A baseball blog by Roger Mooney
Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune and TBO.com. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald.
ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays manager Kevin Cash changed his lineup for the second consecutive game, and this one might last a little while.
SS Brad Miller was moved to second in the order, and slumping 1B Logan Morrison was dropped to sixth.
“I don’t have the greatest explanation for it,” Cash said. “You’re taken two guys that probably haven’t swung the bat the way they’re capable of but the hope is it’s just a different look and a different spot in the order and somebody catches fire. If we’re lucky, both of them do.”
ST. PETERSBURG -- Manager Kevin Cash tweaked the lineup tonight against the visiting Orioles, replacing struggling 1B Logan Morrison with Steve Pearce even though the Rays are facing a right-handed starter.
Also, C Curt Casali will catch RHP Chris Archer. C Hank Conger had caught Archer during each of Archer’s first four starts.
First, Pearce ...
NEW YORK -- LHP Blake Snell, the Rays top pitching prospect, is on his way to New York and will make his major league debut Saturday afternoon against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
Snell, the minor league player of the year in 2015, made three starts for Triple A Durham this season. He is 1-1 with 2.51 ERA. He’s allowed 15 hits with 21 strikeouts and seven walks in 14 1/3 innings.
The Yankees are 0-4 this season against left-handers, which is probably why the Rays chose Snell over RHP Matt Andriese, even though Andriese is scheduled to start Saturday. The Rays will now start three lefties against the Yankees.
BOSTON -- Here are some notes dug up by the Rays PR staff after Tuesday’s 3-0, 10-inning win against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Rays pitchers Drew Smyly (8 innings), Erasmo Ramirez (1) and Alex Colome (1) combined for a one-hitter. The hit was a single off Smyly in the third inning.
Kevin Kiermaier homered to start the 10th inning for what proved to be the winning run.
ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays head groundskeeper Dan Moeller and a member of his crew covered the triangular opening behind home plate this afternoon with more netting to prevent fans from behind struck with baseballs.
The new netting was added in the wake of Friday’s incident where a women sitting behind the extra netting near the Rays dugout was struck with a foul ball off the bat of RF Steve Souza Jr., She left the field on a stretcher and was taken to Bayfront Medical Center, where a team spokesman said this morning she was in stable condition.
The netting behind home plate was extended this past offseason to both dugouts at the suggesting of Major League Baseball.
MLB celebrates tonight the 69th anniversary of when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. As is now the tradition, all players will wear Robinson’s No. 42.
Archer, who pitched Thursday afternoon, said it would have meant a lot to him to have pitched tonight.
“Wearing No. 42 and playing, I don’t think it gets any more special, especially for me,” Archer said. Just knowing not only what he did in baseball, but what he did for the civil rights movement as a whole.”
Sunday marked Opening Day for the Rays as they hosted defending division champion, the Toronto Blue Jays.
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays will open the season with a four-man rotation and an eight-man bullpen.
LHP Dana Eveland, who was on a minor league contract this spring, was added to the roster today. RHP Andrew Bellatti was optioned to Triple A Durham.
Eveland gives the Rays a situational left-hander they wouldn’t have had with LHPs Xavier Cedeno and Enny Romero assuming bigger roles in the later innings. It also gives them another arm in the season-opening four-game series against the high-powered Blue Jays.
The Rays will make their season debut in front of a sold-out crowd at Tropicana Field on Sunday. In this video, Olivia Stacey previews three things to know before opening day.
PORT CHARLOTTE -- 3B Evan Longoria is not in the lineup today. He hasn’t played since Sunday.
Longoria did speak to reporters this morning.
“I’m just trying to rest up,” he said. “I feel fine.”