Thursday, May 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays wait on Crain's balky shoulder

NEW YORK — Monday, it looked as if RHP Jesse Crain would make his long-awaited Rays debut with the chance to pitch meaningful innings over the final week and potentially into the playoffs.

Now, manager Joe Maddon said, there is a chance Crain won't pitch at all for the Rays.

"It's possible he does not; I don't deny that," Maddon said Thursday. "But it's also possible that he can."

Since warming up Monday and not being used as the game situation changed, Crain has been unavailable the past three nights because of recurring issues with his shoulder, which had sidelined him since late June. The Rays acquired him in a July 29 trade.

"Nothing better, nothing worse, it's just not at that point where he feels comfortable going out there," Maddon said. "He's worked so hard to get to this point, but we're not ready to test it."

Maddon said it is a day-to-day situation and Crain "just does not feel 100 percent right in the finishing of throwing the baseball. That's it. It's not awful, it's not terrible, and so we've just got to stay with it. By (tonight against the Blue Jays) he could feel really good about it and we might actually use him in the game."

Crain could be eligible for postseason play if he doesn't appear in a regular-season game, but the Rays might not feel comfortable using him. He was not available before Thursday's 4-0 win over the Yankees.

ON SECOND THOUGHT: SS Yunel Escobar was in the original lineup but scratched after he felt "just a little bit sore" testing his left ankle in pregame drills. Maddon said they felt better keeping Escobar, injured in Tuesday's game, available for late-inning duty, and that was how it worked. He came on in the seventh to solidify the defense. Ben Zobrist started at shortstop, and Sean Rodriguez made his first start of the season at second.

Injury updates: CF Desmond Jennings was out of the lineup for a fourth straight game because of a mild left hamstring strain but was available to pinch-hit. "He did a little bit more (in pregame drills), and he felt a little bit better, but there's no reason to push it," Maddon said. … C Jose Lobaton, who left Tuesday's game with a bruised right elbow, returned to the lineup.

LOOKING YOUNG: Delmon Young was the DH against a right-hander for the second straight game, and he homered in the seventh. Maddon said it was more a product of the matchups and Jennings' absence than a change in philosophy to use Young regularly but did note how well he has been doing.

"He's had a lot of good at-bats," Maddon said. "He's swinging the bat well. Delmon doesn't know right from left when he's going good. He's always been that guy to drive in runs, and he's not afraid, I know that."

THRILL HILL: RHP Jeremy Hellickson has struggled much of this season, but the Rays are putting Game 160 in his hands tonight. "It's nice that they have confidence in me to go out there," he said. "I haven't thrown like I'm capable of throwing, so it's nice they're still running me out there. I still feel like I can be the pitcher I have been." LHP Enny Romero, who made an impressive debut Sunday, will be available in relief if Hellickson falters.

MISCELLANY: The Rays logged their AL-leading 17th shutout and recorded their first sweep of three or more games at Yankee Stadium. … 3B Evan Longoria is two homers shy of Carlos Peña's franchise record (163). … Wednesday's game drew a 7.9 rating on Sun Sports, the second-highest-rated Rays game of the season. It outdrew CBS's Survivor and ABC's Modern Family in the Tampa Bay market. … RHP J.D. Martin, designated for assignment Monday, cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Triple A but is expected to become a minor-league free agent.

Comments
Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' pitching rotation for the weekend series against the Orioles could have a familiar look: Romo, Romo, Romo.Manager Kevin Cash said using veteran right-handed reliever Sergio Romo as the "opener" in all three upcoming g...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Willy Adames was so excited to be in the big leagues, even if was for just a three-day cameo callup. So thrilled to make a smashing debut with a homer on Tuesday. So proud to have his parents and sister fly in from the Dom...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

In a way, the timing of RHP Jake Faria's oblique injury seemed manageable in that RHP Nathan Eovaldi is close to coming off the disabled list and can step in. But on the other hand, the Rays finally could have four regular starters. Imagine that.Ther...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rays’ Jake Faria may be out until August, Vidal Nuno called up

Rays’ Jake Faria may be out until August, Vidal Nuno called up

UPDATE, 5:32: Faria is looking at at extended absence, potentially into August. Cash said an estimate of 6-8 weeks was on the optimistic side. "From what we found out he got it pretty good," Cash said.  "So it could be a little bit longer than t...
Published: 05/23/18
For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Archer facing Price

For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Archer facing Price

UPDATE, 5:18: Ramos' bruised left thumb is feeling better and though he's not in the lineup Cash said he is available for emergency duty. … OF Carlos Gomez was set to run the bases today as the next test of his strained groin. … Cash said...
Published: 05/23/18
Rays morning after: Faria frustrated after latest letdown

Rays morning after: Faria frustrated after latest letdown

Whatever pain RHP Jake Faria was feeling as a result of the oblique muscle on the left side he strained throwing a fourth-inning slider to Boston's Hanley Ramirez couldn't compare to the hurt in his heart.Forced to leave Tuesday's game and likely hea...
Published: 05/23/18
Willy Adames homers, but Rays fall to Red Sox and suffer injuries

Willy Adames homers, but Rays fall to Red Sox and suffer injuries

ST. PETERSBURG — Top prospect Willy Adames is only going to get to stay with the Rays for a few days, so good for him for making the most of it with a home run in his first big-league game, and off Red Sox ace Chris Sale no less.But the good fe...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/23/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin's takeaways from Rays 4-2 loss to Red Sox on Tuesday:* The Rays record against a Red Sox team they consider a measuring stick doesn't look very good at 3-8. But, as manager Kevin Cash and several players pointed out, there is some consola...
Published: 05/22/18
Rays journal: Critics don’t faze Sergio Romo or team

Rays journal: Critics don’t faze Sergio Romo or team

ST. PETERSBURG — Criticisms of the Rays' latest innovative pitching strategy have piled up since Angels INF Zack Cosart said after Sunday's game that starting RHP Sergio Romo to get the first three-six outs was "bad for baseball.''One of the lo...
Published: 05/22/18
For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Faria on the mound

For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Faria on the mound

UPDATE, 6:04: Cash said the Rays don't know yet if Wendle will be  back Thursday or Friday, though with the Sox starting RHP Rick Porcello on Thursday that would make sense. …  Cash said OF Carlos Gomez (groin strain) will run the bas...
Published: 05/22/18