Rays Journal: Yarbrough, Chirinos making their pitch; LoMo joins Twins

Both pitchers are "in the mix" for bullpen jobs after solid Triple-A seasons.
Logan Morrison officially joined the Twins on Wednesday. [MARC TOPKIN | Times]
Logan Morrison officially joined the Twins on Wednesday. [MARC TOPKIN | Times]
Published Feb. 28, 2018|Updated Feb. 28, 2018

FORT MYERS — Top prospect RHP Brent Honeywell did most of the talking, but LHP Ryan Yarbrough and RHP Yonny Chirinos did some pretty good pitching last year for the Rays' Triple-A team.

Both are now getting looks for jobs in the majors, their opportunity perhaps increased with Honeywell out until mid-2019 following Tommy John surgery.

Yarbrough and Chirinos both looked sharp in Wednesday's 3-1 win over the Twins.

Yarbrough, mixing in changeups to lefties as part of his repertoire, allowed one infield hit over two innings, throwing 15 of his 20 pitches for strikes. Chirinos, using his heavy bowling ball-like sinker, allowed just a walk (followed by a double play grounder) in 1 2/3.

"They're really talented," manager Kevin Cash said. "They're fun to watch. They're young. They attack. … Those guys want to force contact. … A lot to be excited about."

Though the Rays have the four starters they plan to open the season with, Yarbrough (acquired from Seattle in the January 2017 Drew Smyly trade) and Chirinos (an international signee) could make the team in the bullpen at first.

"They are in the mix, no doubt," Cash said. "We're pretty open-minded to all of them."

The LoMo show

1B Logan Morrison rolled into Twins camp Wednesday rolling off some of the one-liners that made him an entertaining  —  and loud — part of the Rays' clubhouse the last two years, but acknowledged sitting on the free agent market until last weekend was definitely no fun.

"As the guys from Tampa (Bay) know, I'm not very patient," he said, after finalizing a $6.5 million deal with a 2019 vesting option. "It was definitely a test."

RELATED: Does union have legit grievance  with Rays? Or is it just business?

Morrison, who hit 38 homers last year, said there wasn't any real talk about staying in Tampa Bay. "I did not get an offer from the Rays. … I don't know if I was disappointed in it, it's just one of those things. I know they have guys over there that can do the job. They want to see what Brad (Miller) can do. (Jake) Bauers, they want to give a chance to. I understand where they're at.''

Quote of the day

"That's my guy, that's the AWR — average white righty  —  but he gets outs. And he's got a great dad bod."— Morrison, on new Twins/old Rays teammate Jake Odorizzi

Medical matters

SS Adeiny Hechavarria is out for a few days — "Nothing major" — due to tightness behind his right knee, the result of slipping Monday while fielding a ground ball when wearing sneakers rather than spikes. Players usually wear sneakers to run; Hechavarria kept them on for the drills. Cash said it was just a hamstring tweak. … 3B Matt Duffy said there should be no red alert over him being scratched from Tuesday's lineup: "No issues with the (surgically repaired left) foot. Just a little back spasm. It'll be a couple days. It's pretty anti-climactic." Also, he's had them before. … 1B Miller expects to be out a few more days due to his broken right pinky toe, the main concern to not impact how he runs and cause other issues as he is coming off October core muscle surgery.

Game report

INF Christian Arroyo enjoyed the opportunity to play shortstop, rapping three singles as the Rays improved to 4-3. … Seven Rays pitchers combined to allow only two hits. … 1B C.J. Cron was twice robbed of home runs but took it well: "Save 'em for the regular season." … Daniel Robertson looked and felt comfortable in his first outfield experience, catching the one fly hit to him.

• OF Carlos Gomez is expected in Florida on Friday and in camp over the weekend with resolution of his visa issues. Cash credited staffer George Pappas, and wanted to slap him five, for expediting the process after Gomez agreed last week to a one-year, $4 million deal.

• New LHP Anthony Banda, acquired from Arizona in the Steven Souza Jr. trade, and veteran relievers Alex Colome, Daniel Hudson and Sergio Romo are expected to make their game debuts by Saturday.

• INF Jermaine Palacios, the 21-year-old acquired from the Twins for Odorizzi, made his Rays' debut, playing the last five innings at shortstop. "He looked really confident catching the ball," Cash said.