Category: Tampa Bay Rays

Rays Beat Blue Jays With Homers

The Tampa Bay Rays did what they have done so often this season in the opening game of their series with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Rays hit home runs to eventually seal an 8-1 victory. The team is quickly becoming known as one of the most powerful teams in baseball with a lineup that pitchers should be very cautious of. Taylor Featherston got the fireworks started right away by blasting a home run to start the third inning. Logan Morrison continued his transformation into one of the most feared hitters in the game by hitting homer number 18 on the year.

 

One of the most pleasant surprises for the Rays this year was the starting performance they got from Jacob Faria. He shut down the Blue Jays bats in only the second start of his career. He gave up just a single run while pitching six innings. Rays manager Kevin Cash could not have been happier with this young starter. Cash praised Faria’s composure because he did not show any nervousness.

 

Marco Estrada did not have as good a time on the mound for the opposing team. He continued to struggle as he has all season. His ERA is around 4.50 and he has failed to keep the Jays in many of his starts. Estrada failed to get out of the 4th inning against the Rays. This is his shortest start of the year so far. Despite his very poor outing, Estrada was not dejected when he was interviewed after the game. He said that he is confident that things will turn around for him this year.

 

Rays manager Kevin Cash said it is always a good thing to get a win in the first game of a series when you are playing a good team on the road. He has been pleased by the way his team has been playing as of late. He expects his team to have a dynamite second half of the season.

 

The Rays Swing Back Into Action Tonight

The Tampa Bay Rays are now starting a 2-game series up in Toronto to take on the Jays during which they hope to gain ground on the two leading American League East division teams, New York and Boston. Despite a somewhat sluggish start through April and May, they’ve started to gain ground on New York and Boston as they’re now 6 1/2 games behind the Yankees, and only 2 1/2 behind the Red Sox having won 5 of their last 6. Yet there are injury concerns that the Rays face heading into the thick of the season.

 

Starting with pitcher Matt Andriese who will be sidelined for some time, the Rays are going to be paying close attention to their bullpen and the young rookies who could be filling in for him. Taking the mound tonight for them will be Jake Faria, the rookie out of Cerritos, CA who has one win to his name so far and an era of 1.42. He will be facing Marco Estrada who is 4-4 on the season so far with an ERA of 4.04.

 

The Rays will also be making some changes in their lineup at shortstop with Tim Beckham being unable to participate due to a nagging knee injury, so taking his place tonight will be Daniel Robertson. The Rays will try to maximize on their opportunities tonight and tomorrow before taking on Detroit in a 4-game series starting Thursday. Their next off day will be on Thursday June 22 after wrapping up a series in Cincinnati and heading off to Baltimore. The Rays have outscored opponents 38-30 in their last 6 games and so far have a +13 run score differential in the season overall.

 

Rays Once Again Competing for Division

For the past two decades, the most competitive division in Major League Baseball has been the AL East. In this time, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have won eight World Series titles, which has helped to make that rivalry the top in the sport. While the Red Sox and Yankees have been the top teams in the division, other teams in the AL East have also had some success. One of the most successful teams in this time period have been the quiet Tampa Bay Rays.

The Tampa Bay Rays have been well known for developing young talent and being able to compete with the top teams in the league, even though they tend to have a much lower payroll budget. This year, the Rays once again look like they could compete with anyone in the league (http://www.foxsports.com/florida/story/tampa-bay-rays-vs-oakland-athletics-game-preview-june-09-060917-2-060917). While the season is just a couple months young, the Rays have already shown that they can consistently stay above .500.

Through June 10, the Rays had 34 wins and 32 losses, which comes after they swept the Chicago White Sox. This currently makes them the fourth best team in the division and 5 games behind the Yankees. However, the Rays could also compete for both of the Wild Card spots, which they are just three games behind at this point.

The Rays have shown that they have one of the most talented teams in baseball. They also reportedly have one of the top farm systems in baseball, which could help them be good for the next decade. On the offensive side of the field, Logan Morrison and Corey Dickerson have been leading the team. Morrison is among the league leaders in home runs while Dickerson is looking like one of the most talented players in the game. The Rays also have a talented starting pitching rotation, which is led by Matt Anderson and Austin Pruitt, each of which have five wins and just one loss.

Longoria Reaches Milestone for Home Runs:

Evan Longoria has been bombing the ball for Tampa Bay since he first made the roster back in 2008. Now all those home runs have added up for the face of the franchise.

 

On June 10th, Longoria belted career home run number 250 in a 7-2 loss to Oakland. That broke a ten game homer drought by the third baseman. It also capped off a very good night at the plate for him as he drove in the game-winning run for the Rays in the first game of the team’s doubleheader with the A’s.

 

Longoria’s manager, Kevin Cash, said not many players can claim 250 home runs in their career, adding, “Evan is not anywhere close to stopping, so he’s going to continue knocking them out.”

