Advertisement
  1. Archive

PLAYERS CHEERED BY STERNBERG VOW

Time will tell whether Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg's assertion that "money won't be an object" in a potential stretch-drive addition comes to fruition.

But those words were well-received in the clubhouse.

"At the beginning of the year, I remember (Sternberg) saying that next year we're going to cut our payroll," pitcher James Shields said. "It had this little more of a negative attitude, and as a player, it's not good to hear that stuff.

"But to come out and say that now (about this year), it gives us a positive attitude, and we're on a nice little roll right now, I think it's a perfect time to come out and say something like that. Whether or not he does it or not, it's just the fact that the mind-set is there."

Shields, like several other Rays, said he doesn't necessarily think they need a significant addition. "I think the guys in the clubhouse right now are good enough to get to the playoffs," Shields said.

"I think if the guys in the clubhouse right now play to their potential, I think we're one of the more dangerous teams. I remember in (2008), we needed an outfielder, and we didn't get one, and we still ended up going to the World Series."

Veteran RH reliever Dan Wheeler said it's important as a player to hear such words from their owner but realizes the Rays "are not going to be frivolous about it. ... It's got to be the right fit."

Manager Joe Maddon said he hadn't polled the players but he knows what kind of impact Sternberg's comments can make.

"Of course, being in our position right now, I think any time the group feels support from up on top, it's always going to matter," Maddon said. "The fact that we're willing to do something to make this team even better, if that opportunity presents itself, makes everybody feel better."

WADING IN: Rookie RHP Wade Davis, who enters tonight's start on a career-long five-game losing streak, says it has been a struggle to find consistency.

Davis has allowed three earned runs or fewer in four of his past five starts but has lasted 41/3 innings in two of his past three.

"I'll have an okay start, then I'll come back and have a really good one," Davis said. "I'll have an okay one, then have a really good one. I think a lot of that has to do with what I did after that start, what made me get to that point. And I think that kind of (stinks) the way things have been happening. But I've definitely picked up a lot, and I'm starting to understand why things are happening."

Maddon has said that getting Davis right has been an ongoing project and the Rays would like to do it at the big-league level. Davis said it's partly the "mental approach of things, and I think I'm getting the grasp on it, and I feel really good about (today)."

MINOR MATTERS: Montgomery LHP Alex Torres was added to the World roster for the All-Star Futures Gameat Angels Stadium on Sunday. The Rays' top two prospects, Durham RHP Jeremy Hellickson and OF Desmond Jennings, are also playing in the game.

SUSPENSION TALK:C Jhancarlos Infante was one of five minor-leaguers suspended 50 games for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Infante, who is playing for the Rays' Dominican Summer League, tested positive for a metabolite of Boldenone.

MISCELLANY: 1B Carlos Pena was back in the cleanup spot Wednesday. ... 1B Ryan Shealy, who spent spring training with the Rays as a nonroster invitee, was called up by the Red Sox and was in uniform. ... Pena entered Wednesday's game leading all players with 11 homers against the AL East, and his 26 RBIs were second to Red Sox 1B Kevin Youkilis.

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@sptimes.com.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Advertisement
Advertisement