Ryan Yarborough and Yonny Chirinos, two hurlers vying for a spot on the Opening Day roster, paired up for 3-2/3 impressive scoreless innings in the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 road win over the Minnesota Twins. The Rays ended the day 1-1 on the Grapefruit League season against the Twins, and 4-3 overall.
Yarbrough got the start for Tampa Bay, and threw 15 of 20 pitches for strikes. The southpaw allowed just an infield hit to Byron Buxton while fanning one. He impressively mixed in changeups to left-handers as part of his repertoire, and though his fastball wasn’t overpowering — sitting at 89-90 miles per hour — it was effective. His plan was to stay aggressive and go after batters.
Yarbrough was pleased by his day and felt more relaxed in his second outing, than in his rocky spring debut. You can hear his post-game comments below (Courtesy of Rays Radio).
Chirinos took over in the third inning and threw 1-2/3 scoreless frames on just 19 pitches. The 24 year-old right-hander relied upon a heavy sinker, and allowed just a walk … which he followed with a double play ground ball to get himself out of the jam. So far this Spring, Chirinos has needed 39 pitches to work 3-2/3 scoreless innings.
They’re really talented, manager Kevin Cash said. They’re fun to watch. They’re young. They attack. … Those guys want to force contact. … A lot to be excited about.
The Rays plan to open the season with four starters, although Yarbrough and Chirinos could break camp out of the bullpen at first.
They are in the mix, no doubt, Cash said. We’re pretty open-minded to all of them.
You can hear all of Cash’s comments below.
In the batter’s box, the Rays collected three-runs on 11 hits, including the three-hit (all singles) day from infielder Christian Arroyo, who enjoyed the opportunity to make his first start with the Rays at shortstop.
Tampa Bay plated its runs on a two-out, infield hit by Willy Adames in the first inning, an RBI groundout in the fourth from Nick Solak, and an RBI base hit in the eighth from Justin Williams.
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) February 28, 2018
C.J. Cron was robbed of a pair of extra-base hits by Twins outfielders.
Cron, however, took things well:
Save ’em for the regular season, said the Rays first baseman.
Daniel Robertson reportedly looked and felt comfortable in his first start in the outfield, making a routine play on a routine fly-ball to left-center.
The New What Next
The Rays will play host to the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday. Jake Faria, who is penciled in as part of the team’s four-man rotation to start the season, will get the start opposite Nestor Cortez, a Rule-5 draft pick. Also slated to see mound time for Tampa Bay are Jonny Venters, Dan Jennings, Jamie Schultz, and Chih-Wei Hu.
Rays 3/1/18 Starting Lineup
— A trio of infielders were scratched from the lineup on Wednesday due to a handful of minor injuries. Thankfully those ailments are not serious.
Adeiny Hechavarria experienced tightness behind his right knee after he fielded a ground ball on Monday. The shortstop took part in a drill wearing running shoes rather than spikes.
They hit me a ground ball and my foot slipped under me and I kind of felt something behind the knee, said Hechavarria through a translator.
Hechavarria hopes to be ready to play on Thursday.
Matt Duffy was also scratched from Tuesday’s lineup because to back spasms.
Just a little back spasm, Duffy said. It will be a couple of days. It’s pretty anticlimactic. It’s not something that’s serious. I’ve had back spasms before in my life. Not over the last two years. A little back spasm for a day or two means that I’ve been getting a ton of reps. Even that can’t wipe a smile off my face.
1B/DH Brad Miller is still coping with a fractured little toe on his right foot.
Obviously it’s not too serious, but it can cause — you know, coming off surgery last season and having such a good offseason, they’re being smart with me by being cautious, Miller said. Last week when I was out there running, I was clearly running differently than I had been. … Last thing I want to do is cause something more serious.
— Per Marc Topkin (Tampa Bay Times) OF Carlos Gomez is expected in Florida on Friday and in camp over the weekend with resolution of his visa issues. Cash credited staffer George Pappas, and wanted to slap him five, for expediting the process after Gomez agreed last week to a one-year, $4-million deal.