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Rays Newsbeat

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Rays offering $5 tickets for next 5 home games; flash sale starts Tuesday morning at 10

The Rays are taking away one of the excuses for people not showing up to support their team, offering $5 tickets to each of the next five home games.

The $5 tickets will be available via a Summer Special flash sale from 10 a.m. Tuesday until 11:59 p.m. Thursday only at raysbaseball.com/specials, with 5,000 available for each game: June 10, 11, 12 vs. the A’s; June 13, 14 vs. the Angels.

There are still ticketing fees, through the Rays arranged for a reduction, to $1 per ticket and $1.50 per order, so two tickets would cost $13.50 total.

Sales are limited to eight tickets per game per person. Seating will vary between the 100, 200 and party deck levels, with assignments made the day before the game via the MLB Ballpark app. (Tickets bought together will be seated together.)

Jim Furtado Posted: June 04, 2019 at 10:13 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Dallas Keuchel rumors: Two AL East teams reportedly expected to get in bidding war for lefty

Both the Rays and Yankees are keeping an eye on Dallas Keuchel.

Tampa Bay and New York could get in a bidding war for the 2015 American League Cy Young winner at midnight on June 2, according to The Athletic.

The odd timing is due to Keuchel getting a qualifying offer by the Astros, meaning if a team signs him they would have to give up their first selection in the MLB Draft this season. The draft pick compensation comes off of Keuchel on June 2 and then any team can pick him up without giving up a selection, or the slot money that comes with it.

The Yankees would lose the 38th pick and $1.952 million of slot money if they were to sign Keuchel before June 2 while the Rays would have to give up the No. 40 selection and $1.857 million.

So, management will fool around for months over picks that low and amounts of money that are pocket change by the standards of the game?

 

QLE Posted: May 26, 2019 at 10:09 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: cold stove, dallas keuchel, rays, yankees

Monday, May 20, 2019

Rays’ Yandy Diaz says Yankees hit him intentionally; Daniel Robertson relieved he wasn’t hurt

“At first I thought I might have broken my wrist,’’ he said. “Of course it’s frustrating. There isn’t anything you can do about it. It happened.

Diaz said he “hopefully” will get the chance for revenge.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 20, 2019 at 09:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, yandy diaz, yankees

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Column: Penny-pinching Rays manage to keep up with big boys

They play in an architectural nightmare of a ballpark.

They are treated like pariahs in their own community.

They have to get by with one of baseball’s stingiest payrolls.

Yet, somehow, the Tampa Bay Rays make it work.

Point of order! In an environment where half the teams at any given time seem no longer to be trying to win, “penny-pinching” is no longer meaningful as a description!

 

QLE Posted: May 18, 2019 at 08:02 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Thursday, May 16, 2019

MLB roundup: 7 Rays pitchers shut out Marlins 1-0

Anthony Bemboom, a 29-year-old rookie catcher, recorded his first major league hit and RBI on the same play, leading the Tampa Bay Rays to a 1-0 win over the host Miami Marlins on Wednesday night.

Bemboom drove a run-scoring double to right field in the second inning, and the Rays used seven pitchers to keep the Marlins off the scoreboard. Reliever Jalen Beeks (3-0) earned the win, pitching three innings. Diego Castillo worked the ninth for his fifth save.

The Rays swept the two-game series against their in-state rival. Miami has lost seven games in a row and scored just eight runs during that stretch. The Marlins have not scored since the third inning Saturday — a drought of 24 innings.

Jose Urena (1-6) took the hard-luck loss despite making a quality start for the fifth time in his past six outings. He allowed six hits, one walk and one run in six innings. He has lasted at least six innings in six straight starts.

Wait- it takes seven pitchers to shut out the Marlins? It doesn’t seem like it should be that hard….

 


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Rays Journal: Prospect Brent Honeywell set back again with nerve issue

Brent Honeywell’s comeback from spring 2018 Tommy John surgery is stalled again.

A Monday visit to Dr. James Andrews confirmed a nerve irritation in his upper arm, and he will remain shut down from throwing for another week and then re-evaluated.

Honeywell, 24, was initially sidelined in mid-April due to right elbow discomfort, checked out and allowed to resume playing catch, but then developed the latest issue.

