Clear82° FULL FORECASTClear82° FULL FORECAST
Make us your home page
Instagram

Matt Baker, Times Staff Writer

Matt Baker

Matt Baker joined the Times as a sports reporter in 2011. In 2014, he started covering the Bucs, Rays and Lightning. He previously covered high school and college sports for the Tulsa World and minor league baseball for the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader. His work has been honored by the Best American Sports Writing series and the Associated Press Sports Editors. He is a Hoosier native and graduated from Northwestern University in 2008.

Phone: (727) 420-9087

Email: mbaker@tampabay.com

Twitter: @MBakerTBTimes

link
  1. Adam Erne eager for chance with Lightning

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — When LW Adam Erne watched the Lightning's run to the Stanley Cup final, the No. 33 overall pick of the 2013 draft had the same thoughts he has often had when watching Tampa Bay play: Sooner or later, that could be me on the ice.

    "I've been thinking that since the day I got drafted ..." Erne said Tuesday after the first day of the Lightning's development camp at the Ice Sports Forum. "There's still work that needs to be put in. But it's not as far away as it was last year."...

    Although he failed to make the U.S. team for the world junior championships in December, Adam Erne led the QMJHL's Quebec Remparts with 41 goals and added 45 assists. [DIRK SHADD | Times (2013)]
  2. Rays blow chance, lose to last-place Red Sox

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays left Friday night's 4-3 loss to the Red Sox with more simmering frustration after more missed opportunities.

    This time they racked up 12 hits and watched their trio of shutdown relievers cruise into the 10th inning but still came away with a fourth loss in their past five games, against a Red Sox team stuck at the bottom of the American League.

    "Fairly frustrating game," manager Kevin Cash said, "but that's the way it goes sometimes."...

    Alex Colome walks five but winds up pitching six innings to keep the Rays in the game.
  3. Marc Krauss in Rays lineup after overnight flight

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Newly acquired 1B Marc Krauss didn't have much time to digest Thursday's trade that sent him to the Rays from the Angels organization. He got in Friday at 2 a.m. and was in the lineup 17 hours later.

    "It was a lot of excitement and kind of a little bit of craziness mixed in …" Krauss said.

    Krauss — acquired in exchange for minor-league RHP Kyle Winkler — batted .190 in his previous 130 major-league games over the past three seasons but had a .289 average in Triple-A Salt Lake City....

    First baseman Marc Krauss hauls in Xander Bogaerts’ foul ball in the first inning of his Rays debut.
  4. For starters, Rays vs. Red Sox, with Marc Krauss' Tampa Bay debut

    Blog

    UPDATE, 4:51: New 1B Marc Krauss is in the lineup after arriving at about 2 a.m. Krauss heard he was being traded from the Angels' system to the Rays yesterday and took a flight from Triple-A Salt Lake City to Las Vegas before arrving in Tampa Bay about 2 a.m. 

    "Kind of out of the blue," Krauss said. "Just another day in the life of a ballpplayer, and then things just kind of change." ...

    Alex Colome (3-3, 4.50) will start tonight for the Rays.
  5. Rays-Blue Jays preview

    The Heater

    Rays vs. Blue Jays

    When/where: 12:10 today; Tropicana Field

    Radio: 620-AM

    Tickets: $12-$200, available at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team Tampa store; $3 surcharge within five hours of game time.

    Promotion: Rays cheer sticks

    Probable pitchers

    RAYS: RH Nathan Karns (4-3, 3.53)

    JAYS: RH Marco Estrada (5-3, 3.92)...

  6. Rays' Matt Moore to get one more rehab start

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — When LHP Matt Moore (Tommy John surgery) met with team officials Tuesday, he tried to convince them that Sunday's 92-pitch rehab start in Triple-A Durham was the last one he needed before rejoining the rotation.

    "I'm ready right now," Moore said.

    But when Moore saw the look in the staff's eyes, he knew they weren't convinced. He had hoped to make his first major-league start since April 7, 2014, on Friday or Saturday. Instead, he will make his final scheduled rehab start Friday at Columbus....

    Matt Moore, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, is scheduled to make a final rehab start on Friday before rejoining the Rays rotation.
  7. Archer brilliant again as Rays beat Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As dominant as blossoming Rays ace Chris Archer has been, he admits that he's only human; he can't help but occasionally think about the growing buzz that he could start next month's All-Star Game.

    "I know if I take care of what I do, then I'm going to get what I'm supposed to get," Archer said.

    What he got Tuesday night was another eight strong innings, a 4-3 win over Toronto and a glowing review from the best offense in baseball....

