3:21 AM EDT, Mon May 21, 2018
7 hours ago
Rays 2, Angels 5: Should have left that Romo fella in

Rays 2, Angels 5: Should have left that Romo fella in

Romo opens, but the Rays can’t close It is said that baseball gonna baseball. And on Sunday, May 20th, the Year of our Lord 2018, baseball did indeed Baseball. For it was on this day that the phenom, Shohei Ohtani, got the start and was not the talk of the game. That’s because all anybody wanted to talk about was Sergio “The Opener” Romo, making his second “start” in as many days. This was the first time a pitcher started on back-to-back days since Zack Greinke in 2012. And Grienke was ejected after four pitches in that one, so it’s not like that should even count. For...
12 hours ago
The Computers are High-Fiving! Reactions to Rays “opening” relief pitcher

The Computers are High-Fiving! Reactions to Rays “opening” relief pitcher

Rays challenge pitching orthodoxy and the baseball world reacts The Rays have been handling pitching just a bit differently in 2018. During spring training they announced that they were eschewing the traditional (at least back to the 1920s) five-man starting pitching rotation to go with four starters, with “bullpen day” filling in for the fifth starter as needed. When Nate Eovaldi required elbow surgery, they were left with just a three man rotation, although the many off days in the first six weeks of their season meant that they seldom, in fact, needed two “bullpens days” in any...
20 hours ago
Rays prospects and minor leagues: Williams’ big day lifts Bulls

Rays prospects and minor leagues: Williams’ big day lifts Bulls

For the third time in his career, Justin Williams had three extra-base hits in a game. On Saturday, I wrote about Jake Bauers’ hot stretch. Another player hitting the ball well right now is Ryan Boldt. He already tied a career high with his fifth home run Saturday — that’s including his collegiate career at Nebraska. Going back to his days in high school, he was a player with power potential, but so far, he’s been unable to tap in to it during games. Now slugging .472 with a .224 ISO, maybe he’s beginning to do so. Triple-A Durham Bulls (26-14) Durham prevailed in a 10-7 slugfest...
May 20, 2018
Rays 5, Angels 3: Roberston’s grand slam was heaven sent

Rays 5, Angels 3: Roberston’s grand slam was heaven sent

The Rays hit the .500 mark for the first time since game two. First thing’s first, let’s dive in to how Sergio Romo did as an opener. He came into today’s game with the express expectation he would be pitching only one inning, and he made the most of it, striking out the side in an expedient fashion, including one of the game’s best hitters, Mike Trout. He probably could have gone longer, but the Rays stuck to the script, pulling Romo after the first inning to make way for Ryan Yarbrough. The Rays front office, meanwhile, are patting themselves on the back for how well this...
May 19, 2018
Rays prospects and minor leagues: McKay shines in Charlotte pitching debut

Rays prospects and minor leagues: McKay shines in Charlotte pitching debut

The level is new, but the results are the same for Brendan McKay. A month ago, I expressed concern about Jake Bauers’ slow start and increasing strikeout rate. Since then, he has made me look foolish. He’s batting .323 with 13 extra-base hits in 24 games since that post. For the season, he’s slugging .493 with a .855 OPS, both of which would easily be career highs. Triple-A Durham Bulls (25-14) Durham scored nine unanswered runs in a rain-shortened, 12-3 win over Indianapolis. Already leading 6-3, the Bulls exploded for six runs in the seventh. Joe McCarthy led off the inning with his...
May 19, 2018
Rays 8, Angels 3: Wilson Ramos powers Rays to victory

Rays 8, Angels 3: Wilson Ramos powers Rays to victory

Ramos hits two homers. Snell goes 6.2 strong. Tonight’s game is how the Tampa Bay Rays front office imagined things going. It hasn’t always gone as planned this year. However tonight good pitching paired with good defense gave the offense a chance to win the game. The Offense wouldn’t let down the pitching. Blake Snell goes 6.2 strong innings. Blake Snell entered the night coming off his worst outing of the year allowing five runs in 3.1 innings to the Baltimore Orioles that included three homers. Snell was up for the challenge. Snell set the tone early with a scoreless first where...
May 18, 2018
First trades in Tampa Bay Rays history: “With the Baltimore Orioles”

First trades in Tampa Bay Rays history: “With the Baltimore Orioles”

This one doesn’t end happily. March 29th, 1999 Tampa Bay Devil Rays trade RHP Jason Johnson to the Baltimore Orioles for OF Danny Clyburn Jr. and a Player to be Named Later (Boliver Volquez) Towards the end of spring training in the Rays sophomore season, they decided to trade away right-handed pitcher Jason Johnson, who had been a member of their starting rotation for a couple of months during the 1998 campaign. Unfortunately, suffered an injured back in June and spend the rest of the year on the disabled list. Tampa Bay picked Johnson up during the expansion draft, selecting him from...
May 18, 2018
FanPost Friday: Pick new Rays walk up songs

