Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon says hitting coach Derek Shelton not to blame for struggles

ST. PETERSBURG — The seasonlong offensive woes that have left the Rays in their precarious position can be traced to several causes, manager Joe Maddon said.

But the work of hitting coach Derek Shelton is not among them.

"I don't believe it's a reflection on him whatsoever," Maddon said Wednesday. "I really don't.

"I'm in there every day, I know what he does, I know how he does it. You watch the games being played. The thing about coaches, it's about how diligent you are, the time you put in, how much you care. You can only give a player so much information. … A coach might be able to tweak you here or there a little bit or remind you about something, but what goes on internally is really what controls your success. And it's hard to really pin that on a coach."

Asked if he expected Shelton to return next season, Maddon said they will have their usual conversations after this season. "I'm not going to go there right now," he said.

LEANING LEFT: One of the most encouraging signs for the Rays in Wednesday's 13-3 rout of the Red Sox was the performance of struggling lefty hitters Carlos Peña, Luke Scott and Matt Joyce, who were a combined 5-for-8 with six walks and six RBIs. Peña's three RBIs were his most since June 24, and his homer his first at the Trop since July 17.

"It was kind of fun to see that happen,'' Maddon said. "If we can keep them engaged and swinging the bat like that down the stretch, we can do some interesting stuff.''

PRICE CHECK: LHP David Price makes the first of three remaining starts tonight, needing two wins to be the first Ray to 20, which he said wasn't a goal but would be both "very cool" and "pretty special." He said he hadn't looked at enough stats — his or anyone else's — to address his Cy Young Award chances beyond hoping to be a candidate.

NOT-SO-MINOR MATTERS: The Rays were already impressed by RHP Chris Archer, who, before taking the mound Wednesday, was named their minor-league pitcher of the year after going 7-6, 3.66 at Triple-A Durham.

OF Todd Glaesmann, who was named their top player, hopes he gets a chance in the near future after leading all Rays minor-leaguers with 21 homers, splitting the season between Class A Bowling Green and Charlotte, and hitting .285 with 75 RBIs. Glaesmann, who had hit only eight homers total in three pro seasons after being a 2009 third-round pick, said his success was the result of a more relaxed attitude and an improved approach.

The Rays named MVPs for each minor-league team: Triple-A Durham, OF/1B Leslie Anderson; Double-A Montgomery, RHP Alex Colome; advanced Class A Charlotte, SS Derek Dietrich; Class A Bowling Green, OF Drew Vettleson; short-season A Hudson Valley, RHP Jeff Ames; rookie-level Princeton, LHP Blake Snell; GCL Rays, INF Ben Kline; Dominican Summer League, 3B Alexander Simon; Venezuelan Summer League, OF Jose Paez.

The Rays also named OF Kevin Kiermaier their best defensive player, SS Hak-Ju Lee best baserunner, RHP Chris Rearick best reliever and RHP Joe Cruz winner of the Erik Walker Community Champion Award, which recognizes a player "who exemplifies teamwork, sportsmanship and community involvement."

MEDICAL MATTERS: Evan Longoria was back at third base for the first time since Sunday. … OF Sam Fuld remains idled by a right hamstring strain.

MISCELLANY: The Red Sox notched their first losing season since 1997. … C Jose Molina had his first bunt hit since April 2007. … Tonight is Star Trek night at the Trop, with fans encouraged to dress in Trek gear. There is also a pet food drive to assist the Pet Pal Animal Shelter. … Sun Sports' new Inside the Rays show, profiling TV host Todd Kalas, airs at 2 p.m. today and after Friday's game. … The Sept. 29 game at Chicago was moved up to a 4:05 p.m. start for a broadcast on Fox (Ch. 13).

Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon says hitting coach Derek Shelton not to blame for struggles 09/19/12 [Last modified: Thursday, September 20, 2012 12:39am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. NFL commissioner, players' union angrily denounce Trump comments on national anthem


    SOMERSET, N.J. — The National Football League and its players' union on Saturday angrily denounced President Donald Trump for suggesting that owners fire players who kneel during the national anthem …

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]
  2. Matt Peca making case for Lightning spot


    Center Matt Peca said he didn't read too much into the fact he was the only Lightning player to appear in each of the first three exhibition games.

    But Peca, 24, loved it.

    Matt Peca won nine of 10 faceoffs Friday, a skill the Lightning badly needs.
  3. Bucs players respond to Trump comments on anthem protests


    President Donald Trump shared his thoughts Friday night on NFL players protesting during the national anthem, suggesting that NFL owners should "fire" players who kneel during the anthem in protest. His remarks are alreading drawing responses from many NFL players, including some Bucs.

    Bucs players Mike Evans and Jameis Winston stand with coach Dirk Koetter during the national anthem in a game played in San Diego last season.
  4. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018


    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    Catcher Wilson Ramos connects for a two-run single in the fifth inning against the Cubs on Sept. 20, 2017.
  5. Buccaneers-Vikings Scouting Report: Watching Kyle Rudolph, Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen


    No matter how much film we study, no matter how much data we parse, we just don't know how an NFL season will unfold.

    Four of tight end Kyle Rudolph's seven catches this season have come on third down, including this 15-yard touchdown in the Vikings' opener against the Saints. [Getty Images]