The Rays do not appear overly concerned, and note the issue is not structural or connected to the elbow ligament surgery, though could be related.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 15, 2019 at 08:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Monday, May 13, 2019

Report: Rays are still interested in Craig Kimbrel

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays are still in communication with free agent closer Craig Kimbrel, for whatever that’s worth at this point in the season. Topkin doesn’t reveal exactly how far along any potential discussions between the two sides might be, but it’s probably safe to say the Rays aren’t close to offering a formal deal just yet.

The bigger question: Is he still interested in them?

QLE Posted: May 13, 2019 at 04:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cold stove, craig kimbrel, rays

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Rays are shifting in ways you’ve rarely seen

Yet here they are again, doing something odd. The Rays just finished off the month of April doing something we have just about never seen, at least in the five seasons of Statcast tracking: In the first month of the season, they shifted right-handed batters more (33 percent of the time) than they shifted left-handed batters (26.9 percent).

If that feels weird ... well, it is. It’s not that it’s never happened, it’s just that it’s almost never happened.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 05, 2019 at 07:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Rays to call up first base prospect Nate Lowe

The Tampa Bay Rays are calling up first base prospect Nate Lowe.

Lowe, 23, a top-100 overall prospect and one of the best first base prospects in the game, was the Rays’ Minor League Player of the Year last year. In 2018 he hit .330/.416/.568 with 27 homers and 102 RBI over 130 games at three different minor league levels. So far this year he’s batting .300/.444/.543 with three home runs and 14 RBI through 21 games at Triple-A Durham.

Will they pull him after the first inning for strategic purposes?

 

QLE Posted: April 30, 2019 at 04:29 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: nate lowe, prospects, rays

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

MLB notebook: Rays’ Snell set to return Wednesday

Tampa Bay Rays ace Blake Snell is slated to return from a fractured toe to start Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals.

The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner broke a toe on his right foot on April 14 after a decorative granite stand in his bathroom fell over as he was getting out of the shower.

Snell threw 18 pitches off a mound on Saturday and also threw a brief bullpen session on Monday.

“With the bullpen that I threw, felt very comfortable,” Snell told reporters. “Wednesday is a day that all of us believe in, and think I’ll be 100 percent.”

So, is this the sort of injury that shows up on weird injury lists, or is it too mundane for that?

 

QLE Posted: April 24, 2019 at 04:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blake snell, rays

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

How The Rays Are Surprising Baseball Again

The Tampa Bay Rays are not supposed to be in first place in the AL East. Since 2008, the Rays have never ranked higher than 20th in payroll. This season, the Rays opened with a payroll $176 million less than the Red Sox and $144 million less than the Yankees. There are underdogs and then there are the Rays.

Yet, it’s a few weeks into the 2019 season, and the Rays are still in first place. And our projections predict that they’ll be a playoff team. It’s still early, of course, and the Rays’ hot start could cool as more games are played — and they did take a tumble over the weekend against the Red Sox. But they’ve been so successful — going into the weekend, their pitching staff had the lowest ERA and fielding-independent pitching in the majors and no lineup was making more quality contact, for example — that it’s worth trying to make sense of how the Rays are defying the odds. It’s not just homegrown talent and innovative strategies propelling them this year, though the defensive shifts and the reliever openers are still happening. Instead, they’ve found yet another way to win: They’re getting more out of other clubs’ players.

Their top two and three of their top six position players this season were acquired from teams via trade during the last calendar year, and the 2.5 wins above replacement (WAR), according to FanGraphs’ measurement, of those three accounts for almost half of the Rays’ position player total. And their top pitcher to date, Tyler Glasnow, was acquired in the same July 31 trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates that brought them their best position player, Austin Meadows.1

Bit early for this sort of article, isn’t it?

 

QLE Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:57 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Monday, April 15, 2019

Tampa Bay’s Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows are on a must-see tear

The Tampa Bay Rays are so fascinating at this point you could look up and down their roster and struggle to find a player who isn’t intriguing in some way, shape or form.

From the reigning Cy Young winner in Blake Snell to Jose Alvarado’s otherworldly fastball movement to Tommy Pham’s penchant for speaking his mind, the American League East leaders have no shortage of storylines. But you don’t just get off to an 12-4 start on narratives alone. That’s where the duo of outfielder Austin Meadows and starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow come in.

