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Rays journal: Pitchers Jaime Schultz, Austin Pruitt remain in big-league camp for now

Rays reliever Austin Pruitt delivers against the Red Sox on Saturday.
Rays reliever Austin Pruitt delivers against the Red Sox on Saturday.
Published Mar. 16, 2017

PORT CHARLOTTE — Among the 13 players sent back to minor-league camp Wednesday were eight pitchers. Two names not included in the group: RHP Jaime Schultz and RHP Austin Pruitt.

Both rookies have impressed during camp after solid seasons last summer at Triple-A Durham.

"They've been very intriguing," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

With RHP Brad Boxberger (lat/back) and RHP Shawn Tolleson (back) slowed this spring by injuries, the Rays are cultivating a possible Plan B for opening day.

Cash said not to read too much into the fact that Schultz (13 strikeouts, eight innings) and Pruitt (nine strikeouts, no walks, 7⅔ innings) are still in camp. But …

"We need to have options come the end of spring depending on some injuries to guys and also by their performance," Cash said. "They're deserving to stay here and pitch."

On the move

Reassigned to minor-league camp: 1B Dalton Kelly, INF Ryan Brett, C Nick Ciuffo, C Jonah Heim, LHP Ryan Yarbrough and RHP Jeff Ames.

Optioned to minor-league camp: INF Willy Adames, RHP Jose De Leon, RHP Jacob Faria, RHP Taylor Guerrieri, RHP Chih-Wei Hu, RHP Ryne Stanek and RHP Hunter Wood.

And LHP Dana Eveland was released.

"Just couldn't quite find a way to make the roster-fit work," manager Kevin Cash said of Eveland. "Wanted to do it sooner than later to give him an opportunity to find a spot somewhere else."

Eveland, 33, in camp on a minor-league deal, had a 9.00 ERA last season during three stints with the Rays.

On to the WBC

RHP Jose De Leon left the team to pitch for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic on day after Kevin Cash said the rookie would not pitch for his national team this month. "He decided to go," Cash said, "and we'll be pulling for him."

Game stuff: Rays 3, Red Sox 3

1B Casey Gillaspie capped a three-run sixth with a two-run homer, his third home run of the week. … The Rays managed just five hits. … Manger Kevin Cash was pleased with the way RHP Tommy Hunter ended the fifth inning: After walking two batters, he struck out RF Mookie Betts and 3B Pablo Sandoval. … RHP Matt Andriese said he was encouraged by his start, working a season-high 3⅓ innings against a lineup filled mostly with frontline Red Sox players.

Minor big leagues

RHP Chris Archer and RHP Alex Cobb are scheduled to pitch at 1 p.m. today in minor-league games at Charlotte Sports Park. Admission is free, and fans can park on Ester Avenue, off State Road 776 next to the Harley-Davidson shop and enter through Gate C, which is between Fields 1 and 2.

Quote of the day

"As hard as I possibly can because I don't want it to be over yet. This may be the only opportunity I have to do this, so I really want to make it out to L.A. bad, bad."

— RHP Chris Archer, on rooting for Team USA to advance to the WBC final on March 22, where he would rejoin the team

Times staff writer Marc Topkin contributed to this report.

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