Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Rays

Gone for now, but USF pitching pair could soon be back with Rays

Rays journal | Shane McClanahan and Phoenix Sanders were reassigned to minor-league camp. Brendan McKay had a rough outing and Hunter Renfroe a memorable homer.
Top Rays prospect Shane McClanahan, shown working with pitching coach Kyle Snyder earlier this year, got his expected reassignment to the minors on Thursday but not before impressing the team brass with his potential.
Top Rays prospect Shane McClanahan, shown working with pitching coach Kyle Snyder earlier this year, got his expected reassignment to the minors on Thursday but not before impressing the team brass with his potential. [ DIRK SHADD | Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Mar. 12, 2020
Updated Mar. 12, 2020

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."