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2011 Rays thread
Posted 03 July 2011 - 08:07 PM
Tampa scores 2 in the 6th and 3 in the 8th to pull away. Johnny Damon collects 3 hits (2B and 3B) and 4 RBI. BJ Upton, John Jaso and Eliot John son each collect 2 hits and 1 RBI. Jeremy Hellickson goes to 8-7 with the win (7.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 2 HR). Kyle Farnsworth records the last 5 outs (with 2 BB) for his 17th save.
David Price, James Shields and Matt Joyce were named to the AL All-Star team.
Posted 05 July 2011 - 07:27 AM
David Price celebrates his All Star spot by struggling to fall to 8-7 (6 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 6 K). Sean Rodriguez and Casey Kotchman each had 2 hits.
Posted 06 July 2011 - 07:32 AM
James Shields labors and get the loss 96 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 105 pitches). Ben Zobrist has 3 of TB's 7 hits. BJ Upton has 2 hits, including a solo HR in the 9th.
Edited by drtooth, 06 July 2011 - 07:32 AM.
Posted 07 July 2011 - 07:29 AM
Rays score 4 in the 8th and 3 in the 9th to storm past Twins. Evan Longoria has 3 hits, HR and 4 RBI. Kelly Shoppach and Sean Rodriguez each had a HR and 2 RBI. JP Howell gets the win. Johnny Damon left the game after getting HBP by Francisco Liriano in consecutive AB's on the left hand. X-rays proved to be negative and he will likely avoid a trip to the DL.
Posted 10 July 2011 - 01:04 PM
Posted 10 July 2011 - 10:12 PM
Andy Sonnanstine has been demoted to AAA. OF Brandon Guyer recalled
And now they already sent Guyer back down. It's pretty ridiculous that they've left both Guyer and Jennings in AAA so long while starting scrubs like Ruggiano and Fuld. Of course Jennings is injured now so he's not an option, but I really thought they were going to give Guyer the everyday LF job. But no, they're just jerking him around again and they're going to go back to their Fuld/Ruggiano platoon. If I were a prospect I'd hate to be drafted by the Rays. They'll leave you in AAA until they can delay your free agency past your 30th birthday.
Edited by derekson, 10 July 2011 - 10:13 PM.
Posted 14 July 2011 - 03:05 PM
Posted 16 July 2011 - 04:55 PM
On the Rays low attendance (13th in the AL, 28th in MLB):
To be as frank as I can about it, Iím really not focused on the attendance. I'm tired of thinking about it, talking about it and I know youíre tired of asking me the question and most importantly everybody is tired of hearing about it. It's really all about what' s going to be is going to be and what it is is what it is. We're going to try to do as well as we can on the field and enjoy what's happening day to day. The numbers are coming through what they are and I don't anticipate talking about it or focusing n it at all this season or any time in the near future after that.
On an MLB-highest decline (37 percent) in TV ratings:
We had the biggest jump last year. Itís not good. not good stuff. It doesnít affect whatís going to happen on the field today or the rest of this season but as a guy who takes a look at numbers and data points itís
On if they could be "buyers" at the trade deadline:
There's resources in money and resources in players. A lot of that depends on what player youíre willing to give up and how much money youíre willing to spend. Sometimes you can spend less and give up more players. So weíre always willing to expend resources, but itís a question of what we get back and where that puts us. It's certainly difficult doing that in our division more so than some of the other divisions and competing with the teams that we can compete with and have to beat.
On how big this current 7-game stretch is to their hopes and plans:
Certainly more so than another 7 games, but ... We donít have a lot of room for error right now. If we were three up, youíd have a little bit more room for error, but if you want to stay in the hunt, tonightís game is important and next Fridayís and the week after that is important.
On the Yankees and Red Sox having a larger margin overall:
Thatís what it is about. Our margin for error is thinner. Whether it's losing a player and replacing him, or signing a player and having them not perform. Weíve seen it here. Weíve made enough mistakes where weíve had performance not be there. And it's important to keep our guys healthy. That could determine it sometimes. The Yankees have a couple players out and I think it's fair to say if they remain completely healthy, and we remain completely healthy, theyíre a better ballclub. But we have to remain healthy and we have to hope we get some breaks in that end of it with underperformance on their end with the Red Sox or Yankees.
