Tatis Joe Carter Throwback Jersey Jr. leads Tuesday’s top prospects

Here’s MLB Pipeline’s roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Tuesday.

There’s plenty of excitement in the Padres’ pipeline surrounding their future middle-infield tandem of Fernando Tatis Jr. (Padres’ No. 1 and No. 7 overall) and Luis Urias (Padres’ No. 3, No. 32 overall). Their defensive savvy and offensive production make them among the Minors’ most exciting infielders, particularly after each made a promising impression at big league Spring Training.

Here’s MLB Pipeline’s roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Tuesday.

There’s plenty of excitement in the Padres’ pipeline surrounding their future middle-infield tandem of Fernando Tatis Jr. (Padres’ No. 1 and No. 7 overall) and Luis Urias (Padres’ No. 3, No. 32 overall). Their defensive savvy and offensive production make them among the Minors’ most exciting infielders, particularly after each made a promising impression at big league Spring Training.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Tatis appears to be emerging from a slump that lasted all of April, as he went 3-for-4 with a homer — his sixth this month — and four runs scored in Double-A San Antonio’s 9-6 loss to Tulsa on Tuesday. The 19-year-old Tatis is now hitting .333 since his average dropped to .177 at the end of April, and Tuesday’s game marked Tatis’ second three-hit game in his past five contests. He’s now tied with first baseman Josh Naylor (No. 14) for San Antonio’s lead with nine homers after crushing an 0-1 offering during the second inning with no one on and two outs.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects on Tuesday

• Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays’ No. 1, No. 2 overall) continued his torrid pace toward the next level with a 2-for-4 night for Double-A New Hampshire, which defeated Reading, 7-2. Guerrero is now hitting .423 for the season, which easily leads all of MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospects. Second-highest in that category is Juan Soto, who was hitting .362 when he was called up by the Nationals over the weekend.

With fellow top prospects making the Major League leap early in the 2018 season — Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr., Yankees infielder Gleyber Torres, Soto and others — many have wondered whether Guerrero might be next.

• Matt Manning (Tigers’ No. 2, No. 51 overall) struck out nine for Class A West Michigan over six scoreless innings, lowering his ERA by more than a full run to 4.05 in what was arguably his best start of 2018. Manning has now thrown 12 straight scoreless innings at home, with two walks and 17 strikeouts.

Manning’s ninth strikeout

• Ryan Helsley (Cardinals’ No. 5) gave up back-to-back hits in the first inning of his outing for Triple-A Memphis, including a two-run single. But he responded by retiring his final 20 batters in what was yet another stellar start. The former fifth-round pick has now gone at least seven innings in each of his last three outings, with 25 strikeouts in that stretch. Scouting reports suggest that Helsley offers the  Justin Smoak Jersey versatility to wind up in the bullpen at the next level, with a fastball-curveball combination that might be well suited for shorter stints.

• Miguel Amaya (Cubs’ No. 10) went 3-for-3 for the second time this season for Class A South Bend, with two walks and two runs scored in a 9-1 win. He’s now hitting .333 over his last 12 games after starting the year in a two-week funk near the Mendoza line.

• Errol Robinson (Dodgers’ No. 20) hit his third and fourth homers of the year to spark Double-A Tulsa’s 9-6 comeback win over San Antonio. Robinson led off an eventual five-run eighth inning with a solo shot after belting one in the fourth. He’s now on a six-game hitting streak, his longest of the season.

• Eduardo Diaz (D-backs’ No. 11) collected a season-high four hits for Class A Kane County in its 8-7 win over Cedar Rapids, raising his batting average 51 points, to .212, in the process. Trailing 6-2 in the bottom of the third inning, Diaz launched a three-run homer — his first since Sept. 2 — that helped propel Kane County to a comeback, as part of a five-run frame. Diaz also laced a pair of triples and racked up three RBIs.

Diaz goes yard

• Joe Dunand (Marlins’ No. 16) went 3-for-4 with a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning of Class A Advanced Jupiter’s game against Daytona, the seventh of the season for the infielder, who is now hitting .295 with an .820 OPS this year.

Austin Wynns (Orioles’ No. 22) homered for the second straight night as part of a 4-for-5 game in Triple-A Norfolk’s 9-3 win over Charlotte. The 27-year-old tied a career high in hits, the fourth time he’s notched at least four in a single game, while bringing his batting average up to .279 and his OPS to .777.