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the third inningof the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Toronto Blue Jays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, June 23, 2015.
  8. Bucs announce 2015 training camp dates

    Bucs

    The Bucs will open training camp on Aug. 1 with the first of their 11 days that will be open to the public.

    No tickets are required for fans to attend, and parking is free. Players will sign autographs for children after practice, and the Bucs will have an expanded kid zone with interactive football stations, a dunk tank and face painting.

    Here's the team's full training camp schedule for open practices at One Buc Place:...

  9. Matt Moore to make one more rehab start, could rejoin Rays rotation next week

    Blog

    LHP Matt Moore is scheduled to make one more rehab start Friday for Triple-A Durham before rejoining the Rays' rotation for his first start since April 7, 2014.

    "I'm ready right now," Moore said after throwing a bullpen session Tuesday afternoon at Tropicana Field.

    Moore, a 2013 All-Star, tried to convince the Rays he was ready after he threw 92 pitches Sunday for Durham in his fourth rehab start. Moore said he told the team that he would be ready to start Friday or Saturday, if needed. But Moore could tell from the look in team officials' eyes that they wanted to be cautious as he nears his return from Tommy John surgery....

    Matt Moore, a 2013 All-Star, tried to convince the Rays he was ready after he threw 92 pitches Sunday for Durham in his fourth rehab start.
  10. For starters, Rays vs. Jays, with Chris Archer on the mound

    Blog

    UPDATE, 5:21: The Rays recalled RHP Kirby Yates from Triple-A Durham. He takes the roster spot of LHP Enny Romero, who was optioned back to Durham after Monday night's game.

    RHP Erasmo Ramirez did not throw his bullpen session today, as originally planned. Manager Kevin Cash said Ramirez will throw his next bullpen in two or three days. Thursday's day off allows the Rays to use pitchers on normal rest. Cash said Ramirez could rejoin the back end of the Rays' rotation early next week....

    All-Star candidate Chris Archer (8-4, 2.18 ERA) will start for the Rays.
  11. Bucs to open training camp on Aug. 1

    Blog

    ...

  12. Rays blow early lead to Blue Jays, lose second straight (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera was the most visibly upset player Monday night when he slammed his bat to the dirt and earned an ejection midway through the Rays' 8-5 loss to Toronto.

    He wasn't alone. There was plenty of exasperation to go around a lineup that tied a club record by striking out 11 times with runners in scoring position.

    "It's frustrating," said centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier, who was 3-for-6 with two of the Rays' 15 strikeouts....

    The Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier, who had led off with a single, dives back into first base to beat the pickoff throw to Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion from starting pitcher Drew Hutchison during the first inning.
  13. Rays-Blue Jays preview

    The Heater

    Rays vs. Blue Jays

    When/where: 7:10 tonight; Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM

    Tickets: $7-$200, available at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team Tampa store; $3 surcharge within five hours of game time.

    Probable pitchers

    RAYS: RHP Chris Archer (8-4, 2.18)

    JAYS: RH R.A. Dickey (3-6, 4.96) ...

    DUNEDIN, FL - FEBRUARY 28:  Pitcher R.A. Dickey #43 of the Toronto Blue Jays poses on photo day on February 28, 2015 in Dunedin, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
  14. Throwing session goes well for Rays' Odorizzi

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Even when he's healthy, RHP Jake Odorizzi (left oblique strain) doesn't usually throw 40 pitches in a bullpen session.

    So after having enough stamina and arm strength to accomplish that in Monday's session, Odorizzi was optimistic, hoping for a return to the Rays' rotation in two weeks.

    "That's the plan as of right now," Odorizzi said.

    Odorizzi reported no ill effects after his bullpen session, when he needed 10-15 pitches to shake off some rust and a mechanical issue....

    Jake Odorizzi, out with an oblique strain, says he feels good after a 40-pitch bullpen session and hopes to return to the Rays rotation in two weeks.
  15. Jake Odorizzi hopes to be back in Rays rotation in two weeks

    Blog

    After throwing 40 pitches in a bullpen session Monday, RHP Jake Odorizzi (left oblique strain) said he hopes to be back in the Rays' rotation in two weeks.

    "That's the plan as of right now," Odorizzi said after his bullpen.

    Odorizzi plans to throw another bullpen session Wednesday and throw live batting practice on Saturday. If all goes well, the next step would be a rehab start or two before he rejoins the rotation....

    Jake Odorizzi (left oblique strain) said he hopes to be back in the Rays' rotation in two weeks.