Thursday, December 14, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: Shutout month, catcher has eventful week

Rays at Blue Jays

When/where: 1:07 today; Rogers Centre, Toronto

TV/radio: No TV; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

Probable pitchers

Rays: RH Jeff Niemann (2-3, 3.38)

Jays: RH Henderson Alvarez (7-11, 4.97)

On Niemann: He was reinstated from DL and starts at the scene of the broken leg that sidelined him for 3½ months. He made four rehab starts (6.91 ERA), so he should go 90 or so pitches. He is 4-4 with a 5.04 ERA in 13 starts against the Jays.

On Alvarez: He is in a slump, going 0-4 with a 7.77 ERA over his last five starts, allowing 52 baserunners (40 hits, 12 walks) in 24 1/3 innings. He has struggled against the Rays, going 0-4, 6.08 in four starts.

Key matchups

Rays VS. Alvarez

Desmond Jennings 3-for-7, 2 HR

Evan Longoria 6-for-9, 3 HR

Ben Zobrist 5-for-12

Jays VS. Niemann

Edwin Encarnacion 1-for-12

Yunel Escobar 1-for-12

Adam Lind 13-for-29, 3 HR

On deck

Sunday: at Blue Jays, 1:07, Sun Sports. Rays — David Price (16-5, 2.53); Jays — Ricky Romero (8-12, 5.50)

Monday: vs. Yankees, 1:10, Sun Sports. Rays — James Shields (12-8. 3.91); Yankees — CC Sabathia (13-4. 3.40)

Tuesday: vs. Yankees, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Alex Cobb (8-8, 4.39); Yankees — Freddy Garcia (7-5, 4.90)

Wednesday: vs. Yankees, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Matt Moore (10-8, 3.58); Yankees — Hideki Kuroda (12-9, 2.98)

Rays disabled list

(with eligible-to-return date)

C Robinson Chirinos, concussion, 60-day, June 5

*OF Brandon Guyer, left shoulder surgery, 60-day, July 13

RHP Jeff Niemann, right leg fracture, 60-day, July 14

* out for season

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Stat of the day

11

Games lost by the Rays when allowing one or two runs, most in the majors

More blanking history

With six shutouts in August, the Rays are the first team to be blanked six or more times in a calendar month and have a winning record for that month (17-11 after Friday's loss) since the Reds in August 1985 (six, 15-14), and the first American League team since the Yankees in May 1973 (six, 15-13).

A big, big week

It turned out to be an eventful time for C Chris Gimenez, who on Thursday was told he was being called up to the big leagues and a few days before that found out he had a fan club, or at least that there was a Twitter account named as such: @CGimenezFanClub. "It doesn't get any better than that," said Gimenez, who admitted to checking with his wife, Kellie, to make sure she wasn't behind it.

AL East

Team W L Pct. GB

New York 75 56 .573—

Baltimore 73 58 .557 2

Tampa Bay 71 61 .538 41/2

Boston 62 71 .466 14

Toronto 60 71 .458 15

AL race for wild cards

Team W L Pct. GB

Oakland 74 57 .565—

Baltimore 73 58 .557—

Tampa Bay 71 61 .538 21/2

Detroit 70 61 .534 3

Los Angeles 70 62 .530 31/2

Top two wild cards make postseason; GB is games behind second wild card

Comments
Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

Rays officials headed back across I-4 this afternoon, leaving the winter meetings while working toward resolution of "advanced" trade talks that could include some of their biggest name players.Most of the attention and speculation has been on on the...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Tampa Bay Rays lose RHP Burch Smith in Rule 5 draft, keep Nick Ciuffo

Tampa Bay Rays lose RHP Burch Smith in Rule 5 draft, keep Nick Ciuffo

The Rays lost RHP Burch Smith in Thursday's Rule 5 draft but were happy to see him get an opportunity in Kansas City.They also were pleased to hang on to C Nick Ciuffo, who was left exposed but not selected.Smith, 27, was acquired from the Padres as ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 4

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 4

UPDATE, 11:09: RHP Steve Cishek, who was a very effective addition to the Rays pen last season, has reunited with pitching coach Jim Hickey, agreeing to a deal with the Cubs.UPDATE, 10:40: Like most teams, Rays officials are heading out of the meetin...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

As part of its deal to buy a massive package of 21st Century Fox assets, Disney will acquire Fox Sports Regional Networks, which control the local cable rights to a slew of professional teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning.Assu...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Without getting into specifics – especially the who and the where – Rays officials are for the first time talking optimistically about making a trade before the winter meetings end Thursday.Speaking at around 5:15, senior VP Chaim Bloom s...
Published: 12/13/17

Winter meetings journal: Rays trade for money to sign top international free agent

LAKE BUENA VISTA — While most of the business conducted at the meetings impacts the big-league team one way or another, the Rays are working to finalize a move they hope pays off big sometime in the 2020s.In trading Wednesday to acquire $1 million in...
Published: 12/13/17
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

UPDATE, 5:55: Trade talks apparently picked up this afternoon, perhaps related to previous activity by other teams, and for first time Rays officials sound like something could happen tonight."At this point today, some of those conversations are movi...
Published: 12/13/17
Market starting to set itself as Rays’ trade talks intensify

Market starting to set itself as Rays’ trade talks intensify

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Alex Colome claimed he was just showing good social media manners Tuesday night in following four Cardinals-related Instagram accounts since they were saying nice things about him.In doing so, whether for that reason or another mor...
Published: 12/13/17
Alex Corddry won’t be back on Tampa Bay Rays telecasts

Alex Corddry won’t be back on Tampa Bay Rays telecasts

Alex Corddry won't be back on Fox Sports Sun's Tampa Bay Rays telecasts.Corddry completed a one-year contract with Fox, serving as the pre-, post- and in-game reporter.  She also covers college football for ESPN and does freelance work in the Wa...
Published: 12/13/17
Is Alex Colome telling us something about Rays’ plans with his Instagram account?

Is Alex Colome telling us something about Rays’ plans with his Instagram account?

UPDATE, 9:22: So, Colome says he was just using good social media manners, tweeting (at 4:15) this morning:"I keep getting nice messages and tags from those accounts, so I gave them a follow"And, keeping his emoji game strong, adding one with arms up...
Published: 12/13/17