Category: Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays Receives New Reporter on Fox Sports Sun

This week it was announced that FOX Sports Sun, which is Florida’s television home for Tampa Bay Rays broadcasts, hired a new reporter to cover the games for the upcoming 2018 season. Michelle Margaux will be the new lead reporter for all televised Rays games this season. She will also be the host for the Inside the Rays episodes that are televised periodically. Margaux has an impressive resume, most recently working as an on-air reporter for FOX Sports in San Diego. She has covered a variety of different sports teams over the years for college baseball, college basketball, high school football as well as AHL hockey. She also played a large role in the 2016 Major League Baseball All Star Game and the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Margaux expressed her excitement for her new role in Tampa by saying that she couldn’t be more excited to live in this area and to cover the Tampa Bay Rays games this upcoming season. Thanks to her love for baseball she hopes this is going to be a great fit for her next career stepping stone and she is looking forward to discovering Tampa and all it has to offer throughout the course of the year. Margaux has worked in the journalism field for many years and aside from her FOX Sports career she has also worked for KRIS, which is an NBC affiliate that is located out of Corpus Christi, Texas.

Born in California, Margaux graduated from the University Of San Diego with a degree in Communications and Political Science. You can follow her on Twitter and catch her this upcoming season on FOX Sports. Fox Sports is the home of area sports teams such as the Tampa Bay Rays, Orlando Magic, Miami Heat, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers and has been for the past twenty years. For more information on any of the upcoming games and shows, you can visit the Fox Sports website at//www.foxsportsflorida.com.

What to Expect from the Rays in 2018:

It’s not long now before pitchers and catchers report for spring training. Certainly the Tampa Bay players and their fans will head to Port Charlotte with the optimism that they can be competitive in what is sure to be a very tough American League East Division. The Rays had a much improved 2017 season, finishing 80-82, good enough for third in the East. That’s a far cry from their 2016 record 68-94 and a last place finish. But even if Tampa Bay makes it over the .500 mark this year, can they contend with the likes of Boston and New York?

There are going to be concerns with the Rays offensive production with Evan Longoria now in a Giants uniform and Logan Morrison likely to sign as a free agent with another team. That’s a loss of 58 home runs and 171 RBIs combined from last season. So who picks it up at the plate? The Rays will have to rely more on Steven Souza (30 HR & 78 RBIs), though he will have to hit better than the .239 clip he had in 2017. More also must be expected of Corey Dickerson (27 HR, 62 RBIs, .282). That’s a pretty good 1-2 punch from the outfield. If Wilson Ramos can rebound from his injury that limited him to 64 games last year, and Denard Span can come through as a table setter, The Rays should do well putting runs on the board. It would also be nice if Mallex Smith can become the table setter the Rays hoped for.

In the end, it’s going to come down to pitching. Alex Colome turned into a reliable closer with 47 saves and a 3.24 ERA last year. Your text to link… Many of the starters, however, saw their ERAs surpass 4.00. Alex Cobb did the best of any starter with 12 wins, but he’s a free agent. It will come down to whether Chris Archer can become a true staff ace, with Jake Odorizzi a solid number two. If that does not happen, look for the big guns of Boston and New York to feast on Rays pitching in 2018.

San Diego Sports Broadcaster Moves to Tampa Bay

On Friday, FOX Sports Sun announced that they have hired a news sports broadcaster to join their team covering Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays. Michelle Margaux, a reporter from Fox Sports San Diego, will join the reporting team for the 2018 season.

A native of Fair Oaks, California, Margaux earned a degree in communication and political science from the University of San Diego. She began her professional career at KRIS-TV in Corpus Christi, Texas as a sports reporter and host of Friday Night Fever, a weekly series that highlighted the best in high school football. Margaux then moved to San Diego to work as a sideline reporter for Fox Sports San Diego. In 2016, she became the host of Padres POV, a weekly show that focuses on the off-field lives of San Diego Padres players.

