll.The question is how far they will go — how many players they deal, and how big of n...
Published: 11/18/17
Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

The Rays completed the reorganization of their coaching staff by giving Rocco Baldelli the title of major league field coordinator.In being promoted from first-base coach, Baldelli will implement ideas and information from the staff, while assisting ...
Published: 11/17/17
Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays were banking on pitcher Alex Cobb declining their one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer based on the lure of a longer-term and more lucrative deal elsewhere as a free agent.With that decision official Thursday, now the ...
Published: 11/16/17
Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

LAKE BUENA VISTA — MLB commissioner Rob Manfred didn’t want to talk Thursday about what might happen if the current effort to build the Rays a new stadium at the Ybor City site falls through."I’m more focused on working with the community to figure o...
Published: 11/16/17
A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

Here is a message from RHP Alex Cobb after he officially left the Rays Thursday in declining their one-year, $17.4-milllion qualifying offer to seek a bigger and longer pact elsewhere:"Getting to this point in my career is truly bittersweet."Twelve y...
Published: 11/16/17
UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE, 5:01: Cobb did not accept the offer by the deadline, as expected.DEVELOPING: Sometime before today's 5 p.m. deadline, the Rays will get official word that their $17.4-million slight gamble on Alex Cobb paid off.The Rays made the free-agent ri...
Published: 11/16/17