 

A first round draft pick (third overall) in 2006, Longoria made the Tampa Bay roster two years later. His first home run came on April 18th, 2008 off the Yankees Brian Bruney. He ended the regular season with a .272 average, 27 home runs and 85 RBIs. Not only was he named the American League Rookie of the Year, he also helped the Rays make their first World Series appearance, with six home runs and 13 RBIs during the post season.

 

Since his MLB debut, Longoria has been a model of consistency. He has hit double-digit home runs in every single season, including 17 in his injury plagued 2012 season. He has never hit below .250 in any season and has had under 70 RBIs in a season just once, 2012 with 55. Your text to link…

 

Last year, Longoria had 36 homers and 98 RBIs. As of June 10th, he has garnered 9 homers and 34 RBIs, so it appears he is on pace for a season just as productive as 2016.

 

Rays Center Fielder Kiermaier out for Two Months

For the most part, the Tampa Bay Rays have been able to avoid any serious injuries during the 2017 season. However, that streak of luck came to an end in a big way. Kevin Kiermaier is generally regarded as the best defensive center fielder in baseball. This season he has taken his game to a new level as he has started to hit for the first time in his career. Unfortunately, he will not be able to continue his progress for the next two months. He will be sidelined because of a right hip fracture.

 

For his part, Kiermaier has tried to remain as upbeat about his injury as possible given the unfortunate set of circumstances. He has said that injuries are just a part of the game and you have to deal with them when they happen to you. Rays manager Kevin Cash actually seemed more disappointed about the injury than Kiermaier did. Cash said that he feels bad whenever a young player gets an injury that puts him out for an extended period of time. This is because young players who are just coming into their own are at such an important point in their career. A serious injury could have a devastating impact on their ability to play and their earning potential.

 

The Rays have officially added Kiermaier to the disabled list. They then called up outfielder Mallex Smith to replace him on the roster. Kiermaier is known for his hustle. This has made him a very respected player among his peers. Unfortunately, it was his hustle that led to his injury. He made the mistake of sliding into first base instead of running through it in a game against the Chicago White Sox.

 

Kiermaier has not had very good luck where injuries are concerned. He broke his left hand last year. That caused him to be out of the lineup for a total of 48 games. The Rays are optimistic he will make a complete recovery.

Rays Destroy A’s in First Game of Series

The Tampa Bay Rays got off to a great start in the first game of their weekend set against the Oakland A’s at Tropicana Field. The Rays continued to do what they have done all season. They hit a lot of home runs. Their power helped the team to eventually build up a 13-0 lead that allowed them to coast to a very easy victory. Rays manager Kevin Cash was happy to see a game like this because so many of the Rays games this year have been very close and filled with pressure.

 

The fireworks started early for the Rays when Steven Souza jacked a three-run homer into the seats in the first inning. Andrew Triggs was the Oakland pitcher who surrendered the home run. However, the Rays were just getting started with their pyrotechnics for the evening. Recently called up Mallex Smith did not take very long to make his presence felt at the Major League level. He blasted a homer in the fourth inning. This homer was also off Triggs. The Rays extended the lead to 8-0 when Logan Morrison continued his excellent season by hitting his 17th home run of the year.

 

Triggs was yanked from the game before he was able to finish the 4th inning for the A’s. He said that he felt normal and he had no physical problems. The final two home runs of the game for the Rays were hit by Corey Dickerson and Tim Beckham. They both came in the fifth inning when the Rays tallied five runs to put the game out of reach for good. Alex Cobb had a great start. It was a bit of redemption for Cobb because he had a terrible start in his previous game against the Mariners.

 

Cobb said that he wants to build from this game. He feels stronger than he has in a long time. He believes that he can have a great final four months of the season if he is able to stay healthy.

 

Rays Hold on for Win Against White Sox

The Tampa Bay Rays won the third and decisive game of their series with the Chicago White Sox at Tropicana Field. The win for the Rays continued a stretch that has seen them play very well. Manager Kevin Cash has been very pleased with what he has seen so far in the 2017 season. The Rays record is now 31-31. This is certainly a quantum leap from the 2016 campaign which saw them buried in last place of the American League’s eastern division.

 

The most recent win against the White Sox did not come without some adversity. The Rays jumped out to a 6-0 nothing lead. The team then lost their aggressiveness and failed to keep adding on to their lead. The White Sox mounted a spirited comeback that was almost successful. The White Sox roared back and made it 6-5. However, Colby Rasmus blasted a homer in the bottom of the eighth inning for an insurance run the Rays were happy to get. Alex Colome pitched the ninth inning to nail down the 7-5 victory. Kevin Cash said that this game should serve as a cautionary tale moving forward. He added that you can never let your foot off the gas pedal at this level. You need to keep tacking on runs no matter how big of a lead you get.

 

Cash has been especially pleased with the way his closer has pitched. Colome has quickly developed into one of the best stoppers in the game. Rays catcher Derek Norris also had a big game against the White Sox. He hit a couple of homers off Derek Holland. Peter Bourjos added a solo homer of his own. This continued the trend this season of the Rays hitting homers in bunches. It was a triumphant return for Bourjos. He had been on the disabled list because of a problem with his elbow. This was his first game back. The Rays remain convinced they will be a factor in the playoff race.

