Rays journal: Debate continues over Sergio Romo’s outburst

CHRIS URSO   |   Times
Rays pitcher Sergio Romo yells at Nationals centerfielder Michael Taylor as catcher Wilson Ramos walks past after Romo struck out Taylor to end Tuesday's game.
CHRIS URSO | Times Rays pitcher Sergio Romo yells at Nationals centerfielder Michael Taylor as catcher Wilson Ramos walks past after Romo struck out Taylor to end Tuesday's game.
Published June 29, 2018|Updated June 29, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG — There was plenty said to both extremes about RHP Sergio Romo having his say with Washington's Michael A. Taylor at the end of Tuesday's game.

Some defended the Rays reliever for defending the game in chastising Taylor for stealing third gratuitously in a previous game. Others said Romo was wrong for making too big a deal and causing a scuffle that could have escalated.

"It comes with the territory,'' Romo said. "I've gotten some feedback from my peers, from my colleagues. I've had some people I respect a lot in this league reach out to me and not necessarily pat me on the back, but they understood what I was trying to do.''

Romo also broadened his target Thursday, saying what he took from the postgame comments were that Nationals manager Davey Martinez told Taylor to run: "You would think that if somebody understood …"

Meanwhile, Nats GM Mike Rizzo took his own shot in a Washington radio interview, noting it was "Sergio Romo starting a dustup and then running to the back of the pack."

To that, Romo said: "If people were really trying to fight, you'd know it. I got my point across.''

And the Gold Glove goes to …

As shocked as LHP Jose Alvarado was when manager Kevin Cash told him to go from the mound to first base for a batter during Tuesday's game, he knew he had to make the best of it.

"It was a little crazy, but like they say, Cash took that out of the book of (former Rays/now Cubs manager) Joe Maddon,'' Alvarado said Thursday, through team interpreter Manny Navarro. "You play all these positions as a kid, so when they put me there, I just had the mentality of, 'Hey, I'm just going to play like when I was a kid and see what happens.' "

Alvarado didn't just look the part, saying he overheard Nats 1B coach Tim Bogar telling Bryce Harper, who was on first, to steal second if he wanted to since a pitcher was holding him on. So Alvarado tried to make it look like he was expecting a pickoff throw from RHP Chaz Roe.

Alvarado said he will be more ready next time, as bench coach Charlie Montoyo suggested he take some grounders at first.
In addition to the box score and TV video, Alvarado has something else to remember his stint by, a small "Gold Glove" trophy that a Trop security guard relabeled in his honor and passed along.

The Adames conundrum

Rookie Willy Adames started Thursday at shortstop for just the fourth time in 10 games since Adeiny Hechavarria was activated off the disabled list.
Manager Kevin Cash said the decision on whether to play Adames at second (also four times) or not at all (twice) is the product of extensive staff discussions and has not been easy.
"I know Willy is a priority,'' Cash said. "He's got to play. He's up here for a reason, to get his big-league career started. And that doesn't happen on the bench. We want him to be the best shortstop as possible. Saying that, we've got some other guys that can play shortstop and have a track record.''
Cash acknowledged the decisions will be harder going forward as the Rays face three more Astros right-handers, then play six games (at the Marlins and Mets) with no DH.

Now that's a high talker

Astros manager A.J. Hinch is planning to climb up on the B-ring catwalk at the Trop on Friday for his weekly interview segment with AT&T SportsNet reporter Julia Morales. Plotting that trip got him reminiscing Thursday about the 1998 game when he was playing for Oakland and hit a foul ball that shattered a light on the catwalk and rained glass down on 3B coach Ron Washington.


• RHP Chris Archer (abdominal strain) had what manager Kevin Cash termed "a good day" throwing 46 pitches in a three-inning simulated game in Port Charlotte and if all goes well, will start a rehab assignment next week.

• The Astros are missing two regulars, with 1B Yuli Gurriel on the paternity list until at least Saturday and possibly Sunday, and SS Carlos Correa heading to the DL Friday due to back soreness.

• Not saying it's related to C Wilson Ramos and not saying it isn't, but Nationals special assistant Dan Jennings was among the scouts at the Trop on Thursday.

• Cash said they are looking for a solid five-six innings from RHP Wilmer Font on Friday in his first start since being promoted to the rotation.