In her new role at Fox Sports Sun, Margaux will be hosting the Inside the Rays television series and serving as the lead-in reporter for game television broadcasts. Margaux’s specialty is baseball. In the MLB, she has covered both the All-Star Game and the World Baseball Classic. She has also reported on high school and college baseball, as well as high school football and college basketball.

Margaux replaces outgoing reporter Alex Corddry, who left Fox Sports Sun after her contract expired in December. Margaux joins the Rays’ play-by-play commentator Dewayne Staats, expert commentator Brian Anderson and studio host Rich Hollenberg as part of the broadcast team.

Fox Sports Sun was founded in 1998 as the Sunshine Network. In 2015, the channel changed its name to Fox Sports Sun to reflect its ties with 21st Century Fox. In addition to the Rays, the channel also covers the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Florida Panthers, the Miami Marlins, the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic. In December 2017, Disney announced that they plan to purchase 21st Century Fox. The deal is currently awaiting approval. Once completed, Fox Sports Sun will be included under the umbrella of ESPN.

Rays Release 2018 Schedule and Times

One of the most exciting teams in baseball every year tends to be the Tampa Bay Rays. The Tampa Bay Rays are well known for always putting a competitive team on the field despite the fact that they always have one of the lowest payrolls in baseball. To make matters worse, they also have to compete in the same division with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, which are two teams that often have among the highest payrolls.

While the Rays tend to have a hard time keeping up in free agency, their unique and consistent ability to identify talent in the draft and through trades pays off every year. In 2017, they ended up finishing third in the division with a record of just under .500. Now the teams is returning a lot of talent and should be exciting to watch. Fans of the Rays recently received the final and full schedule for the 2018 MLB season (https://www.draysbay.com/2018/1/10/16875364/tampa-bay-rays-2018-game-start-times).

Fans of the Rays and the rest of baseball already have a lot of dates circled on their calendar. The Rays will open up the MLB season on March 29 against the Boston Red Sox with a 4pm first pitch. The team will then end up playing 9 of their first 12 games during the day to start the year. Once the season gets going and into May, more and more of the games will be played at night. The Rays will follow a pretty typical schedule with night games starting around 7pm and Sunday afternoon games start at 1pm.

There are a number of very big series that the Rays will have. The team will play their first 10 games against the Red Sox (7) and Yankees (3). This will give the team a good starting challenge and could allow them to get off to a great start. One of the biggest series of the season will come in July when the Rays will host the Miami Marlins for a three game set. This interleague battle is quickly becoming one of the top rivalries in the sport. Also in July will the annual All-Star game, which is going to be on July 17 and will be held in Washington DC at the Nationals stadium.

End of an Era: Evan Heads West to San Francisco:

He came up to Tampa Bay in 2008, and made an immediate impact for a team in the pennant race. Twenty-two year old Evan Longoria hit .272 with 27 home runs and 85 RBIs, while also making the American League All-Star team, helping the Rays capture the pennant, and winning the AL Rookie of the Year Award. Since that time, Longoria has been the face of the Rays franchise.

Now they’ll have to find a new face.

A three time all-star and three time Gold Glove winning third baseman, Longoria was traded to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for outfielder Denard Span, third baseman — and Tampa native — Christian Arroyo, and two minor leaguers. While his offensive numbers did slip a little in 2017, Longoria, 32, did have a respectable season with 20 home runs and 86 RBIs, while hitting .261. He also picked up his third Gold Glove, so the Giants can expect very good defense at the hot corner in 2018.

Longoria leaves Tampa Bay as the team’s all time leader in most offensive categories. He is first in career home runs (261), RBIs (892), run scored (780), doubles (338), walks (569), total bases (2,630), extra base hits (618), and sacrifice flies (76). Your text to link…

So what are the Rays getting in return for trading away their most well known player? Longoria’s heir apparent, Arroyo, made his big league debut last year for the Giants, hitting three home runs and driving in 14 runs in 34 games, but with an average of just .191. A career .300 hitter in the minors, he only has 24 career home runs and 204 RBIs in the lower levels. Outfielder Denard Span gives Tampa Bay some veteran experience and a decent bat, as he hit .272 last year with 43 RBIs. Lefty Matt Krook showed improvement after moving into the bullpen midway through last season at Single-A San Jose. Hard throwing righthander Stephen Woods was rated the Number 25 prospect in the Giants farm system.

