Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays considering using Chris Archer to ease Alex Cobb's workload

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays will add C/OF/1B Stephen Vogt and RHP Dane De La Rosa to their roster today, giving them 34 active players.

A 35th may be added eventually, and it could be interesting.

RHP Chris Archer may be of help to the Rays later in the month, especially as they are concerned with RHP Alex Cobb's innings total.

With off days coming up Thursday and Monday, the Rays don't need Archer right now, but they want him to stay sharp and game-ready if they do.

So they are looking into sending him down, from Triple-A Durham, which just ended its season, to Double-A Montgomery, which is in the Southern League playoffs. Doing so would require the permission of minor-league baseball officials.

Cobb, after Tuesday's win, has thrown 155 innings between Durham and the majors. Manager Joe Maddon said he and executive VP Andrew Friedman met to discuss scenarios, "looking at Alex Cobb's body of work to this point, what are we comfortable with going forward, number of innings, etc."

Archer was impressive in two starts with the Rays (0-2, 3.86) and was 7-9, 3.66 for the Bulls.

As of now, Jeremy Hellickson, David Price and James Shields will face the Rangers this weekend; Cobb, Matt Moore and Hellickson will start in Baltimore next week; and Price, Shields and Cobb or Moore will pitch against the Yankees next weekend.

CAUTIOUS HANDLING: Though Maddon insisted there was "no concern" over Evan Longoria's status, he acknowledged the Rays were playing it cautious after Longoria said his legs felt tired and fatigued Monday, leading to his early departure.

So Tuesday, the Rays had Longoria DH when, Maddon said, "in a perfect world" Luke Scott would have been the DH with Longoria at third. Also, Longoria did not join the team on the field for batting practice, though he hit early in the cage — and he did hit a two-run homer in the game.

"It's just staying with the program, making sure that we keep him well, guard against any problems and really listen to him conversationally," Maddon said. "I want to be very cautious with him."

Longoria started at third base four times in a five-game span. Also a factor, Maddon said, was playing on artificial turf in Toronto then at Tropicana Field. "This is the kind of a field that is not conducive to longevity of athletes in general," he said.

NIEMANNN UPDATE: RHP Jeff Niemann, diagnosed Monday with slight rotator cuff inflammation, will see noted doctor James Andrews today for further testing. A return this season appears unlikely.

MINOR MATTERS: Three Rays minor-league affiliates made the playoffs: Montgomery, Class A Bowling Green and short-season Class A Hudson Valley.

Bowling Green, which had four players suspended for failed drug tests, opens best-of-three Midwest League play tonight against Lake County (Indians) with RHP Parker Markel starting. OF Todd Glaesmann, who led the organization with 21 homers, was moved back from advanced Class A Charlotte to join the Hot Rods.

Montgomery opens best-of-five play against Mobile (D'backs) Thursday. Hudson Valley opens best-of-three play Friday, with its opponent to be determined.

MISCELLANY: The Rays have won Cobb's past seven starts, tying the team record. … Yankees manager Joe Girardi was ejected after a strike-three call in the fourth. … The Yankees were held to six or fewer hits for a fifth straight game, their longest such streak since 1990.

Comments
For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

UPDATE, 6:43: Cash said the key to how the pieced the lineup together was the opportunity to give Cron (who is struggling) and Duffy (who is doing well) back to back days off. … Looking ahead to the weekend, the Rays will use RHP Ryne Stanek as...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Kevin Kiermaier returns to the Rays

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Kevin Kiermaier returns to the Rays

Times sports columnist Tom Jones joins Rick Stroud to discuss Kevin Kiermaier's return to the Rays, whether Victor Hedman should win the Norris Trophy for the NHL's best defenseman, Bucs expectations for this season and Barry Trotz's next c...
Updated: 10 hours ago
How the Rays really won Tuesday’s game over Astros

How the Rays really won Tuesday’s game over Astros

There was some interesting inside baseball elements that factored into the late innings of Tuesday's 2-1 Rays win.* First, on Matt Duffy's double off reliever Hector Rondon to lead off the eighth.Duffy said he doesn't like "to guess" what a pitcher i...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier returns, with energy to spare

Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier returns, with energy to spare

HOUSTON — Energy.That's what Kevin Kiermaier said he felt he'd provide most in rejoining the Rays Tuesday against the Astros after missing two-plus months recovering from thumb surgery."I like to think I bring energy on both sides of the ball, ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Rays journal: Blake Snell outlasts Justin Verlander in 2-1 win

Rays journal: Blake Snell outlasts Justin Verlander in 2-1 win

HOUSTON — The starting pitcher walked seven over seven otherwise solid innings Tuesday. That seemed weird enough for the Rays. Then the next pitcher they brought in was the one who started Monday's game. Even more bizarre.And then there was thi...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Astros

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Astros

This is how odd LHP Blake Snell's night was — he became the first pitcher to work seven or more innings and walk at least seven since Edwin Jackson threw his 149-pitch, eight-walk no-hitter at the Rays on June 25, 2010.If you weren't aware of t...
Published: 06/19/18
For starters: Rays at Astros, with Kiermaier back and an ace-high matchup

For starters: Rays at Astros, with Kiermaier back and an ace-high matchup

UPDATE, 6:45: Cash said Smith will continue to play a lot, getting time in LF and RF, meaning something of a rotation system for rookie Johnny Field and veteran Carlos Gomez.UPDATE, 4:49: Kiermaier is batting leadoff and playing center as expected, w...
Published: 06/19/18
So, how exactly did the Rays end up losing Monday?

So, how exactly did the Rays end up losing Monday?

The Rays lost Monday's game when Sergio Romo failed them in the ninth inning.Called on to protect what was whittled to a one-run lead from 4-0, Romo got off to a bad start, walking the first batter on four pitches and then allowing a single to the se...
Published: 06/19/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays continue to struggle in close games

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays continue to struggle in close games

The Rays blow a four-run lead in Houston and lose on a walkoff hit to the Astros in the opener of their three-game series. It's the 19th one-run loss for the Rays this season as they continue to struggle in close games. Fortunately, reinforcements ar...
Published: 06/19/18
Rays DFA Rob Refsnyder to make room for Kevin Kiermaier

Rays DFA Rob Refsnyder to make room for Kevin Kiermaier

The Rays made official after Monday's game that CF Kevin Kiermaier would be activated on Tuesday.And to make room on the 40- and 25 man rosters, they designated for assignment OF Rob Refsnyder.Acquired from the Indians for cash considerations just be...
Published: 06/19/18