Wynns hits a homer

Enyel De Los Santos (Phillies’ No. 12) turned in yet another stellar start in what has been a consistent trend in 2018, going seven innings, while giving up just one earned run for Triple-A Lehigh Valley and lowering his ERA to an  Justin Smoak Blue Jays Jersey International League-best 1.39. He is arguably off to the best start of his career.

• Austin Franklin (Rays’ No. 13) gave up just one earned run over seven innings while tying a career high with nine strikeouts for Class A Bowling Green in its eventual 3-2 loss to Great Lakes.

• Scott Moss (Reds’ No. 21) tossed seven scoreless innings for Class A Advanced Daytona in a win over Jupiter, marking just the second time in his career he’s gone that deep into a start. He also struck out four and gave up just four hits in what was his best and most encouraging start of the seaso Men’s Mitchell and Ness Vintage 1993 Joe Carter Toronto Blue Jays Alternate Royal Blue Throwback Jersey n as he’s 4-2 with a 5.12 ERA.

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.

Joe Carter Throwback Jersey Jake Faria, Wilson Ramos exit with injuries

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays’ battery got wiped out due to third-inning injuries in a 4-2 loss to the Red Sox on Tuesda Joe Carter Jersey y night at Tropicana Field.

Starter Jake Faria exited first with a left oblique strain. Austin Pruitt came in to pitch, and two batters later, he bounced one in the dirt that skipped off the clay and hit catcher Wilson Ramos square on the top of his left hand.

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ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays’ battery got wiped out due to third-inning injuries in a 4-2 loss to the Red Sox on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.

Starter Jake Faria exited first with a left oblique strain. Austin Pruitt came in to pitch, and two batters later, he bounced one in the dirt that skipped off the clay and hit catcher Wilson Ramos square on the top of his left hand.

View Full Game Coverage


Ramos is expected to be ready to play and won’t go on the disabled list, but it’s likely that Faria’s injury will land him on the DL.

“[Faria is] going to miss some time,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We’ll get him checked out tomorrow before we announce anything, but in all fairness, he’s going to get looked at and we will have to make a decision.”

Video: BOS@TB: Ramos leaves the game with a left hand injury

Faria sounded frustrated by his night.

“If it’s not one thing, it’s another. … Everything up to this point has been a complete letdown,” Faria said. “I haven’t done anything to help this team win ballgames, and it’s another way of me letting them down.”

Faria had just struck out Andrew Benintendi for the second out in the third and he went 1-2 to Hanley Ramirez when he received a mound visit from Cash and assistant athletic trainer Joe Binge. After talking to Faria, they stood next to the mound as Faria threw a practice pitch.

Faria then left the game and Pruitt took over. Shortly thereafter, Ramos exited and was replaced by Jesus Sucre.

Faria allowed a three-run homer to Mookie Betts in the third that gave the Red Sox a 3-0 lead. The right-hander took Justin Smoak Jersey  the loss to move to 3-3 on the season.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

 Justin Smoak Blue Jays Jersey 
Tampa Bay Rays,
Jake Faria,
Wilson Ramos

Rays prospect Willy Adames pr Joe Carter Throwback Jersey omoted to MLB

The Tampa Bay Rays announced Tuesday that they have recalled shortstop Willy Adames from Triple-A Durham ahead of the club’s series opener against the Red Sox. He’ll make his Major League debut as the Rays’ starting shortstop, batting fifth in the contest.

The key return for Tampa Bay in the July 2014 Trade Deadline deal that sent David Price to the Tigers, the 22-year-old Adames is set to become Major League Baseball’s ninth-youngest player when he takes the field Tuesday.

The Tampa Bay Rays announced Tuesday that they have recalled shortstop Willy Adames from Triple-A Durham ahead of the club’s series opener against the Red Sox. He’ll make his Major League debut as the Rays’ starting shortstop, batting fifth in the contest.

The key return for Tampa Bay in the July 2014 Trade Deadline deal that sent David Price to the Tigers, the 22-year-old Adames is set to become Major League Baseball’s ninth-youngest player when he takes the field Tuesday.

 Men’s Mitchell and Ness Vintage 1993 Joe Carter Toronto Blue Jays Alternate Royal Blue Throwback Jersey 

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

The Rays’ No. 2 prospect and No. 22 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100, Adames has been a model of consistency on both sides of the ball during his professional career, and especially since joining Tampa Bay’s system.