On reports that the incoming new owner in Houston wants to hire exec VP Andrew Friedman:
It's hard. There's ownership in Houston that hasnít been approved. Most importantly there's a fellow with a job in Houston (GM Ed Wade) who is trying to do that job. And I just think itís very irresponsible to be talking about it. I donít think anybody in any walk of life would like to have their position speculated upon. I have employees who work here throughout the organization ... and I wouldn't ant to see speculation about my guys being replaced or my guys replacing somebody else. So I really pay no mind to it whatsoever.
On the seemingly unique relationship between Sternberg, team president Matt Silverman and Friedman:
I can't say it's unique, it's the only way I've done it and the only way I know how to do it. I donít know if it is unique or not. We get along very well professionally and personally and to me it's an ideal situation. If it wasnít, weíd make it ideal. We try to get things as ideal as possible. I do believe and I know that they feel great about it as well.
On whether he's concerned about losing Friedman:
Anything can happen. You have only so many hours in the day to think about things and only so many brain cells, and only so much money and only so much whatever. ... I donít think about that. Fortunately Andrew doesn't think about that either. Matt doesn't think about it. He's got a great department, they work well together. And it's my job to make sure everybody is happy here and motivated and rewarded and that come in a lot of different ways. I couldn't be more pleased with how things are working.
On what, short of a new stadium, could be done to change their economic situation:
We're not changing anything at this point. I've tried everything. People know it. We hear it all the time, we're winning on the field, we're putting a good product out there, the place is inviting, we've got concerts, we've got the second most affordable team. There's not much else to be done at this point. It's baseball here. I believe in the game, I love the game. And just like (Lightning owner) Jeff Vinik loves hockey or the (Bucs-owning) Glazers might love football, you follow your passion and you put everything into it that you possibly can. And you'd like people and businesses and politicians to share your enjoyment and passion for it. And fortunately we've got a lot of people here who really support us and watch our games nightly and come out, and I'm genuinely grateful for everybody that follows the team. ...
There's no 2012 election, there's no new Congress coming in. This is what it is. It's been focused on and talked about. We need to have better resources somehow, and how it plays out eventually I don't know.
On having it work out:
There'd be nothing more perfect than having it all work here right now. This isn't about putting up Stu Sternberg's palace, or my idea of a perfect ballfield. The concept when we first came in was that we were extraordinarily confident we were going to make it work. Win the American League East twice out of 3 years, no, not necessarily. But be competitive. Everybody to a person, long-time residents here, (media members), when you win, oh this place. ... Everybody and the energy, they're just waiting for a winner. So I went in with that mindset and said, Okay great, we're going to be friendly, prices are going to be great, we're going to fix the place up, put all the dough in here, and, you know what, we're also going to win. So I think it surprised each and every person here, but this is what it is. And we're still going to keep going at it day after day and doing the best we can.
Posted 16 July 2011 - 06:50 PM
Posted 18 July 2011 - 10:43 AM
C Jose Lobaton sprained his left knee in his first start for the Rays and ended up on the DL. Robinson Chirinos is being called up.
Lobaton said he hurt his knee in the ninth inning while trying to block a ball in the dirt, and then "felt something crack." Though he said the ligament sprain is not considered serious, it was disappointing he landed on the DL after just one start.
"I feel sad," he said.
Chirinos, who impressed in spring training after getting acquired by the Cubs in the RHP Matt Garza trade, will get his first big-league call-up.
Posted 18 July 2011 - 02:55 PM
The Rays designated RHP Adam Russell for assignment and put RHP Juan Cruz on the DL today with a right groin strain, and recalled both RHP Alex Cobb and LHP Alex Torres.