McKay is Rays #1 Draft Pick:

They might use him as a hitter, or they might use him as a pitcher. Either way, Tampa Bay picked up one heck of an athlete in the first round of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft.

 

With the fourth overall pick, the Rays selected Brendan McKay from Louisville. A first baseman and a right-handed pitcher, McKay has won the John Olerud award the last three years. The award is given annually to the best two-way player in college baseball. At the plate this season, McKay hit .343 with 17 home runs (four of which came in one game vs. Eastern Kentucky), 56 RBIs, 13 doubles, and 54 runs scored. On the mound, he was 10-3 with a 2.34 ERA and 140 strikeouts in 104 innings of work. McKay’s glove work also should not be overlooked as he had a .984 fielding percentage. Your text to link…

 

But the honors do not stop there. Baseball America selected him as its National Player of the Year, and he is also a finalist for the Dick Howser Award for college baseball’s top player. No surprise, he was voted the ACC Player of the Year. Before this season, McKay was an All-ACC First Team selection in 2015 and 2016, landed on a number of All-American teams, and was selected as the Collegiate Baseball Freshman of the Year. McKay’s selection by Tampa Bay comes as Louisville gears up for the College World Series.

 

The Rays have had a pretty decent track record with Number One draft picks. B.J. (now Melvin) Upton had a very productive time with the team before moving on to the Braves, Padres, and now Blue Jays. Evan Longoria is considered the face of the franchise, and David Price was a four-time All-Star and a Cy Young winner during his time in Tampa Bay.

 

Rays Post Solid Win Against Marlins

Wins came very infrequently for the Tampa Bay Rays during their miserable 2016 season. However, 2017 is off to a much better start for the club. Manager Kevin Cash is very pleased with the way his team has performed through the first month of the season. He admits that the team has yet to fully gel because of some injuries. However, he feels that the team’s performance so far this year is more representative of their overall talent than last year. The team put together a solid performance to notch a 4-2 win over the Miami Marlins in the first game of their series at Marlins Park.

 

Kevin Kiermaier is a player who is best known for being a defensive wizard in center field. He has taken home Gold Gloves because of it. However, his skill on the bases is what shined through in this particular game. He was able to slide into second base and prevent the Marlins from turning a double play in the process. This occurred in the seventh inning. The result was the Rays scoring a run that put them ahead. It is just another example of Kiermaier’s hustle that has made him a favorite of his manager and loved by his teammates.

 

Marcell Ozuna had belted a home run in the fourth inning that had tied the score. The game was very significant for the Rays because it marked the return of starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi. He had been on the disabled list because of a strained left hamstring. Overall, it was a successful start for Jake. He wound up pitching five innings and giving up a pair of runs. Wei-Yin Chen also gave up a pair of runs in six innings of work on the Marlins side of the ledger.

 

Brad Miller had a very successful night on the base paths. He was able to steal a pair of bases. These were the first two steals of the season for him. He stole second and third in the eighth inning. It turns out this was the perfect time for those steals to occur. Miller was able to score when Daniel Robertson drove him home with a single. The run gave the Rays some insurance in their eventual 4-2 victory.

 

Colby Rasmus Will Play First Game for Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays have never been big players in the free agent market. Being a small market team has required them to sign average free agents to cheap contracts. They continued that tradition last off-season when they signed veteran outfielder Colby Rasmus to a one-year contract for a very affordable $5 million. Rasmus can also earn incentives totaling $2 million if he reaches all of them. Unfortunately, Rasmus has not been a part of the team for the first month of the 2017 season. He had successful hip surgery during the off-season that he was still recovering from in April. Rasmus will now make his Rays debut.

 

Shane Peterson was designated for assignment in order to make room for Rasmus on the roster of the Rays. Manager Kevin Cash was very pleased with Peterson’s performance during April. Cash said that it would be great if Peterson would play in the minor leagues for the Rays. However, he wants another team to pick up Peterson so he has another chance to play in the Major Leagues.

 

Rasmus said that it took him longer to recover than he thought it would. There were no complications with the surgery. His body just needed longer to heal than the doctors anticipated. The Rays have done a very good job of scoring runs without Rasmus in the lineup. This has been a surprise because the Rays did not have a good offense last year. Rasmus hit 25 home runs in 2015 for the Houston Astros. That was the most home runs he had ever hit in a single season. He will he a solid power threat for the Rays if he is able to stay healthy.

 

Health has been a major concern for Rasmus throughout his entire career. He has only played more than 150 games once in his career. Manager Kevin Cash said they will be easing Rasmus into the lineup and giving him a light workload. Cash hopes that this will allow Rasmus to get acclimated to the grind of playing baseball every day. Rasmus will be given a couple of days off each week until Cash feels that Rasmus is strong enough to play in the outfield every day. Cash said that Rasmus will also be seeing some time at designated hitter during the next few weeks.