Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Silverman 'dissatisfied,' not ready to sell

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays president of baseball operations Matt Silverman said he was "very dissatisfied" with the team's play this season, but he offered his support Monday for manager Kevin Cash and stated his faith in his ballclub in the wake of the 0-for-7 road trip that extended the Rays' losing streak to 11 games.

Should the team continue to play poorly and with contending teams looking for pitching and perhaps a power-hitting third baseman, Silverman was asked if he would be a seller at the trade deadline.

"There's going to be time to cross that bridge when we come to it. Right now, there's a lot of baseball to be played between now and the deadline," Silverman said. "There's a lot of grit in this clubhouse. We're going to support that club and see if we can turn this thing around."

Toward that end, Silverman said the Rays have to get consistent play from the starting rotation and the offense. It's not often this season the two have been in sync.

While the injuries to the outfield have forced the Rays to tap into depth that they do not have at that position, the biggest ill has been the underperforming rotation, which was 18-29 with a 4.39 ERA heading into Monday's game. As a unit, the members of the rotation are averaging less than six innings per start, which has led to an overworked and leaky bullpen.

"Our brand has been built on consistent starting pitching, consistent relief pitching. Certainly the results to date haven't been to our expectations, haven't been what we're accustomed to," Silverman said. "The talent is there. The ingredients are there, but we haven't been able to put it together."

GUYER, SOUZA NEARING RETURN: OF Brandon Guyer (left hamstring) and RF Steven Souza Jr. (left hip strain) are expected to return during this homestand, with Guyer possibly returning Wednesday.

Guyer was 0-for-3 Monday for Class A Charlotte while playing leftfield for the first time since suffering his injury. Cash said Guyer, 0-for-8 in two games with the Stone Crabs, will be evaluated today on whether he needs another game or is ready to return to the Rays.

Souza said his hip felt fine after he took batting practice Saturday and Sunday. He ran arcs around the infield dirt before Monday's game for the first time since he got hurt and participated in batting practice. Souza said he expects to start his minor-league rehab assignment this week.

COMING AND GOINGS: RHP Ryan Webb was designated for assignment and RHP Danny Farquhar was recalled.

"Given what we need right now with some length in the bullpen, (Webb is) not a guy that typically throughout his career has done that," Cash said. "He's coming off the DL, the last thing we want to do is extend him more than he was comfortable with."

MORE MEDICAL MATTERS: LHP Enny Romero said the palm of his left hand, struck Saturday with a line drive, was still sore but improving. … OF Corey Dickerson said he jammed his left thumb while batting Saturday night in Baltimore. He said the swelling had gone down and he was able to swing the bat before the game. … RHPs Alex Cobb and Chase Whitley (Tommy John surgery) are scheduled to throw bullpens today. … RHP Brad Boxberger (oblique) is tentatively scheduled to throw off the mound Thursday.

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