Russell gave up the winning run in the 16-inning Sunday/Monday marathon, and has a 1-2 record and 3.03 ERA. He is out of options, and the Rays have 10 days to trade, release or pass him through waivers. Cruz is 4-0 with a 3.44 ERA.
Cobb was set to be recalled since he is starting tonight. Torres, called up for the first time, will provide depth to the worn-out bullpen.
Posted 19 July 2011 - 05:55 AM
What may be interesting as the trade deadline approaches is what Friedman may do. The Rays are now 8 games back in the East and 6.5 in the WC. This team will not add payroll and (if this team fades much more) could be sellers to dump payroll. SO who might me candidates to leave? Here are my guesses.
1. James Shields--The remainder of his contract are club option from 2012-2014 ($7M 2012, $9M 2013, $12M in 2014). Not horrible for a front line pitcher, but way up on TB salary scale. Would open the door for top prospect Matt Moore, who was just promoted to AAA.
2. Kyle Farnsworth--On a 1 year deal for TB (they will not pick up his $3.3M option for 2012). Many teams can use BP help and this would be selling high.
3. Johnny Damon--Could garner a couple of prospects and only signed for this year.
4. BJ Upton--Still arbitration eligible (I think as he is still under 6 years ML service), but I don't think the Rays are going to want to pay him much more than the $4.825M he is making this year and has certainly under-performed his skill set. The least likely to go, but either he or Damon going would free a spot for Desmond Jennings.
Posted 20 July 2011 - 07:50 AM
The Reds are targeting Rays righty James Shields, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney, which might be why Tampa Bay scouts have been evaluating Reds minor leaguers this week. Baseball Prospectus' John Perrotto says the Rays have "quietly let it be known that right-hander Shields is available for the right price."
With a 2.60 ERA, 8.8 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 0.9 HR/9, and 46.1% groundball rate, the 29-year-old Shields has the ability to shake up a trade market that is light on starting pitchers aside from perhaps Ubaldo Jimenez. Shields' contract offers the ultimate in flexibility, with reasonable club options on his 2012, '13, and '14 seasons.
Shields' ERAs have bounced around plenty over the years, but his skills have always supported sub-4.00 and this year he's pitched like an ace. Plus, he's never been on the disabled list and has averaged over 220 innings from 2008-10. This year, he leads the Majors with seven complete games and has averaged over 7.4 innings per start.
Shields' suitors probably won't match up directly with those of Jimenez, as I imagine the Rays would prefer not to trade him to the Yankees or Red Sox. Still, my contender wish list post yesterday shows the Indians, Tigers, Rangers, Cardinals, Reds, Pirates, and Diamondbacks as other clubs seeking starting pitching.
Posted 22 July 2011 - 08:31 AM
Posted 23 July 2011 - 08:19 AM
Tampa played an overall crappy game. Wade Davis was not impressive in his return (5.1 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 5 ER), Sam Fuld misplayed 2 fly balls, Matt Joyce and BJ Upton collided on another and the combo of JP Howell and Brandon Gomes allowed 4 runs,3 BB and 5 hits in their 1.2 IP. The Rays pulled to within 5-4 on back to back HR's by Evan Longoria (2-run) and Matt Joyce.
The the fun with the rumor mill begins in Tampa. Desmond Jennings was scratched from AAA Durham game an hour before their game was to begin. BJ Upton left the game in KC in the 8th when the game got out of hand. After the game, Reid Brignac (.193, 1 HR, 10 RBI, .453 OPS) was sent down to AAA and Jennings was called up to start in LF tonight. Several Twitter feeds seemed to think that this indicated that BJ Upton was about to be traded. Nothing yet, but with 5 OFer's (not including Damon and Zobrist who have had time in the OF)on the active roster, something has to give.
Jayson Starks on the Rays
Much like the way the Rockies had a feeling the brutal starting-pitcher market might cause some team to overpay for Jimenez, the Rays have dropped Shields' name just enough of late to get other clubs' attention.
"There's too much smoke there," said one exec, "for there not to be some kind of fire."