Tampa’s Lance McCullers Pitches in Game 7 of the World Series

According to a recent source http://www.tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/Tampa-s-Lance-McCullers-ascends-to-sports-ultimate-stage_162222895, a local Tampa pitcher named Lance McCullers will be pitching in Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday night. Lance McCullers has been one of the top pitchers for the Houston Astros this season and will be looked upon to help the team win its first ever World Series championship. McCullers will be in the spotlight as he will look to keep the Astros in the game and allow them to prevail in this decisive Game 7. Lance is used to the spotlight as he was a highly renowned pitcher in the Tampa area during his high school years. He pitched for a local Jesuit school in Tampa and was a standout star. McCullers is now looking to add to his legacy by pitching in the World Series.

By taking the big stage in baseball’s championship round, McCullers will be in position to prove to the nation that he is one of the elite pitchers in the sport. What has made him one of the top pitchers for the Astros this season is his curveball that regularly strikes out batters. He developed this pitch from his father Lance Sr. who pitched in the majors as a reliever for a number of years. However, Lance Sr. was unable to have a long career due to chronic shoulder problems. Lance Jr. will be looking to make his father proud by pitching well in tonight’s Game 7 of the World Series.

Pitching in tonight’s game will mark a first ever scenario for Tampa locals. Nobody from Tampa has ever pitched in Game 7 of a World Series. However this will change tonight as Lance McCullers will represent his city as well as the Houston Astros. During the postseason, Lance has performed very well. He has pitched six innings against the Yankees where he allowed only two hits in six innings. McCullers also closed out the ALCS in Game 7 by pitching four scoreless innings. During the postseason, McCullers has established a good ERA of 2.95. His quality play has given the Astros hope of winning tonight’s do or die game in Los Angeles. By taking the mound in Game 7, Lance McCullers will look to further establish himself as a local Tampa sports hero.

Tampa Rays Planning Rotation for Next Season

For the past decade, one of the most interesting teams in Major League Baseball has continued to be the Tampa Bay Rays. While the Tampa Bay Rays do not always have the payroll budget and other resources to compete with the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and other major-market teams, they still manage to do their best to always put a very competitive team on the field. In that time, the team has made several playoff appearances and has looked like a World Series favorite several seasons.

During the 2017 Major League Baseball season, the Tampa Bay Rays ended up finishing third in the American League East Division with a record of 80 wins and 82 losses. While this was not good enough for the team to make the playoffs, the team had plenty of talent on their roster and has many reasons to look forward to the coming year. Some of the leaders on their offense included Logan Morrison, Evan Longoria, and Corey Dickerson. These three players should continue to be a cornerstone of the offense and starting lineup for years to come.

While the starting lineup appears to be in pretty good shape for the coming season, the starting pitching rotation is still up for grabs (https://rayscoloredglasses.com/2017/11/01/tampa-bay-rays-candidates-2018-rotation/). As the 2017 world series comes to a close, the Tampa Bay Rays are already starting to think about their starting rotation for the following year and have already started to identify who could and may not be among the five starters in the pitching rotation.

During the 2017 season, the Tampa Bay Rays starting pitching rotation was led by starting pitcher Alex Cobb. Alex Cobb ended up winning 12 games and led the team in ERA. While he was a star for the team, it is very unlikely that he will be back next year. Cobb is a free agent and will likely win a big deal from a team in one of the major markets. While he will be missed, there are other pictures on the team that will have the opportunity to take a step forward. One of the most exciting players on the team is starting pitcher Chris Archer. Last year he had nearly 250 strikeouts and will once again be a leading pitcher in the rotation.

