The Tampa Bay Rays fell to 6-6 on the Grapefruit League season Tuesday afternoon with a 9-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox. However, there were a few highlights from the day of play.
Jake “the rake” Bauers and/or Jake Powers
Similar to last spring, Jake Bauers hit a moonshot to right-field — a blast that cleared the boardwalk and landed on the roof of the team office building.
Before Bauers made his way to the plate in the second inning, team ace Chris Archer yelled to him, “Show me something.” The rest, as they say, is history.
Bauers went on to say:
(This) one definitely went further, definitely was better contact, said Bauers. And that’s all I’ve got. So don’t expect anything more than that … You almost black out a little bit. You don’t feel it off the bat. Then you have to remember where you’re at and you have to get around the bases.
Though Bauers will likely start the season in Triple-A, he is bound and determined to make it a difficult decision for Kevin Cash.
He’s still really young. … The swing is there, it’s been there, he’s worked really hard on that, Cash said. Now he’s going to find out what he’s capable of doing by generating more power. He’ll hit his share of home runs.
Of simulated games, Jake Faria, and Carlos Gomez
Jake Faria and Carlos Gomez both appeared in a simulated game on Tuesday.
Faria worked three innings intent on improving what he calls a “painstakingly” slow tempo. Faria conceded that he had similar issues in the minor leagues, and made a point to walk up the mound as soon as he got the ball back.
I felt like it was a lot better, Faria said. It’s mainly about being comfortable with it so that when you do get in an actual game it’s second nature.
Gomez got one last tuneup before his debut against the Orioles on Tuesday.
Welcome back Duffy and Hech … but where the hell is Miller?
Both Matt Duffy and Adeiny Hechavarria bounced back from a pair of minor injuries, and showed well in the process. Hechavarria — who missed a week because of tightness behind his right knee after he slipped while taking ground balls in sneakers rather than cleats last week — went 3-3.
A little lesson learned, he said through an interpreter. It shouldn’t have happened.
Duffy, recovered from his stiff back, and went 1-2 at the plate. He also made several good plays at third base.
It’s one of those things I’ve dealt with in the past, and sometimes I’ll have to take a couple days off like this time, said Duffy. But with Spring Training, it’s probably smarter to extend it and be safe, and be done with it.
Meanwhile, Brad Miller hasn’t appeared in a game since the February 23, concerned that running with a broken right toe could both complicate his surgically repaired core muscle, and inflame his hip which he has had issues with in the past. Per Marc Topkin (Tampa Bay Times) Miller took a handful of at-bats in the simulated game, but something didn’t seem right and he won’t play as hoped Wednesday.
He felt fine, Cash said. We’re going to sit down and talk. He didn’t go 100 percent. So we want to get a read on how he comes in (Wednesday) and reassess where we’re at.
The New What Next
Left-hander Blake Snell will get the start for the Rays on Wednesday against Baltimore, while Mike Wright will toe the rubber for the Orioles. Other hurlers to see mound time are TBA.
Rays 3/7/18 Starting Lineup
— The Rays skipper said they will carry several relievers capable of working multiple innings, which makes sense given the plan to open the season with a four-man rotation.