But the Rays also find themselves in maybe the trickiest position this July of any team in baseball. If they played in the AL Central or NL Central, they'd be in first place. If baseball had added a second wild card for this season, they'd be tied with the Angels for the second wild-card spot.
In real life, though -- by which we mean life in THEIR division, in a one-wild card world -- they're 5Ĺ games out in the wild-card race and 7 games out in the AL East. So they're caught in that classic are-we-in-or-are-we-out limbo that would create a massive spike in blood pressure within most front offices.
You have to remember, though, that this is a team that doesn't do business like those other teams. The Rays are always looking at life as a never-ending juggling act between what matters in the short term and what matters in the long term.
So "they'll do what they always do," said an official of one AL rival. "They'll do something smart. If they think they have a 20 percent chance to make the playoffs but if there's a deal out there that gives them a 30-to-40 percent chance to be better over the next two or three years, that's what they'll do."
But in practical terms, that means they're more likely to trade B.J. Upton in midseason, because he's more replaceable, than they are to deal away a guy like Shields, who has been one of the three or four best starters in their league this year.
"From talking to them," said an official of one club, "I think they're not marketing him to trade him. They're finding out what he can possibly bring back. But if the Matt Garza deal [for five players] was the example, I don't know who would pay that much for James Shields -- not right now."
The Rays, as always, have more young, high-end pitching coming. And, as always, they have to watch their pennies. But they also recognize Shields' value is at an all-time high. So why not listen now, even if they're much more likely to trade him later? That's just smart business, whether it confuses the Rumor Central crowd or not.
"They're listening, but they know they don't have to do this," said the same official quoted earlier. "If they deal that guy now, they're basically cashing in the season -- which I don't think they're ready to do."
So is James Shields "available?" Sure, he is. Just like Ubaldo Jimenez and Hunter Pence are "available." But what they really are is living proof that "available" means different things to us rumor-lovers than it does to, say, North American Van Lines.
Posted 23 July 2011 - 11:29 PM
Eric Hosmer's walk-off 2B off Brandon Gomes ends it. Desmond Jennings has 3B,a 2B, 1 RBI and 2 runs in his season debut. Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria each had 2 hits and 1 RBI. Per Marc Topkin Twitter fee, Maddon states that Jennings is here to stay this season and will play pretty much every day. Does not sound like a team that would be buyers at the trade deadline (to me at least).
Posted 24 July 2011 - 04:19 PM
Alex Cobb goes to 3-0 with 7 shutout innings (6 H, 0 BB, 2 K). Ben Zobrist has 3 hits and 2 RBI. Johnny Damon, Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce drove in the other runs.
Posted 26 July 2011 - 06:11 AM
Tampa's pen (led by losing pitcher JP Howell) has a not so stellar night (3 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 0 K). Ben Zobrist goes 3 for with a solo HR. Kelly Shoppach (solo HR) and Desmond Jennings (RBI) each had 2 hits.
Posted 26 July 2011 - 09:31 AM
Though the Rays have told teams they won't trade James Shields, they're willing to discuss Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
Rays manager Joe Maddon tells Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times that he has discussed dozens of trade scenarios with executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman (Twitter link). None of the scenarios have involved Shields, who appears to be off of the market.
Posted 27 July 2011 - 07:18 AM
David price allows 4 runs in 6 innings (all after 2 outs) to lower his record to 9-9. Ben Zobrist homered in the 8th for the only Tampa run.
Posted 27 July 2011 - 09:24 AM
Posted 28 July 2011 - 05:25 AM
James Shields has probably his worst outing this year in the loss (4 IP, 12 H, 10 R, 2 BB, 2 K 2 HR). Matt Joyce paces the offense with a 2-run HR in the 9th. Desmond Jennings and Johnny Damon drove in the other Rays runs.
