Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays: Joe Maddon nixes idea of Hideki Matsui pitching; James Shields shows he may have a future in journalism

Rays at Royals

When/where: 2:10 today; Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.

TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

Probable pitchers

Rays: LH Matt Moore (4-5, 4.13)

RoYALS: LH Everett Teaford (0-1, 5.73)

On Moore: After three straight wins, the 23-year-old rookie had a bit of a rough start last time out vs. Washington, done in as much by four walks as anything, and got no decision. Still, he is 2-0, 2.63 in June after going 1-5, 4.76 in May.

On Teaford: The 28-year-old lefty is being called up to fill a spot in the rotation, having made three appearances (and one start) during an April stint with the Royals. He pitched in 26 games last season, with a 3.27 ERA.

Key matchups

Rays VS. TEAFORD

Hideki Matsui 0-for-2

ROYALS VS. MOORE

None have faced.

On deck

Thursday: vs. Tigers, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — James Shields (7-4, 3.99); Tigers — Max Scherzer 6-5, 5.12

Friday: vs. Tigers, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — David Price (10-4, 2.95); Tigers — Justin Verlander (8-4, 2.52)

Saturday: vs. Tigers, 7:15. Ch. 13. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (4-3, 3.45); Tigers — Rick Porcello (5-5, 4.71)

Sunday: vs. Tigers, 1:40. Sun Sports. Rays — Alex Cobb (3-4, 4.73); Tigers — Drew Smyly (2-2, 3.96)

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Media-friendly move of the day, part 1

OF Hideki Matsui was supposedly making a strong case to be the position player warming up to pitch Tuesday, but manager Joe Maddon opted for INF Will Rhymes (who wasn't needed anyway). Noting the dozen-plus Japanese journalists with the team, he said he had a reason. "That was part of my decision to not put Hideki in there," Maddon said. "I didn't want to blow up the Japanese newspapers by having him pitch."

Stat of the day

8 Third basemen used by the Rays, more than any team.

Media friendly move of the day, part 2

RHP James Shields plans on pitching for a while, but he showed some potential for TV work, taking Todd Kalas' microphone on Tuesday and stepping into the group session to "interview" RHP Chris Archer about his next start, and even throwing it back to the studio. See the video at tampabay.com/blogs/rays/.

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