Once the top prospects in the Pirates’ pipeline, the 24-year-old Meadows and 25-year-old Glasnow are showing flashes of true stardom in Tampa Bay after being acquired in a deal that sent then-Rays’ ace Chris Archer to Pittsburgh at the 2018 trade deadline.


A reminder that it isn’t just eccentric pitcher usage that has made the Rays rise to the position they’re in today.

 

QLE Posted: April 15, 2019 at 07:44 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: austin meadows, rays, tyler glasnow

Monday, April 08, 2019

Rays reliever Kolarek plays 1B in 3-0 win over Giants

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash keeps getting the most from his pitching staff.

Cash moved reliever Adam Kolarek from the mound to first base and back to the mound in a piece of matchup strategy Sunday, and the Rays wound up with a 3-0 win over the San Francisco Giants.

Yandy Diaz homered on the second pitch of the game and Yonny Chirinos (2-0) threw five scoreless innings. The Rays have opened the season with three straight series wins for the first time in franchise history.

Cash kept things in constant motion throughout the game, using four outfielders at times and constantly shifting his infielders. But his boldest move came in the seventh.

Tampa Bay keeps on innovating.

QLE Posted: April 08, 2019 at 09:48 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: adam kolarek, pitchers in the field, rays

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Tommy Pham sets Rays record, reaches base in 39th consecutive game

Rays outfielder Tommy Pham set a new Rays record on Wednesday afternoon with a first-inning single against the Rockies. It marked his 39th consecutive game reaching base, dating back to last season. According to Baseball Reference, that broke a tie with Johnny Damon for the Rays record. Damon reached base in 38 consecutive games between May 3 and June 14, 2011.

Pham’s streak began on August 21 last year. Entering Wednesday’s action, he was batting .366/.462/.641 for the duration of the streak with seven home runs, 23 RBI, and eight stolen bases across 142 at-bats. Pham went 2-for-4 in the Rays’ 1-0, 11-inning loss to the Rockies.

 

 

QLE Posted: April 04, 2019 at 05:40 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, streaks, tommy pham

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Chaim Bloom’s Diamond Life

Kurt Posted: April 02, 2019 at 03:13 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Rays considering tinting roof to track fly balls

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - The Tampa Bay Rays are exploring the possibility of using blue lights to tint the roof of Tropicana Field in hopes of giving the domed the stadium a different look as well as making it easier for players to track flyballs during games.

The lights are part of a new LED lighting system installed throughout the team’s home park. Plans to use them this year are pending approval by Major League Baseball, which is not expected to make a decision before the Rays open the season Thursday against the Houston Astros.

The club began testing the blue lights after breaking spring training camp in Port Charlotte this week, with players offering mixed reviews about how effective they might be in helping them track fly balls.

What, not lime green?

 

QLE Posted: March 28, 2019 at 05:49 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, stadiums

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Rays minor league pitcher will live in school bus this season to save money

Minor league baseball players don’t always make a ton of money.

And with them on the road for a large portion of the season, spending whatever money they do make on rent may seem like a waste.

So, pitcher Jack Labosky and his girlfriend decided to think outside of the box.

Labosky and his girlfriend, Madi Hiatt, are planning to live out of a 1999 Blue Bird International school bus during the 2019 season — which they purchased using his $3,000 signing bonus.

Meanwhile, a bunch of children are wondering why their bus to school hasn’t arrived yet.

QLE Posted: March 24, 2019 at 07:05 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: jack labosky, minor leaguers, rays, school bus

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Rays lock down Snell with five-year, $50 million deal

The Rays agreed to a five-year, $50 million deal with reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell, the club announced Thursday. The deal extends through the 2023 season and the left-hander could make an additional $2 million in incentives.

sotapop Posted: March 21, 2019 at 06:25 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: blake snell, rays

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The openers experiment isn’t really an experiment anymore for Tampa Bay

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — They weren’t trying to change the whole game, just their own. They were secure enough to try, humble enough to allow that the whole thing could be very, very flammable. They let everyone laugh or grouse or turn away, whatever. In the end, as it happened, most were also taking notes.

So the Tampa Bay Rays won 90 games and had sparked, if not a movement exactly, certainly an inclination to reconsider the best way — or still another way — to 27 outs. That it didn’t look quite right, they’d leave others to judge, many of whom won fewer than 90 games. So.

