Advertisement
  1. Rays

Appreciative Daniel Nava makes Rays debut (w/video)

Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Daniel Nava (7) lines out to right to end the second inning of the game between the New York Mets and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 7, 2015.
Published Aug. 8, 2015

ST. PETERSBURG — After spending parts of the past five seasons with Boston, newly acquired OF Daniel Nava is certainly familiar with a Rays-Red Sox rivalry that has been testy at times.

"I'm sure there are guys who had worse thoughts," Nava said.

After playing 49 games against the Rays in his career, Nava said he appreciates being in the other clubhouse at Tropicana Field, not having to face Rays pitchers. He entered Friday with a .206 batting average at the Trop, his fourth-lowest average among stadiums he's played in multiple times.

"I'm glad they're giving me a chance to play," Nava said. "Obviously I've seen them a lot. They're always a challenge to face, whether it's pitching or grinding games out. I'm grateful I'm on this side. We're close in the playoff hunt. That's fun to be a part of."

Thumb injuries have limited Nava to 30 games this season, including his Rays debut Friday night, when he started in rightfield and went 0-for-2. Nava has only played three games since May 25 and said he's still trying to regain his form.

"I'd be lying to say that I feel like I'm completely locked in," Nava said. "But there's only one way to get out there and get back to where you think you can be."

SHAFFER AT HOME: INF Richie Shaffer said he spent part of Thursday's off day reflecting on his first series in the majors so he can start focusing on the game itself.

"I got those three games in — the wide-eyedness will hopefully calm down," said Shaffer, the Rays' 2012 first-round pick. "Just get back to playing."

Shaffer didn't start but was nonetheless excited for his home debut; he said he wasn't sure when to arrive, so he got to the Trop at noon — about two hours earlier than some of his teammates.

MEDICAL MATTERS: OF Steven Souza Jr. said he felt as if he was starting to click at the plate before being hit by a pitch and fracturing his left hand last week.

"It stinks, you know?" Souza said.

Souza is scheduled to get an X-ray in three weeks and will likely miss 4-8 weeks. Souza said he has to be cautious with his return, because doctors have told him that if he comes back too quickly, he would risk damage that could follow him for the rest of his career.

"I just don't want to do something to hurt it down the road," Souza said.

MORE MEDICAL: OF Desmond Jennings (left knee bursitis) was scratched from his rehab start due to misty conditions at Triple-A Durham. Manager Kevin Cash said Jennings still has a few more hurdles to clear, including sliding and stealing a base during a game. … Cash said LHP Drew Smyly (torn left labrum) threw well and with good velocity in Thursday's 74-pitch rehab assignment. Smyly will throw another bullpen and will likely make his fourth rehab start Tuesday.

CESPEDES REMATCH: Although tonight's starter, RHP Nathan Karns, has never faced the Mets, he's quite familiar with one of their players. CF Yoenis Cespedes, who was traded from Detroit to New York last month, blasted a 419-foot home run off Karns in their last matchup.

"You can say I'm familiar with him, especially that last at-bat," Karns said. "Hopefully I get a quick chance to redeem myself."

MISCELLANY: LHP Matt Moore started with four perfect innings (and five strikeouts) in Durham before allowing his first hit. … SS Asdrubal Cabrera was back in the Rays' lineup — and showed no ill effects — after being hit in the head with a throw Wednesday.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Rays relief pitcher Nick Anderson has earned two postseason honors thanks to his stellar performance in the team's bid to reach the postseason Doug Clifford | Tampa Bay Times
    July 31 trade acquisition from Marlins named to Baseball America’s all-rookie team and wins top Midwest player award.
  2. The Rays' Tommy Pham proved to be one of the team's best players in 2019. His success is made more remarkable by overcoming a debilitating eye disease in years past that threatened his career. CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP
    Tommy Pham spoke to more than 150 doctors in San Francisco about his eye condition, keratoconus.
  3. Joe Maddon had successful runs with the Rays and Cubs, and now heads back to the Angels. Tampa Bay Times
    Maddon gets a reported three-year deal to return to his original organization, and one that could use his help.
  4. Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Joey Wendle (18) looks from the dugout after losing 6-1 to the Houston Astros after winning Game 5 of the American League Division Series Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 in Houston. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Sports Day Tampa Bay: Times beat writer Marc Topkin looks ahead to the offseason, Rays free agents and the future of the opener.
  5. Astros starter Gerrit Cole continues his dominant postseason against the Yankees in Game 3. FRANK FRANKLIN II  |  AP
    Houston takes a two games to one lead at Yankee Stadium
  6. The Tampa Sports Authority is scheduled to take up a renovation proposal for New York Yankees spring training home George M. Steinbrenner Field today. The Yanks plan to improve outfield views and concourses, revamp entry ways and add shade for fans. [Getty Images]
    The team will host a ALCS watch party at its spring training home Tampa
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) warms up before an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) ALASTAIR GRANT  |  AP
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: What else went wrong in London, ranking the Rays, Lightning worries, Gators’ SEC title hopes.
  8. Yankees manager Aaron Boone talks about his plans for a bullpen day in Thursday's Game 4 of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium. KATHY WILLENS  |  AP
    The Rays Way could play a role in the ALCS.
  9. The Nationals' Victor Robles reacts as he crosses home after hitting a home run during the sixth inning of a Game 3 rout of the Cardinals in the NL Championship Series. JEFF ROBERSON  |  AP
    Washington rolls to an 8-1 rout, is one game from World Series.
  10. The Rays posted this  message of appreciation on their Twitter account. RAYS BASEBALL  |  Twitter
    An ad in the Tampa Bay Times from the team and Twitter messages from players cap the season that included playoffs for the first time since 2013.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement