ST. PETERSBURG — Jose Siri has an issue with the pitch clock. The Rays centerfielder doesn’t really mind it when he is in the batter’s box. It’s when he is out in the field that the faster pace of the game can be problematic.
That is why he has made two of his highlight-reel catches over the last week while holding the defensive-alignment card in his other hand. He did it Friday night when he stole an extra-base hit from Brewers rightfielder Tyrone Taylor in the fifth inning
“With the time, I’ve got to always rush. It’s just, sometimes, I don’t have enough time, so I keep looking. And then by the time I look up ... I’ve got to run,” Siri said via interpreter Manny Navarro before Saturday’s game. “I’m taking care of the other outfielders, too, so by the time I looked at my card, it didn’t give me enough time.
“Right away, he hit the ball, and I already have it in my hands, so I’ve got to run with it.”
Siri said it was the second big catch he has made holding the card, but he has thrown it to the ground several times in the past to make plays.
Rays manager Kevin Cash doesn’t care as long as Siri keeps making the catches.
Just over a quarter of a way through the season, Siri has already amassed some pretty spectacular ones.
“I think there’s some fearlessness out there that goes into it,” Cash said. “Not fearless like ‘I’m gonna run into a wall’ or anything like that, but ‘I’m OK taking a risk on getting a really good jump and trusting what my eyes telling me on reads and hitter swings and stuff.’
“But he does, he gets elite jumps.”
According to Baseball Savant, Siri is rated plus-1 on outs above average at centerfield with an elite arm.
Franco finding his way back
Wander Franco’s line-drive single in the seventh inning Saturday was a good sign to Cash. The shortstop had come into the game 3-for-27 since he dealt with a neck issue in the Bronx last week.
“Just maybe pressing a little bit. You know, his swing decisions. You can tell he’s a young player that is super talented. And he’s maybe trying to do a tick too much right now when he doesn’t have to,” Cash said.
The Rays manager was hoping that facing Brewers left-hander Eric Lauer would shake the switch-hitting Franco up a little. Franco is a career .340 hitter against lefties.
So, of course, Franco’s hit in the Rays’ two-run seventh came against Milwaukee right-hander Jake Cousins.
Either way, Cash isn’t too worried about Franco turning it around.
“I trust he’s going to be totally fine. It’s not swinging and miss. It’s just putting balls in play,” Cash said of Franco’s slide. “Maybe there were some pitches that he would rather just foul off.”
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Former Rays shortstop Willy Adames made a pit stop in his old clubhouse Saturday morning. Now with the Brewers, Adames popped into Cash’s office and walked around the clubhouse saying hello to his former teammates. … Zach Eflin has walked two or fewer hitters in his last 12 starts, dating to June 4, 2022. … Harold Ramirez homered off the lefty Lauer. Since the beginning of 2022, he is batting .367 against left-handed pitchers.
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