Thursday, March 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays: Joe Maddon okay rooting for rival in NCAA Tournament; no sunburns yet on shaved heads

Hoop-it-up notes of the day

Manager Joe Maddon is a Lafayette man but said he was okay cheering for usual rival Lehigh in the NCAA Tournament. "Under the bylaws of the institutions both ways, if the other team is in the Big Dance, you're permitted to root for them under those circumstances only." … He also is impressed with USF's tenacious efforts: "(The Rays are) all about pitching and defense. It sounds like they might be about that, too."

Heads-up note of the day

Maddon said there have been no sunburn casualties among the newly bald players — heads shaved for charity — though he was serious about having them take batting practice without hats so they'd get some sun on their heads, in essence an all-over tan. "You don't want the top of your head being white and the rest of you is not," he said.

Quote of the day

"That was my first hit? For real?"

Carlos Peña, clearly unfazed by his 0 for 14 start before a triple Saturday.

The dish

Rays vs. Red Sox

When/where: 1:05 today; Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte

TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM

Tickets: Extremely limited number available. Reserved seats $19-$27, berm/boardwalk $12. Available through and Ticketmaster, at Tropicana Field and Charlotte Sports Park box offices, Tampa team store.

Gates open: 10:30 a.m.

Directions: Driving time from the bay area is 1½-2 hours. Suggested route: I-75 south to Exit 179 (Toledo Blade Road), go west 6½ miles (crossing U.S. 41) to El Jobean Road (SR 776), go right 2 miles, complex is on the left.

Parking: $10; lots open at 10.

Rays information: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297 (FAN-RAYS)

Pitchers: Rays — Matt Moore, Kyle Farnsworth, Josh Lueke, Cesar Ramos; Red Sox — Clay Buchholz, Vicente Padilla, Justin Thomas, Scott Atchison, Jesse Carlson

Price check

With Moore making his first spring start, David Price will work in a minor-league game today in Port Charlotte.

On deck

Monday: Off

Tuesday: at Marlins, 1:05. Rays — Wade Davis; Marlins — TBA

Wednesday: Yankees, 1:05. Rays — Jeff Niemann; Yankees — TBA

Upcoming schedule

All games 1:05 unless noted


22: at Pirates

23: Jays (7:05 )

24: at Twins ( 3:05 )

25: Marlins

26: at Twins

27: at Red Sox ( 1:35 )

28: Pirates (7:05 )

29: at Phillies

30: at Pirates

31: Red Sox


1: at Orioles

2: Twins*

3: at Twins

4: vs. Future Rays, 1:40, at Tropicana Field

* Value game, $2 off

Who is this Ray?

He is the only native Iowa player in Rays history. His dog is named after one of his favorite players growing up: Jeter. He won the 2012 AL rookie of the year award.

Who is this answer: RHP Jeremy Hellickson.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Rays nearing decision on Venters

Rays nearing decision on Venters

Yankees second baseman Neil Walker was headed to the batting cage Monday for a little pre-batting practice when he was stopped and asked what, if anything, did he remember from his two career at-bats against Jonny Venters."He was filthy," Walker, hit...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays journal: Curt Casali returns to Rays via minor-league deal

Rays journal: Curt Casali returns to Rays via minor-league deal

PORT CHARLOTTE — The Rays solved one problem Wednesday — catching depth at Triple A — when they agreed to a minor-league deal with C Curt Casali.Casali, who played with the Rays during parts of the past four seasons, will return to ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox

For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox

No rain in the forecast today for the Rays. Just sunny skies and those Red Sox, who are making the ride up I-75 for the 1:05 p.m. start at Charlotte Sports Park.The Rays are running out a lineup that could be used often during the regular season. The...
Published: 03/21/18
Former Ray Alex Cobb agrees to deal with AL East rival Orioles

Former Ray Alex Cobb agrees to deal with AL East rival Orioles

By Eduardo A. EncinaThe Baltimore Sun (TNS)SARASOTA — With fewer than 10 days to go until opening day, the Orioles are nearing their biggest upgrade of the offseason: a deal with former Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Alex Cobb, according to an ind...
Published: 03/20/18
Rays OF Mallex Smith’s hamstring passes test

Rays OF Mallex Smith’s hamstring passes test

SARASOTA — OF Mallex Smith's chances of being ready by opening day took a positive step Tuesday when he had five at-bats during a minor-league game."Everything came out with flying colors," manager Kevin Cash said.Smith tested his tight ri...
Published: 03/20/18
Rays’ Matt Andriese: A starter in bullpen land

Rays’ Matt Andriese: A starter in bullpen land

PORT CHARLOTTE — If Matt Andriese had a team-issued business card it would read: Multi-inning/high-leverage relief pitcher. But before handing it to you, he would take a pen and add one more role: starting pitcher.Andriese considers himself all...
Published: 03/20/18
Rays-Orioles rained out

Rays-Orioles rained out

The Rays-Orioles game at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota has been rained out.RHP Nate Eovaldi had been scratched from his scheduled start in the event the game did begin but was shortened by rain. Eovaldi was expected to pitch six innings or throw 90 pi...
Published: 03/20/18
Rays journal: Don’t expect to see too much of Colome in the 8th inning this year

Rays journal: Don’t expect to see too much of Colome in the 8th inning this year

TAMPA – The Rays were not shy about using closer Alex Colome in the eighth inning last season, and he had more success than one would realize, given all the runners that seemed to be on base.Colome led the majors with six saves of our or more o...
Published: 03/19/18
Why pitching is now ‘personal’ for Rays lefty Blake Snell

Why pitching is now ‘personal’ for Rays lefty Blake Snell

PORT CHARLOTTE — Blake Snell is making his best pitch.Not the 95-mph fastball at the knees that opposing batters flail at. Nor the slow curve that leaves them trudging back to the dugout.This is the one where he stands at his locker in the Rays...
Published: 03/19/18
For starters: Rays at Yankees, 6:35, with Blake Snell on mound

For starters: Rays at Yankees, 6:35, with Blake Snell on mound

The Rays head north to face the Yankees tonight in the first of back-to-back night games.LHP Blake Snell, impressive thus far in camp, will be on the mound, followed by two of the pitchers with set jobs in the bullpen, RHP Matt Andriese and RHP Alex ...
Published: 03/19/18