Posted 28 July 2011 - 02:22 PM
Posted 28 July 2011 - 06:04 PM
Wade Davis gives up 5 in the 1st but Tampa comes back with 2 in the 6th, 7 in the 7th and 1 more in the 8th. Desmond Jennings goes 3 for 4 with a 2-run HR in the 6th (his 1st ML HR) and 4 RBI. Evan Longoria and BJ Upton also added solo HR's. Davis ends up with the win as he settled down to go 6 innings and allowing no runs after the 1st. Kyle Farnsworth gives up a run on 2 hits but still notches his 20th save.
Posted 30 July 2011 - 05:46 AM
Johnny Damon and Ben Zobrist (2-run HR) each drove in 2. Desmond Jennings, Evan Longoria, Casey Kotchman and Kelly Shoppach drove in the other runs. Jeff Niemann gets the win (6.2 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 11 K).
Posted 30 July 2011 - 08:26 PM
Ben Zobrist has the only hit and both RBI. Alex Cobb pitches well but still gets his 1st loss ( 6.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 9 K).
Posted 31 July 2011 - 07:41 PM
Jeremy Hellickson gets his 10th win as he takes a no-hitter in to the 6th (7+ IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K). Both Ben Zobrist and Sean Rodriguez (solo HR) had 3 hits and 3 RBI.
No deadline deals although GM Andrew Friedman spent the weekend doing business in a hospital bed after an emergency appendectomy on Saturday.
Posted 02 August 2011 - 08:58 PM
Ricky Romero allows only 1 hit (Desmond Jennings HR) in 8 innings. Jon Rauch allows a pair of 2 out singles to Casey Kotchman and BJ Upton in the 9th, but then got Matt Joyce to fly out to end it. David Price continues his mediocre efforts as his record falls to 9-10 (6.2 IP 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 6 K, 2 HR).
Posted 04 August 2011 - 08:05 AM
Tamapa scores 4 runs ins the 2nd and 3rd. Robinson Chirinos hit a 3-run HR ( his 1st ML HR) and drove in 4 runs in all. Casey Kotchman and Ben Zobrist added solo HR's and Matt Jopyce had 3 hits and 1 RBI. James Shields bounces back to go to 10-9 (7.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 6 K).
Posted 04 August 2011 - 04:15 PM
Robinson Chirinos tied the game with a single in the 11th and then won it in the 12th. Evan Longoria added a 3-run 5th inning HR and Desmond Jennings had 3 hits, including a 10 inning solo HR. Brandon Gomes gets the win in relief.
Posted 06 August 2011 - 08:26 AM
Jeff Niemann runs out of gas in the 9th, but still gets the win to go to 6-4 (8.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 8 K, 119 pitches). Ben Zobrist and BJ Upton each drove in 2 runs.
Posted 06 August 2011 - 09:11 PM
Oakland steals 7 bases, 4 by Coco Crisp. Alex Cobb allows 5 runs in 4.1 to get the loss. Robinson Chirinos has 2 of TB's 5 hits
Posted 07 August 2011 - 07:00 AM
UPDATE, 11:53: Rays are not saying much about his situation, but indications are that it's more of a vascular issue, such as a blood clot, than anything structural. Maddon said they noticed he seemed "uncomfortable" during the game, but Cobb didn't complain of anything.
DEVELOPING: Rays rookie P Alex Cobb had "discomfort" in his right hand and was taken to hospital for tests. That's all Rays are saying for now.
Posted 07 August 2011 - 04:35 PM
Jake Mcgee gives up the game winning Hr in the top of the 10th to Josh Willingham. David Price continues to be mediocre at best (4.2 IP, 7 H, 4 4, 3 BB, 7 K, 110 pitches). Evan Longoria's solo HR tied the game in the 7th. Casey Kotchman (solo HR) and Desmond Jennings each added 3 hits and 1 RBI.
Posted 09 August 2011 - 05:55 AM
Casey Kotchman solo HR in the 9th gives Rays the win. Kotchman had 3 of TB's 6 hits and both RBI. Kyle Farnsworth gets the win.
Posted 10 August 2011 - 08:14 AM
James Shields throws a CG 6-hitter (3 B, 8 K). Evan Longoria knocks in all 4 TB runs, including a 2-run 6th inning HR.
