2014 Rays thread

drtooth

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I'll try to update this as much as I can.  Thank you to VORP for helping with the ST thread as life has been a bit nuts as of late.
 

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Thanks to drtooth for all his work on the Rays beat. You are an honorary Ray of the highest order.
 
 
 
The fluorescent lights are shining brightly….the 72 degree breeze of climate controlled air is cool upon your face….the smell of freshly painted astroturf fills the nostrils….
 
It's Opening Day at the Trop!
 
 

MakMan44

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https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/451342636633554944
 

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Another great deal for the Rays. Looks like it's 6 years with a club option for 2 more. No info on what salary for option years is. I'm sure it's pretty team friendly. With options, takes him through his age 32 season. He doesn't need to be a superstar for this to be a huge win for the Rays.
 

MakMan44

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VORP Speed said:
Another great deal for the Rays. Looks like it's 6 years with a club option for 2 more. No info on what salary for option years is. I'm sure it's pretty team friendly. With options, takes him through his age 32 season. He doesn't need to be a superstar for this to be a huge win for the Rays.
https://twitter.com/jcrasnick/status/451353229797097472
 

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MakMan44 said:
https://twitter.com/jcrasnick/status/451353229797097472
This twitter thing is too fast for me.

So, 9 and 11m on the two club option years. In 2020 and 2021. If he becomes even a reliable #3 starter those will be a steal.
 

nattysez

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Someone posted the other day "RIP free agency."  They weren't kidding.  
 

Plympton91

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Heard an interview with Archer on MLB radio yesterday and he was really fantasticly genuinely humble, realistic, and appreciative. When they asked if he was sensitive to criticism of having left money on the table, he said that he looked around at good friends getting hit in the head with line drives and having TJ surgery and was acutely aware that his career was fragile. He also said he'd talked with a financial advisor and determined that the deal he got made his not even born grandchildren financially secure three times over. Finally, when asked what he was going to do first with the money he said "take care of my parents who savrificed their time and money to drive me to all those practices, travel tournaments, and pay for all those camps." Really worth hearing if it's available. Made me have huge respect for him.
 

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His "parents" are actually his maternal grandmother and her husband who took him from a teen mom who wasn't ready to take care of him, adopted him and raised him. Everyone in Tampa loves the kid. Really sweet, humble, and genuine.
 

drtooth

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Matt Moore leaves the game last night with elbow soreness.
 
http://www.tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/matt-moore-hurt-in-rays-loss-to-royals/2174059
 
 
Moore was removed from Monday's game with left elbow soreness in the middle of a fifth-inning at-bat and will have an MRI exam this morning to determine what is wrong.
Moore said he was hopeful that it might be just a hyperextension, and optimistic based on initial tests that there was no structural damage.
"At this point all the tests and stress stuff that they're doing on me, it's not really making me feel concerned in that regard," he said.
Manager Joe Maddon acknowledged after the 4-2 loss that they wouldn't know for sure until getting the MRI results. But he said head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield, after talking with the Royals doctor who did an initial exam at the stadium, told him he considered the injury less severe than last year's, when Moore was sidelined for more than a month due to soreness.
Moore, 24, said he felt only the soreness — and no pop or sharp pain — while throwing his changeup during the fifth inning, with no prior issues during the game or even since he started throwing in spring training.
 

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Moore placed on 15 day DL, MRI was inconclusive, Maddon says it's "more than we originally thought", visit being scheduled with Dr Andrews......ugggggghhhhhh.

Huge blow if this heads to TJ land as it's now sounding.

Bedard probably gets the call to take the rotation spot.


**Marc Topkin twitter has all the details, as usual
 

Van Everyman

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@pgammo: The inordinate strain of losing Cobb, Moore and Hellickson enlightens fact that Rays system is thin. 2010(5 of 1st 79 picks) and 2011(10 of

@pgammo: 1rst 60 picks) produced 1 major leaguer(Derek Dietrich, traded for Yunel Escobar), no pitching
After about 7 years of hearing about the genius of Andrew Friedman, you are now seeing the shine start to come off now that the high picks are more scarce. Neither is probably fair – they had an extraordinary hit rate with those high picks and, frankly, they've been just as successful with FA signings like Kotchman, Loney and the assorted bullpen guys they've cycled through over the years.

But fair or not, the media is going to be hard on them now that the draft wellspring has dried up. Will be interesting to see how far the current crop, the FA hit rate and Maddon can get them. My guess is, further than the media would like to concede.
 

