Despite an offensive onslaught from Willy Adames, and a solid one-run effort by Jake Odorizzi, the Tampa Bay Rays fell 7-6 in extras on Tuesday.
Takeaways from Tuesday’s ball game:
— Odorizzi’s slider is coming along. The right-hander told the media following his appearance that felt he made progress with his slider, a pitch of emphasis for him during Spring Training.
Odorizzi threw off speed pitches in counts he otherwise would not if it were the regular season, and got some good reactions to them. He went two innings and and threw 48 pitches (32 strikes), while allowing just a run on five hits while fanning four.
(Audio Courtesy of Rays Radio)
— Adames homered and later drove in a run. The Rays top prospect hit a line-drive homer to left in the fifth inning against Adam Warren to get Tampa Bay on the board, then later hit a bases-loaded opposite field sacrifice-fly to right for a one-run lead.
Not to be outdone, Corey Dickerson followed Adames’ long ball with an opposite field homer to left, his second of the spring.
The amusing aspect of the dynamic duo’s back-to-back tandem of homers: they came while Yankees’ manager, Joe Girardi, was bring interviewed by the Yes Network.
Dontcha just hate when you’re trying to have a nice conversation and rude people won’t stop hitting home runs? pic.twitter.com/XISacDXZeR
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) March 7, 2017
— Rays skipper Kevin Cash was enthused by the performances of Adames, Williams, Odorizzi and Yarbrough:
(Audio Courtesy of Rays Radio)
The New What Next
Chase Whitley will get the start in an exhibition game between the Rays and Team Colombia, Wednesday evening, in Port Charlotte. Erasmo Ramirez, Xavier Cedeno and Jose de Leon are also slated to throw for Tampa Bay.
Per Neil Solondz (Rays Radio) Logan Morrison is expected to play for the Rays, his first appearance this spring since having September wrist surgery. Morrison is likely to DH today and play the field later in the week.
That leaves three players who’ve yet to appear in a game: Brad Boxberger, Matt Duffy and Colby Rasmus.
Rays 3/8/17 Starting Lineup:
— It was announced Tuesday that Rays ace, Chris Archer, will throw the first pitch for Team USA in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Archer told MLB.com he envisioned himself as a member of team USA since the original World Baseball Classic run in 2006 — when he was a high school.
I volunteered my services over 10 years ago, whenever it started, Archer said. I knew from that minute on I wanted to be a part of something special. … My favorite players were playing — (Derek) Jeter, Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemens … at that time they were all peaking, they were in their prime. I was glued in. I was locked in. To be considered one of the best in the country, like those guys were, it’s the highest honor I’ve achieved in my baseball career.
— Per Marc Topkin (Tampa Bay Times), the progress on Matt Duffy’s heel has been a little slow, and the target to start playing in Spring Training games has been pushed back from mid-March. A possibility remains this setback could impact Opening Day.