What might’ve appeared to be some newfangled funk was, actually, the oldest of old school, which is trying to win a baseball game. That means standing where you think they’re going to hit it. That means using the pitcher best qualified in the moment. Sometimes risking something for the greater good. Winning, and not being afraid to look a little goofy doing it, if that’s what comes.

So, how long before Manfred becomes involved?

 

QLE Posted: March 19, 2019 at 03:13 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: opener, rays

Friday, March 15, 2019

Rays not worried about MLB rule changes: ‘We have a lot of pitchers’

Limit pitching staffs to a max of 11 pitchers. By doing that, the three batter minimum wouldn’t be needed.

One, going into effect for 2020, would limit their matchup maneuvering by requiring pitchers to face a minimum of three batters (or to finish an inning).
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Another reduces their flexibility in shuttling fresh arms to the bullpen by extending the time pitchers optioned to the minors (or placed on the injured list) have to stay from a minimum of 10 days to 15, although it could still be tweaked.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 15, 2019 at 08:29 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, rule changes

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Kevin Kiermaier will never change, and that’s a good thing

All told, he’s lost 170 games to the disabled list the past three years.

And, in between, he’s been one of the most dynamic players in the game.

“He’s the best in centerfield, and I don’t think it’s close,” said Rays pitcher Blake Snell. “I mean, Jackie Bradley Jr. is unreal. (Kevin) Pillar is unreal. But to me, there is no one like KK. Now, with how hard he plays, he’s going to get hurt. There’s no way around that. He really will run through a wall for you. But that’s what got him here, and it’s what will keep him here.”

Kiermaier is, however, at a bit of a crossroads in his career. Later this week will be the two-year anniversary of his six-year, $53.5 million contract that remains the second-largest in Rays history.

And despite all the time he’s missed, the data-driven website Fangraphs.com says Kiermaier is still outperforming his growing salary. And yet, the clock is beginning to tick. He will be 29 next month, and still is trying to make his mark as a complete player.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2019 at 09:58 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: kevin kiermaier, rays

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Why Cy Young winner Blake Snell won’t get much of a raise from the Rays

PORT CHARLOTTE — So much was right about Blake Snell winning the Cy Young award for his dazzling 2018 breakout season.

And here’s one thing that’s very wrong:

Snell’s job done spectacularly well for the Rays is not going to get him much of a raise.

And they wonder why no one wants to remain on the team….

 

QLE Posted: March 09, 2019 at 03:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blake snell, dollah dollah bills, y'all, greed, rays

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

The wonder of Wander, who is on the Rays’ fast track

Will Franco be the next?

Since 2000, just 11 players have made their major league debuts before their 20th birthday, including former Rays outfielder B.J. Upton. Others on the list Felix Hernandez (Mariners), Bryce Harper (Nationals), Jurickson Profar (Rangers), Juan Soto (Nationals), Julio Urias (Dodgers), Dyland Bundy (Orioles), Wilson Betemit (Braves), Mike Trout (Angels), Justin Upton (Diamondbacks), Jose Reyes (Mets). Source: Baseball Reference. [Times files]

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2019 at 06:01 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, wander franco

Friday, March 01, 2019

Are Chris Archer and Rick Kriseman in a Twitter beef?

Former Rays pitcher Chris Archer and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman are in something of a Twitter beef.

It all started with comments Archer, now with the Pirates, made to Spectrum Sports about there not being enough fans in the St. Petersburg area to support the team and his opinion that as a result the team could end up moving.

Then the Mayor made note of Archer’s record, specifically his 19-loss season in 2016.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 01, 2019 at 06:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Friday, February 22, 2019

Montreal investment group seeks share of the Rays, want games in Olympic Stadium

Stephen Bronfman, son of former Expos owner Charles Bronfman, has been seeking to bring baseball back to Montreal for many years now, and according to French-speaking newspaper La Presse, the next step in realizing that dream could involve the Tampa Bay Rays.

The article, written by three authors at La Presse and citing ‘a number of sources,’ says Bronfman’s investment group is seeking a future where the Rays play a portion of their home games in Montreal at Olympic Stadium, the former home of the Expos.

In order to facilitate the process, the group of Quebec investors would like to become a minority shareholder of the Tampa Bay Rays.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 22, 2019 at 05:33 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: montreal, rays

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