PORT CHARLOTTE — Whenever spring training resumes, USF products Shane McClanahan and Phoenix Sanders will find themselves back in minor-league camp after being reassigned Thursday morning.
Both pitchers made good impressions during their stay in the Rays’ major-league camp, mixing several impressive performances around a few rough outings.
Three other pitchers were also reassigned: Deck McGuire, Dylan Covey and D.J. Snelten. With opening day now a moving target due to the suspension of spring games in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, the Rays roster now sits at 49.
McClanahan, a first-round pick in 2018, touched 100 mph with one pitch on Wednesday and hit 99 four other times in a scoreless outing against a pretty good Red Sox lineup. After a pair of shaky outings to begin the spring, McClanahan had four consecutive solid outings with nine strikeouts in his last 4.1 innings. Overall, he was 0-1 with a 12.00 ERA in six innings.
McClanahan went 11-6 with a 3.36 ERA and 154 strikeouts in 120.2 innings in three minor-league stops last year.
“He’s exciting to watch," manager Kevin Cash said after Wednesday’s game. “It’s going to be fun to see how he continues to develop because he has a chance to be really, really special."
Sanders, a 10th-round pick in 2017 who had 15 saves and a 1.92 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A last season, leaves camp with a 7.36 ERA in 3.2 innings.
Phillies take McKay deep
Brendan McKay, who made his spring debut March 6 after working through shoulder stiffness, did not last long in his first start Thursday against the Phillies. McKay struggled with control in a scoreless first, then gave up four consecutive hits with one out in the second, including a pair of home runs. The upside is there were no problems with his shoulder.
“Body and arm felt good," McKay said. “The results you’re obviously frustrated with, (but) a bunch of guys said don’t really hang yourself on results. It’s all about how your body feels and how you’re progressing."
Game details: Phillies 8, Rays 4
Ugly, ugly game for the Rays. Seven pitchers combined to give up five walks, three hit-batsmen and four home runs. The Phillies also stole five bases, although Rays catcher Michael Perez did pick off a runner at first … Prospect Xavier Edwards, who was comically slighted by Blake Snell after he was acquired in the Tommy Pham trade to San Diego, made his debut in a big league spring game and went 2-for-2 … Yoshi Tsutsugo went 0-for-2 with a strikeout, giving him a team-high 13 strikeouts in 28 at-bats.
Line of the day
Hunter Renfroe’s first home run of the spring was a beauty and, apparently arrived in a nick of time. The rightfielder hit a shot over the leftfield wall and beyond the fence bordering a retention pond. “I’ve always said I want to hit one the last day of spring," he said. “I just hope today isn’t the last day of spring."