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Moore gets TJ tomorrow. Juan Carlos Oviedo, fka Leo Nunez, has been called up after finishing a rehab stint to strengthen the pen. Riefenhauser went back down after giving up the critical walk yesterday. Cesar Ramos looked pretty good yesterday, bouncing back from a disastrous last start in Cincy. Enny Romero and Nathan Karns have been doing pretty well in AAA. With Cobb and Hellickson not expected back until sometime in June at the earliest, there's likely to be a fair bit of shuffling around of the pen and rotation for the next couple of months.
 

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The Rays are bad right now. They've been terrible on the road. When they hit, they don't pitch, when they pitch, they don't hit. They looked like a traveling circus in Chicago with all the miscues and meltdowns. I hope Joe has some funny outfits or a visit from a pet snake planned to get the boys geared up for the battle for 4th place this week in Fenway.
 

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They treated Bell like a rented mule the last 2 days and then DFA'd him, which I'm finding amusing.
I'm guessing Karns is going to replace Odorizzi in the rotation, but haven't seen anything announced.
 

Soxfan in Fla

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Odorizzi would be a good 2-3 inning guy put of the pen. He's good the first time through the order then falls apart.
 

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Awful series against BAL. Middle relief has been a disaster and is killing them on an almost nightly basis. Offense is streaky, leaving lots of runners on lately. Logan Forsythe has been terrible and seems to be coming up in lots of big spots. Solidly in the cellar now. Only AL team with a worse record is HOU. 
 

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The Rays have been circling the drain. Lost 5 of 6 on last home stand then got drubbed by Seattle on first game of west coast swing to fall to 7 games under .500…...
 
So Joe dug deep and pulled out the Old Spice and AquaVelva and last night the musk-scented Rays got a complete game gem from Price and a stirring 9th inning come from behind victory. 
 
 
https://twitter.com/RaysJoeMaddon/status/466371653619154945/photo/1
 

drtooth

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After back to back wins, it looks like the Rays will be without Ben Zobrist for a bit as he likely will be heading to the DL after dislocating his left thumb last night trying to steal 2nd.
 

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Ramos with another ugly start and Price with a stinker to help the Rays drop 3 of 4 in Anaheim. Kiermaier was the only bright spot over the weekend, getting called up and looking great in center.

Rays now only 2.5 games behind Houston for worst record in AL. Sox are closing fast, but still trail Rays by 2. With Oak in town this week, Rays should be able to not lose any ground.
 

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Rays park the bus and score on a counterattack at the death. Negative baseball at its finest.

The pen, other than Balfour, is improving slightly. Balfour really needs to get dumped from the closer role. I think eventually we're going to see McGee take it over.
 

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Rays get swept by Jays. Thoroughly bludgeoned.
Jake McGee has been the only bright spot in the bullpen this year. He's going to make a good closer sometime soon.
Day off before battle for the cellar, part two.
 

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TheYaz67 said:
In honor of Big Papi can we rename this thread "Little Bitches - Your 2014 TB Rays"?
Sure. The Rays thread is a haven of free expression and not easily taking offense, so call it whatever the fuck you want.
 

LuckyBen

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Obviously, Karma is coming back to kick the Rays in the ass.  Myers has a stress fracture and will wear a cast for 5-6 weeks before being reevaluated.
 

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The silver lining here is that there will be nothing holding the Rays back from selling and maybe they will make a bit of progress towards re-stocking the farm. Longoria, Myers, Jennings, Hanigan, McGee, and the starters outside of Price are probably the only ones not on the block. They'll def look to move Price, question will be whether anyone will meet the demands. They still have next offseason, so they won't cave for a lousy return. Guys like Zobrist, Joyce, Escobar, Balfour, maybe even Loney could bring back something decent and/or be worth giving up for the right price.
 

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Rays drop 9th in a row, 3rd in a row to Marlins.

Are 10 game losing streaks contagious? The Rays should have asked the Sox to use protection this weekend. They're now infected but don't have the luxury of playing a shitty team like themselves to get cured.
 

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Another bullpen meltdown, another loss. Swept by Marlins. 10 in a row. Sad.

Kevin Kiermaier is one of the few bright spots. Kid's taking advantage of his opportunity.
Line in 12 games:
.379 .419 .828 1.247

He's also fast as hell and the best defensive outfielder on the team.
 

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Balfour officially removed from closer role. Rays to go to closer by committee. I suspect this means McGee will be eased into the role.
 
 
Balfour blames his struggles on having angered BABIP:
 
"I think I upset the baseball gods or did something wrong," Balfour said Sunday, when he struck out the first two batters he faced before giving up four hits and two walks. "I've never given up five runs in my career in an inning and I've done it twice this year."
 

mabrowndog

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Recent developments with another of Tampa's pro sports teams are worth keeping an eye on. Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik has been buying up gobs of land near and adjacent to the St. Pete Forum, where his team plays. The article details his latest purchase:
 
 
One of his real estate partnerships is now under contract to buy the last few residential properties in the immediate area, including three 100-year-old shotgun-style homes at the northwest corner of Cumberland Avenue and Nebraska Avenue, and a low-slung apartment building next door with four units.
 
