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Rich Hill and Chris Archer excited to pitch Saturday for Rays

Rays notes | It’s two starters for the price of one as Tampa Bay plans to split the workload vs. Marlins.
Rays pitcher Rich Hill delivers in the first inning of a spring game against the Red Sox on March 19 in Fort Myers.
Rays pitcher Rich Hill delivers in the first inning of a spring game against the Red Sox on March 19 in Fort Myers. [ JOHN BAZEMORE | Associated Press ]
Published Apr. 3
Updated Apr. 3

MIAMI — Rich Hill, the veteran entering his 17th big-league season, is excited to be making his first start for the Rays on Saturday.

Chris Archer is looking forward to taking the mound again for the team he rejoined this year after being traded in 2018.

And manager Kevin Cash is curious how the contrast of the lefty with a sweeping curve followed by a righty with a hard slider benefits the Rays.

“We value that,’' Cash said. “And hopefully it works as far as (Saturday) goes.’'

The plan to use two starters in the same game isn’t a new strategy by the Rays. It’s more a product of the schedule, with two days off in the first eight, and that neither pitcher is fully built up.

It seems to be no more than a one-off, as Hill and Archer are expected to be split up and taking regular turns in the rotation as the Rays return home Friday to open a stretch of 30 games in 31 days.

Cash said there is no scripted plan of how long Hill will go Saturday — it will depend on how he is doing, the score of the game and the opportunity to limit the number of times he has to hit.

Archer said he is figuring he’ll be coming in around the fourth or fifth but will be ready sooner, having learned from a spring training run through coming out of the bullpen that he needs to stay loose.

“I’ll probably stay moving around the whole time,’' he said. “Last time I started moving maybe an inning and a half before, and my body wasn’t quite ready. So I’ll probably take a couple heat packs down there with me, keep my arm moving, keep my legs moving, so that I’m a little bit more ready. I’m so glad we did it in spring training so that I know things that I can do.’'

Hill said his final spring outing on Monday has him confident he’s ready to start the season, in terms of what he is throwing and the conviction behind the pitches. “You want to … show some signs of going in the right direction,’' he said. “I absolutely felt that myself.’'

Glasnow feeling better after historic opener

Tyler Glasnow told Cash that the back stiffness that bothered him a little bit on the mound during Thursday’s dazzling one-hit, no-walk, six-inning opening-day outing had gone away and shouldn’t impact his next outing, tentatively Tuesday in Boston. “He said (it was) much better, got a good night’s sleep, so no issues,’' Cash said. … Glasnow became the second pitcher in major-league history to allow one (or fewer) baserunners while working six or more innings on opening day. Detroit’s Jordan Zimmermann had a seven-inning one-hitter against Toronto in 2019. … Glasnow’s 100.6 mph first-inning pitch to Adam Duvall was the fastest in the majors on Thursday.

Miscellany

• Cash, who will manage the AL All-Star team, said he didn’t have enough information to comment on MLB’s decision to move the game from Atlanta in response to the new Georgia voting law. Archer, who has spoken out on other social-justice issues, said the same.

• Attendance Friday was announced at 6,115, down from Thursday’s 7,062 with fans in distanced, pod seating.

• After 14 years with the team, communications vice president Dave Haller is leaving to go into a family business in the northern Virginia area.

• Sticking to his plan to spread around playing time early, Cash started Joey Wendle at shortstop ahead of Willy Adames, Manuel Margot in center ahead of Kevin Kiermaier, and Francisco Mejia at catcher ahead of Mike Zunino.

• Monday night’s game in Boston will be shown by ESPN in addition to Bally Sports Sun (formerly Fox Sports Sun).

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