Yonny Chirinos bounced back on the mound in his third start of the spring on Friday, while Brendan McKay was as impressive in his first Grapefruit League appearance.
Chirinos allowed just two hits while striking out a pair across three innings on 45 pitches (32 strikes, 71% strike rate). Chirinos topped out at 96 mph on the in house gun.
That was the first time that really this Spring I’ve been able to throw that hard. I didn’t expect it, but doing what I did in the off-season and the training that I did I feel like that’s been a result of it.— Yonny Chirinos
McKay, who started late due to shoulder stiffness, was also impressive. After falling behind Jorge Polanco 3-and-0, the southpaw threw 10 of the next 13 pitches for strikes. He caught Josh Donaldson looking on a fastball, coaxed fly ball outs from Polanco and Marwin Gonzalez, and boasted a heater that peaked at 94 mph (and clocked in at 93-94 mph consistently) on 16 pitches (10 strikes, 63% strike rate). The only base runner McKay allowed came on an error, when he dropped Ji-Man Choi’s throw at first.
Felt good. Getting back out there, getting live competition, I was kind of going crazy just not being in there. But it is what it is, hopefully we’re passed it now and can move on and start preparing for a season now.— Brendan McKay
McKay said he wants to be more conscious of adding a changeup, which he displayed on Friday, to his pitch mix.
Me being critical of myself, they weren’t as great as the one’s I’ve thrown before but that could’ve been the adrenaline. You’re trying to throw your best pitch and it doesn’t really turn out the way you want it and you’re taking away from the pitch itself rather than just letting it settle in and take over from there.— Brendan McKay
McKay is a candidate to end up in the Opening Week rotation, especially if Blake Snell’s availability slightly in question … that is if he can get built up to a five-inning workload.
We’ve got plenty of time.— Brendan McKay
Because of the shoulder stiffness that pushed him back a bit, Rays skipper Kevin Cash said the team will probably abandon the plan to move McKay from a six-day pitching schedule to the more standard five-day schedule to try to keep him healthy.
He’s going to be involved, in some way or form, he’ll be involved. We have to get him built up before we make those decisions.— Kevin Cash
Even though Jose Alvarado allowed a fifth-inning run, the left-hander looked good once again. His lone tally came during what should have been a 1-2-3 frame, yet Tampa Bay could not convert a potential 3-1 putout.
USF product, LHP Shane McClanahan, dazzled once more, allowing just a single then striking out the next three batters he faced in the eighth inning. McClanahan’s fastball clocked in at 99 mph.
The left-hander has faced 26 batters across five games and struck out 10.
He’s fun to watch. A lot of talk about him for good reason.— Kevin Cash
Cash also said he expects that McClanahan, who has been used in one-inning stints, to start the 2020 season as a starter. He is expected to get stretched out as the spring progresses.
The New What Next
The Rays will play host to the Orioles on Saturday and visit that team from Atlanta in split-squad play. Top prospect Wander Franco is listed as a reserve in the game against Atlanta. Sean Gilmartin is scheduled to start in Port Charlotte, while Joe Ryan will start the game against Atlanta.
Rays 3/7/20 Starting Lineup vs. BAL
- Meadows DH
- Adames SS
- B. Lowe 2B
- Diaz 3B
- Tsutsugo LF
- Martinez 1B
- Kiermaier CF
- Zunino C
- Margot RF
- Gilmartin LHP
Rays 3/7/20 Starting Lineup vs. ATL
- Arozarena LF
- Herrmann C
- Renfroe RF
- Choi 1B
- Wendle SS
- Robertson 2B
- Cozens DH
- Brosseau 2B
- LeMarre CF
- Ryan RHP
— Charlie Morton won’t make his scheduled start on Sunday, pitching instead in a simulated game on a backfield. The right-hander said it’s to give him a chance to build up his pitch count and innings in a controlled environment than avoiding the team he likely will face in the March 26 opener.
Morton plans to get to 60 pitches Sunday before he will throw again on the back fields to get to 75. From there, he is expected to pitch in a final regular spring game.
— Brent Honeywell “looked good” in his third bullpen session of the spring, Cash said. Honeywell mixed in about five changeups to his 20 pitch outing on Tuesday and Friday.
It has been kind of a long week, so a little tired, but everything is going well. … It’s bouncing back a little differently than Tommy John, so that’s good. Everything, as of right now, is on the right track. I like where I’m at right now.— Brent Honeywell