The homes stick out as the last remaining residential holdouts between the Selmon Expressway and Channelside Drive in what’s now a sea of open-field parking where more than a few political players in town hope Vinik might usher in a baseball stadium.
 
Anything that would bring an end to the days of Tropicana Field as an MLB venue would be a godsend. I don't care how much greed, corruption and taxpayer bleeding is required.
 

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The Vinik/Channelside stadium thing has been brewing for a bit. Apparently the city of Tampa has a 100m slush fund for major development projects in the downtown core that a stadium in this location could access.

Here's a good rundown on it from Draysbay back in Jan.

http://www.draysbay.com/2014/1/24/5137266/rays-stadium-location-channelside-vinik-baker-gold-crown-Tampa-TIF-money

Interestingly, Vinik is a shareholder in Fenway Sports Group.

This would be a great location for a stadium. Hopefully they'd figure out a way to mitigate the Fla summertime elements a bit while still making it grass/open air.
 

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Rays very quietly starting to right the ship. Won 5 in a row. Pitching has been solid, bullpen not as much of a dumpster fire since Balfour was demoted, few guys starting to hit. Kiermaier has been outstanding.

They dug such a big hole that it probably doesn't matter, though.
 

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Rays continue to look as if they've actually turned things around. 9-2 on the just completed 11 game road trip to BAL, NYY and DET. 17-8 in their last 25. Bullpen has solidified over the last month since Balfour was demoted. McGee continues to emerge as a total stud. Offense getting it together. Forsythe no longer a black hole. Kiermaier has been outstanding since being called up (OPS .877) and keeps hitting triples all over the place and playing outstanding defense. Several of the guys who were slumping early are now back to respectable production. Hellickson just came off the DL and will start tomorrow. They've reeled in the Sox to move into fourth and are now 8.5 out.
 
I think given these signs of life, we probably won't see Price dealt until closer to the deadline. If the Rays keep up the great play and pick up a few more games in the standings, we may not see him dealt until the offseason. Reports are that the A's offered Russell + for Price, but it wasn't enough to get it done ( http://www.draysbay.com/2014/7/5/5872475/athletics-offered-addison-russell-for-david-price ). If the Rays are within 4-5 of first at the deadline, they'll have a tough decision to make. 
 

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Rays continuing to play well. Swept Twins and now have won 5 in a row. Too bad the bullpen blew 2 games in the 9th right before the all-star break, or they really would have made up some serious ground. In any case, on June 10 they were 15 games out, today they are 8. Other than the shaky bullpen, everything is rounding into form.
Trade deadline is going to be very interesting. Latest gossip is Cardinals, M's, Dodgers all interested in Price but decision unlikely to be made until right before deadline. Very real possibility they hold onto him, especially if they pick up another couple of games in the next week. If nothing else, their hand is strengthening because they are not as committed to being sellers as one would have suspected last month. Zobrist is also being shopped pretty actively it seems. Olney tweeted something about the Cards wanting to put together a package for Price AND Longoria ( https://mobile.twitter.com/Buster_ESPN/status/491068563063865348 ), but unless they're including the Arch and Busch Stadium in the deal, I don't see how that happens.

2 against the Cards this week and then an off day before Battle of the Not Quite Dead Yet this weekend at the Trop.
 

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Peralta to the DL with a case of Chikungunya. Contracted from a mosquito bite in the DR over the all star break. Unfortunately the mosquito was not able to be captured and placed in Balfour's locker.
 

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The Rays hit their nadir on June 10 at 24-42. 18 games under .500. With tonight's victory, they moved to 2 games under .500 at 51-53. On a 9-game win streak. 27-11 (.711) over their last 38.
No team has ever been 18 under .500 and made the playoffs. Most games under .500 to make post-season is 16, accomplished by the Boston.......Braves, in 1914. They played .725 ball after falling 16 games under on June 8.

Rays are now 6.5 behind in the division and 3.5 out of the 2nd wild card spot. I'm probably jinxing it with this post, but they are in the midst of a historic turnaround.


Edit: fixed innumeracy
 

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Rays bounce back from the Ortiz home run stroll to take the first 2 from MIL behind great pitching from Odorizzi and Cobb.

Price is slated to start tomorrow's series finale with a noon first pitch. Will it be his last game in baby blue? I don't think they scratch him a la Lester, as they'll want to get that last start out of him. As of tonight they're still 7 out of first and 4.5 out of the wild card. They're definitely listening to offers. If they get a good haul, he'll be gone, but they don't have a gun to their head. My guess is a deal will get done, Cards or LA. Should be interesting.