Friday, May 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Reliever Steve Geltz to join Rays from minors

ST. PETERSBURG — A second straight solid season in the bullpen at Triple-A Durham — albeit interrupted by a 50-game drug suspension — earned RHP Steve Geltz a promotion to the major leagues.

Geltz is one of four players to be added to the Rays' roster today when rosters can be expanded. RHP Brandon Gomes and C Curt Casali, who were up earlier this season, are being recalled, and OF David DeJesus, out since mid June with a left hand fracture, will be activated from the disabled list.

Geltz, 26, has two games of big-league experience, with the Angels in 2012 (both against the Rays). He was acquired in a March 2013 trade for RHP Dane De La Rosa and had an impressive 2013 at Triple-A Durham (5-3, 2.82 ERA in 41 games with 80 strikeouts in 67 innings). He took advantage of a 2014 spring training invitation to make a good impression and had another solid season at Durham (3-3, 2.36 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 412/3 innings). He was suspended for 50 games in May after a second positive test for what MLB called "a drug of abuse."

"I hear nothing but good things," manager Joe Maddon said. "I loved him in spring training. Look at his numbers; historically they've been really good. Our guys really like him. It's kind of like (Brad Boxberger), he made that kind of impression. … I met him, and I liked him, and I'm eager to work with him here. I think he can be really good."

Casali may not get many starts — depending on, Maddon said, how Jose Molina "feels" — but having a third catcher allows for more in-game maneuvering regarding pinch-hitting and -running. DeJesus said the hand still gets sore but he is ready to contribute.

The Rays will have to clear a spot on the 40-man roster to add Geltz.

JENNINGS UPDATE: CF Desmond Jennings was out of the lineup for a third straight game Sunday versus the Red Sox with a bruised and sore left knee, and likely won't start again today against Boston. Jennings has not been available to the media in the clubhouse all weekend, but he told Neil Solondz of Rays radio that he hurt the knee fouling off a ball in the series against the Blue Jays before the All-Star break and it hasn't gotten better.

SMYLY GUY: LHP Drew Smyly is feeling good and throwing extremely well, coming off consecutive two-hit outings. But he takes the mound today uncertain how much more he will get to pitch this season; Rays officials are planning to cap his workload based on an already career-high total of 1411/3 innings. "I think right now we're just kind of playing it by ear," Smyly said. "Pitch (today) and then re-evaluate it after that."

Smyly, who will be eligible for arbitration for the first time, said his arm "has been feeling great" and he wants to keep pitching. The Rays want to keep him to 150-160 innings; they routinely try to limit increases to about 20 percent a year. Smyly's previous high was 117 innings in 2012. He threw 76 in 2013 working exclusively in relief.

FOR THE DEFENSE: RHP Alex Cobb's errant third-inning pickoff throw in Sunday's 3-0 loss marked the eighth straight game in which the Rays made an error, their longest such streak since a team-record 11 in 2004. The Rays have made eight errors in that stretch and 75 this season; they made 59 last season. "Sloppy defense is something that we can't have if we're going to sustain success around here," Cobb said. CF Kevin Kiermaier had another adventurous day in centerfield, making a running, twisting, bad-break-correcting, over-the-shoulder catch to end the sixth but also missing on a diving catch in the eighth that led to the third Boston run.

MISCELLANY: Rookie-level Princeton (W. Va) lost 4-3 to Danville (Braves) in the opener of the best-of-three Appalachian League playoffs. … Class A Bowling Green lost the first game of a doubleheader 3-1 to Fort Wayne, with both teams vying for a spot in the Midwest League playoffs. … Saturday's Mystery Ball event run by the Rays Wives raised $35,360 for All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Comments
Alex Cobb excited about return “home” to Trop even in Orioles orange

Alex Cobb excited about return “home” to Trop even in Orioles orange

RHP Alex Cobb has already pitched twice against his former Rays mates in Baltimore and said it didn't feel that weird, especially since there were so many new faces in the lineup.But coming back to the Trop, where he made his big-league debut and spe...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Willy Adames goes back to AAA, leaving Rays with “a lot to be excited about’

Willy Adames goes back to AAA, leaving Rays with “a lot to be excited about’

Willy Adames' first stint in the major leagues ended as planned Thursday night when he was optioned back to Triple-A Durham at the end of his planned three-game cameo filling in for new father Joey Wendle.Adames said going back down was "tough" even ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Rays journal: Blake Snell, flying Denard Span finally solve Red Sox

Rays journal: Blake Snell, flying Denard Span finally solve Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Having lost two straight and nine of 12 times overall to the Red Sox, the Rays needed two things to go right Thursday:First, a strong start from Blake Snell.Second, some early runs against Rick Porcello from an offense that had...
Published: 05/24/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Thursday’s Rays-Red Sox game

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

Home cooking clearly agrees with OF Denard Span. The 34-year-old Tampa product continues to deliver, producing at the plate, running the bases, making diving catches in the outfield, and Thursday, even going over the short sidewall twice in hot pursu...
Published: 05/24/18
Rays once again will ‘open’ with relievers this weekend

Rays once again will ‘open’ with relievers this weekend

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays weren't kidding about being serious that starting relievers gives them the best chance to win.So much so, they plan to do so again this weekend against the Orioles — in all three games. The plan is for Sergio Rom...
Published: 05/24/18
Rays tripling down on starting relievers vs. Orioles this weekend: Romo, Stanek, Romo

Rays tripling down on starting relievers vs. Orioles this weekend: Romo, Stanek, Romo

The Rays aren't kidding about being serious in using relievers to start games.After unveiling the strategy last weekend against the Angels, manager Kevin Cash said they planned to use it again, and he made that official on Thursday, naming Sergio Rom...
Published: 05/24/18
For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Snell on the mound

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

Having lost a pair of close games, the Rays will try again tonight to beat the Red Sox, and will have LHP Blake Snell on the mound.SS Willy Adames is in the lineup for the Rays for the third and what is expected to be the final time before being sent...
Published: 05/24/18
Rays morning after: Chris Archer, David Price sure matched up like they meant it

Rays morning after: Chris Archer, David Price sure matched up like they meant it

For two guys who said they didn't make much of matching up, they sure dueled like they did in Boston's 4-1 victory that was decided after they left.Chris Archer, the Rays current top starter, worked six impressive innings, allowing one run and four h...
Published: 05/24/18
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...
Published: 05/24/18
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...
Published: 05/24/18