FanPost Friday: Pick new Rays walk up songs

Build a better playlist Kevin Kiermaier has been missed from the Rays lineup for more reasons than one. His stellar defense in the outfield is a big deal, absolutely, but more importantly we don’t get to hear Rick Ross’s “Hustlin’” four times a game. It’s such a solid walk up song, it’s also used by J.D. Martinez of the Red Sox. But if I were making a new list, and wanted something that “fit” Kiermaier more, I’d probably select Bon Jovi’s “Dead or Alive.” It goes with his Outlaw nickname, and is a solid classic rock jam to walk up to. That’s the name of the...
May 18, 2018
View from the catwalk: “So they decided to go a different way”

View from the catwalk: “So they decided to go a different way”

“And that was their decision.” Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic wrote about C.J. Cron’s return to face his old team, and about the breakout season he’s having: “I would be lying if I didn’t say it feels a little bit different,” Cron said of his new surroundings, hours before hitting his 11th homer of the season on a line drive to left field in the sixth inning off of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs in Thursday’s game. “I’m getting the at-bats [here]. It’s nice just kind of being there every day, coming to the park and knowing I’m going to be in that two-hole. It kind of...
May 18, 2018
Rays prospects and minor leagues: Solak makes CF debut

Rays prospects and minor leagues: Solak makes CF debut

Nick Solak made his professional debut in center field Thursday. Nick Solak lost his on-base streak Wednesday, but what happened Thursday is significantly more interesting. If he can play center field, he becomes a lot more interesting — not that he isn’t already. Speaking of infielders in center field, Andrew Velazquez has a .797 OPS for Durham. It’s only 86 at-bats, and he had an on-base percentage under .300 last season. Injuries have affected his Rays career. Triple-A Durham Bulls (24-14) Durham held on for a 6-4 win in the resumption of Wednesday’s suspended game against...
May 18, 2018
Rays 7, Angels 1: Cron crushes in return to Anaheim

Rays 7, Angels 1: Cron crushes in return to Anaheim

While Hechavarria strains a hamstring. In the top of the sixth inning, Tyler Skaggs gave his former teammate a changeup over the heart of the plate in the bottom third of the zone. That is C.J. Cron’s wheelhouse, and he didn’t miss. His home run to left broke through the pitching duel, putting the Rays up 1-0. Dan Slaughbaugh may or may not say “I told you so,” but I sure as Hech am going to say “Dan Slaughbaugh told you so.” Speaking of Hech, the event this game gets remembered for might be a second-inning single that didn’t lead to a run. After hitting a ground ball to the...
May 17, 2018
Series Preview: Shohei Ohtani Time

Series Preview: Shohei Ohtani Time

The Rays will finally see the Japanese phenom in person The Tampa Bay Rays head to Los Angeles coming off a series sweep in Kansas City. The Angels have lost two in a row and four of their last six. The Angels currently possess the second wild card spot with a 25-18 record. Matchups: Thursday 10:07 PM: Chris Archer vs Tyler SkaggsFriday 10:07 PM: Blake Snell vs Nick TropeanoSaturday 9:07 PM: Ryan Yarbrough vs Andrew HeaneySunday 4:07 PM: Anthony Banda vs Shohei Ohtani The Rays will face the most hyped player from Japan in Game Four The Rays headed into the season with a four-man rotation...
May 17, 2018
Rays vs. Angels game 1 preview: The return of Cron

Rays vs. Angels game 1 preview: The return of Cron

and Christian Arroyo’s Rays debut! Following an exciting sweep over the Kansas City Royals, the Rays battle the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in a four game set at Angel Stadium. The Rays head into play tonight at 19-22, the exact same record through 41 games as they had a season ago. Remember when the national media accused the Rays of being cheap and not committed to winning? The Angels’ crosstown rival Dodgers, a team that was surely committed to winning, is mired at 16-26. Rays slugger C.J. Cron, who has been a big part of Tampa Bay’s respectability makes his return to Anaheim...
May 17, 2018
C.J. Cron is in the zone

C.J. Cron is in the zone

Rays first baseman has made a few adjustments and maybe become the Rays best hitter As the Rays head to Los Angeles to open a four-game set with the Angels starting on Thursday, the Rays can thank their Halo’d AL opponents for the player who has been arguably the Rays best hitter in 2018. C.J. Cron has twice as many homers as any other hitter on the Rays, and his 134 wRC+ trails only Daniel Robertson (138) on the team. His 0.9 fWAR ranks behind only Robertson (1.2) and Mallex Smith (1.0) among position players. Given the low value placed on first base play in these evaluation systems,...
May 17, 2018
Stadium Marriage Proposals: Ranked

Stadium Marriage Proposals: Ranked

Good Marlins Man makes rare good stadium marriage proposal Ways to propose at a stadium, ranked: Don’t propose at a stadium See #1 Look, I don’t mean to say you are dumb and wrong if you love stadium marriage proposals. But you kind of are. And there are reasons for this. It’s true that you should always have a pretty good idea of the answer before you pop the question, regardless of where you are. But it’s also true that, sometimes, you don’t. Because the proposee is a real person who get to make her/his (and it’s usually her!) own decisions. I know, it’s nuts. But it’s...