Tampa’s Teams Joining Hands To Fight For A Noble Cause

At the front side of the Hillsborough County Courthouse there sits a monument that constantly reminded people of the Charlottesville tragedy. Recently in Tampa, Florida, three teams came together and decided to join efforts in assisting to get rid of the monument that they all did not think agreed with their culture. The three teams that were involved were MLB’s Rays, NFL’s Buccaneers and NHL’s Lightning. These teams came to together as they made their statement of joining hands in walking together past the tragedy that occurred in Charlottesville. They so a need to be united in the midst of diversities so that they could heal. They volunteered to contribute their own money as they raised funds towards moving the monument.

None of the teams revealed how much they had contributed towards this cause. The Hillsborough County Commissioners Board had suggested that the monument could be moved to a different city and stored on private property. There was, however, need to raise 150 thousand dollars from private sources or individuals so that they could cover the costs that were to be incurred in moving the monument. A sort of campaign began to raise these funds. Tony Dungy, the former Buccaneers coach, together with his wife contributed five thousand dollars and went public with it on Twitter. His contribution triggered a further contribution from other local teams and individuals. Bob Buckhorn, Tampa’s Mayor, donated a thousand dollars towards this cause because he believed it was morally right to move the monument.

As much as some people in the region are against this monument’s move, it has gained enormous support from the politicians and business leaders locally. Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s President gave a donation of 70 thousand dollars towards the campaign. The joint effort from individuals, teams and the Chamber of Commerce, it is almost correct to affirm that the move was going to happen. The amount of money raised in the campaign would go a long way. Tampa is one of the cities that managed to get rid of the Confederate monument. The constant reminder of the Charlottesville tragedy will no longer be there. It was a great win for the teams and Florida as a whole.

Tampa Bay Ray’s Fastballs

Over the last decade, Tampa Bay Rays have recorded more strikeouts than any other pitching staff participating in the American League. Jim Hickey has been their pitching coach for all that time. The coach has an experience of two decades as a coach and pitcher in the minors.

Hickey got to experience how the hitter’s view of a rising fastball in 2004 after joining Houston Astros. He stood against Roger Clemens in the batter’s box, at Clemens’ request. From his position, Hickey could see his challenger zoom through the finish line. According to him, Clemens would turn burn and boom! It was his first time, and he thought that the trajectory would be a ball low.

Fastballs do not rise. However, some of them defy gravity for a longer time than others, making them look like they are rising. Such fastballs usually are not the ones thrown with maximum effort, but the ones that spin the most. According to Jake Odorizzi, Rays’ right-hander, this kind of fastball is usually referred to as the ‘invisiball’. Even though you might be seeing it, it is often challenging to hit it.

Odorizzi and most of his teammates can perform the move. Last season, none of the hardest throwers pitched for Tampa Bay, yet a study by Fangraphs in March indicated that the Rays threw over 60 percent of their fastballs (four-seam) up in the zone. According to Rays’ starter Chris Archer, the players will have to pitch to their level best as it continues to be the team’s edge. Watching the Rays pull the ‘invisiball’ move remains to be the most enjoyable part of the game.

The Rays’ Move in New Acquisition

The Rays made a significant move that eventually lead to their success when they acquired Chaz Roe. Due the unclaimed through waivers and a lat strain, Roe has recovered after a long DL stay. He will go to Triple-A Durham, where the Rays will confirm his ability of what he demonstrated during the previous five seasons in the majors. Kevin Cash; the team’s manager said it was going to be a great mix since they were not used to throwing several balls in the bullpen, something that Roe has the experience to do.

With the top target being Justin Wilson of Detroit LHP, the Rays are consulting with many teams concerning bullpen help while casting a wide net, some rentals like Pittsburgh LHP Tony Watson and Pat Neshek of Philadelphia RPH are included. This calls for a high acquisition cost that includes Hunter Strickland of San Francisco and a right-handed bat that they are looking for. They have clarified that they feel good about the new members and are interested in their options that will be there in Durham.

The 30-year-old Roe previously played for Yankees, Diamondbacks, and Orioles, and the Rays will made great achievements by acquiring him. Meanwhile, Logan Morrison was honored to be selected by the MLB Players Alumni Association as the winner of the Rays’ Hustle and Heart Award, embodying the game’s traditions, values, and spirits. According to him, however, his focus his not on the award but that the Rays should win more games as he plays harder.