Sunday, April 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays' Joel Peralta drops appeal of eight-game suspension

PHILADELPHIA — Initially, the Rays figured they had nothing to lose by having reliever Joel Peralta file an appeal to put his eight-game suspension on hold. But upon further reflection, they decided they had nothing to gain and had Peralta drop his appeal Friday and start serving his penance.

The decision, executive vice president Andrew Friedman said, was made for two primary reasons.

They "didn't feel confident" they'd be able to get the term reduced based on precedent. And they were concerned the issue "was kind of weighing on Joel" and could affect his performance.

"The quicker we can get this behind us I think is better for everyone," Friedman said.

Though the Rays are forced to play shorthanded during the suspension, the timing seemed to work out for them as well.

With All-Star outfielder Matt Joyce going on the disabled list, part of a busy day of transactions involving seven players, they were able to recall right-hander Brandon Gomes, who otherwise would have had to spend the required 10 days in the minors after being sent down Monday, to bolster the bullpen.

Plus, Peralta's absence will cover games against the Phillies, Royals and two against the Tigers, but he will be able to return in time (June 30) for the final two against Tigers and then face the division-leading Yankees. Also, doing it this way eliminated the possibility of a posthearing suspension spanning the All-Star break, which would have added four days of inactivity.

"I'm going to do whatever the team wants me to do, and I'm not going to even ask questions or anything," Peralta said. "They want me to do that, that's what's coming down. I'm okay with it."

Peralta was suspended Thursday after umpires, acting at the request of Washington manager Davey Johnson during Tuesday's game, found pine tar inside his glove.

Manager Joe Maddon said it was obvious to him Peralta was affected by the issue when he pitched, and he took the loss Thursday.

"It's probably impacting him or affecting him more than he wants to let on," Maddon said. "So let's just get it over with. Let's just do it right now and not permit it to fester because it's going to happen sooner or later."

Peralta, who is allowed to work out with the team but not stay for the games, said he looks forward to getting the incident behind him.

"They were a really bad three days, man," he said. "I hope these days get over, and I'll try to get my season straightened out and start doing better for this team. That's all that matters."

Maddon said the impact of having only 24 players (and thus a four-man bench) will be felt during this weekend's NL rules games, as he may have to wait later in the game to use a pinch-hitter, and he will consider using a pitcher as a pinch-runner.

"It's a really big issue," Maddon said. "It definitely handicaps what you can do and definitely alters the way you think."

With Peralta out, Maddon said he plans on splitting the eighth-inning duty among right-handers Burke Badenhop and Wade Davis and lefty Jake McGee.

Comments
Rays are suddenly swinging hot bats, but will it last?

Rays are suddenly swinging hot bats, but will it last?

ST. PETERSBURG — Good pitching and hitting go hand in glove, but the Rays did not look like a team that could swing the bats very well until this completed homestand.In their series sweep over the Twins, Tampa Bay scored 8, 10 and 8 runs. ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rick Stroudís takeaways from Rays-Twins

Rick Stroudís takeaways from Rays-Twins

–Yonny Chirinos may be the Rays fourth starter, but it seems to be in name only. He was lifted after pitching 4 2/3 innings against the Twin on Sunday, the shortest start of his career and his second-shortest appearance.  "Going into the g...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Raysí Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

Raysí Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

ST. PETERSBURG — With every swing, there is a chance Carlos Gomez is going to do something extraordinary with the baseball bat.He may swing so violently that he spins himself into the ground as if he were an oil drill. Or, you could see him sna...
Updated: 5 hours ago
For starters: Rays vs. Twins, going for the first series sweep of the season, 1:10 p.m.

For starters: Rays vs. Twins, going for the first series sweep of the season, 1:10 p.m.

Rays pitcher Yonny Chirinos is no longer just part of a bullpen day, he's the No. 4 starter and who goes to the mound at 1:10 p.m. against Phil Hughes to try to help Tampa Bay attempt to complete a three-game sweep of the Twins.Catcher Wilson Ramos g...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Members of the Rays organization sent their thoughts and prayers to former teammate Danny Farquhar, who was hospitalized Saturday night in Chicago in stable but critical condition after suffering a brain hemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm.Farqu...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays on Sunday: 1:10 vs. Twins

Rays on Sunday: 1:10 vs. Twins

Sunday vs. Twins1:10, Tropicana FieldTV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 760-AM (Spanish)Tickets: $20-$300; available at Tropicana Field box office, raysbaseball.com, surcharge of up to $5 within five hours of game.Promotion: Mascot socks for kids 14 a...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

ST. PETERSBURG – Let's be clear here, the Rays still have a long way to go, and a lot of ground to make up.But seeing them play like they did Saturday in beating the Twins 10-1, putting on a solid all-around show in cobbling their first three-g...
Published: 04/21/18
Updated: 04/22/18
Marc Topkinís takeaways from Raysí 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

Marc Topkinís takeaways from Raysí 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

* Is it time to take the leap and believe this is the real Blake Snell? He talked a good game this spring and pitched well in his debut, but that rough second outing raised old doubts. But a good outing in Chicago and two dominant ones on the homesta...
Published: 04/21/18
Rays Tales: How low can this team go compared to those Devil Rays days?

Rays Tales: How low can this team go compared to those Devil Rays days?

When the Rays, in the opening weekend of their 20th anniversary celebration season, brought back and honored the inaugural 1998 Devil Rays squad, it got us thinking unexpected thoughts, such as which was a better team:The first one, or the current on...
Published: 04/21/18
Rays will go forth with four starters

Rays will go forth with four starters

ST. PETERSBURG — Three weeks was enough for the Rays to officially ditch their three-man rotation plan.Starting Sunday, they will go forth with Yonny Chirinos as their fourth starter.Which is a five-star idea.The flaws in the three-man plan ...
Published: 04/21/18