Posted 10 August 2011 - 04:55 PM
#Rays Alex Cobb to undergo season-ending surgery to remove "blockage" from area of first rib on right side. Should be ready for 2012
Posted 11 August 2011 - 07:37 AM
Posted 12 August 2011 - 05:17 AM
Jeff Neimann scatters 9 hits in 6.1 (1 run) to raise his record to 7-4. Kyle Farnsworth earned his 21st save. Ben Zobrist had a 2B, 3B and 2 RBI. Evan Longoria and Sean Rodriguez drove in the other runs.
Posted 14 August 2011 - 10:30 AM
Major League Baseball officials are looking into claims by the men charged with burglarizing the spring training rental home shared by Rays LHP David Price, 3B Evan Longoria and SS Reid Brignac that a container of marijuana was among the items they took.
The claims, based on statements, some secondhand, from the suspects and others questioned in the investigation of the March 26 break-in in Port Charlotte, were contained in the five-page probable cause affidavits released by the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office on Thursday. In an accompanying statement, the Sheriff's Office said "no evidence has ever been found and there is no indication the residents of the home were aware of it."
Deputies arrested and charged two men.....in the break-in, which netted about $60,000 of electronics, jewelry, cash and an AK-47 rifle legally registered to Longoria. They are looking for a third suspect, 15-year-old Tavarious Smith.
MLB will look into the latest developments. Under the MLB drug policy, players are only tested for drugs of abuse, such as marijuana, based on "reasonable cause," and a first offense can result in placement in a treatment program and additional testing rather than a suspension. Players are tested randomly for performance-enhancing drugs.
Posted 19 August 2011 - 05:07 AM
Posted 20 August 2011 - 07:50 AM
Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist drove in the tying and go-ahead runs off Felix Hernandez. John Jaso drove in the other Tampa run. Juan Cruz (5-0)get the win and Kyle Farnsworth earned his 22nd save.
Posted 20 August 2011 - 11:03 PM
Evan Longoria drives in 4 including a 2-run 1st inning HR. Johnny Damon and Ben Zobrist each have 3 hits while Sean Rodriguez has 2. Jeremy Hellickson gives 6 hits over 8 innings for his 11th win.
Posted 21 August 2011 - 04:42 PM
Johnny Damon's walk-off HR in the 9th capped off a Rays rally from 5-0 down. Damon drove in 4 runs while John Jaso drove in 2. Ben Zobrist and Matt Joyce had the other RBI. Kyle Farnsworth gets the win.
Posted 23 August 2011 - 10:06 PM
Tampa manages 11 hits but end up with 12 LOB. Ben Zobrist drives in the only run. David Price throws 8 strong innings but still gets the loss to go to 11-11
Posted 25 August 2011 - 06:56 AM
Sean Rodriguez beat a throw to 2B on an Eliot Johnson ground ball, allowing Ben Zobrist to score the game winner. Desmond Jennings (2), Johnny Damon (2) and Evan Longoria (3 and a solo HR) had 7 of Tampa's 8 hits. Joel Peralta gets the win.
Posted 25 August 2011 - 05:56 PM
Rays manage 7 hits. 2 each by Desmond Jennings, Casey Kotchman and Sam Fuld. Jermey Hellickson gets the loss, allowing 2 runs in 7 innings.
Posted 27 August 2011 - 07:48 AM
James Shields gets his 10 CG, raising his record to 12-10. Rays get HR's from Desmond Jennings, Evan Longoria (2 solo HR) and John Jaso.
Posted 27 August 2011 - 05:22 PM
BJ Upton's 3-run 7th inning HR provides the cushion needed. Sean Rodriguez (2 RBI) and Eliot Johnson (1 RBI) each had 3 hits. Jeff Niemann gets the win (9-5) and Joel Peralta earns his 2nd save.
Edit: According to Marc Topkin's Twitter feed, Kyle Farnsworth was not available due to elbow tenderness.
Edited by drtooth, 27 August 2011 - 05:50 PM.