Originally signed by Detroit at the outset of the 2012-13 international period, Adames was a little-known commodity when the Rays landed him as part of a three-team blockbuster with Seattle. The Dominican Republic native has since established himself as one of the more consistent prospects in the game while making a slow but impressive climb through the Minor Leagues.

Adames had a solid unspectacular first full season in Tampa Bay’s system, producing a .258/.342/.379 line with 34 extra-base hits and 10 steals over 106 games at age 19 in the Class A Advanced Florida State League. He blossomed the following year at Double-A Montgomery, slashing .274/.372/.430 and setting career highs in home runs (11), doubles (31) and stolen bases (13), all while improving upon his Justin Smoak Blue Jays Jersey  strikeout and walk rates from the previous year. Adames garnered honors as a Southern League All-Star along the way and represented the World Team at the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in July.

Advancing to Triple-A for the first time in 2017, Adames nearly mirrored his batting line from the previous year by hitting .277/.360/.415 with 10 homers and 30 doubles over 130 games. He returned to the International League in 2018 and was enjoying arguably the best offensive campaign of his career, hitting .311/.387/.466 through 40 games at the time of his promotion.

Video: Top Prospects: Willy Adames, SS, Rays

More than just a consistent producer, Adames has the requisi Joe Carter Throwback Jersey te tools and baseball acumen to become an impactful everyday shortstop, perhaps even an All-Star, in the Major Leagues.

Adames’ natural hitting ability stems from a combination of plus bat speed and advanced barrel control that enables him to consistently produce hard line-drive contact across the entire field from the right side of the plate. His approach is similarly advanced, as he’s long showed knowledge of the strike zone and knack for working deep counts. It has enabled Adames to coax walks at a 12.6 percent rate for his career, albeit with some steady swing-and-miss tendencies (22.9 percent strikeout rate).

Hitting for power will never be a focal point of Adames’ game, but the 6-foot, 200-pounder has shown in the past two-plus seasons that he’s capable of clearing his share of fences. That trend should continue as he adds strength to his athletic and projectable frame, and many scouts believe some of his doubles will eventually translate to home runs.

Overall, Adames’ blend of hard contact and patient approach has led evaluators to peg him as an above-average hitter at the highest level, one capable of hitting .280+ with double-digit home runs and plenty of extra-base pop to go along with strong on-base skills.

On the other side of the ball, Adames compensates for his average speed with excellent instincts and quick feet at shortstop, where he profiles as a plus defender with soft hands, smooth footwork and plus arm strength. And while he has committed at least 20 errors at the position in four straight seasons, Adames, like many young shortstops, is likely to chip away at that total as he hones his skills and learns to better control the speed of the game.

What’s more, Adames has endeared himself to Rays club officials with his outstanding makeup, as those within the organization are quick to acknowledge his leadership skills both on and off the field. They believe those qualities, along with his impressive physical tools, give him a chance to be a franchise cornerstone at a premium position.

With Adeiny Hechavarria on the 10-day DL and Joey Wendle now on the paternity list, Adames will have an immediate opportunity to make an impact in his first big league exposure. And while the glut of middle-infield talent on Tampa Bay’s roster suggests that his callup could be short-lived, it’s clear that the Rays are ready to see what the 22-year-old shortstop has to offer at the highest level.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.


Tampa Bay Rays

Rays c Joe Carter Throwback Jersey all up No. 2 prospect Willy Adames

ST. PETERSBURG — Willy Adames didn’t take long to make an impression in The Show during the Rays’ 4-2 loss to the Red Sox on Tuesday night.

The highly touted shortstop, who is ranked as the organization’s No. 2 prospect per MLB Pipeline, homered in his second at-bat, taking Boston ace Chris Sale deep to left field in the fourth inning to get Tampa Bay on the board and cut the Red Sox’s lead to 3-1. Wearing No. 1, Adames started at shortstop, batting fifth.

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ST. PETERSBURG — Willy Adames didn’t take long to make an impression in The Show during the Rays’ 4-2 loss to the Red Sox on Tuesday night.

The highly touted shortstop, who is ranked as the organization’s No. 2 prospect per MLB Pipeline, homered in his second at-bat, taking Boston ace Chris Sale deep to left field in the fourth inning to get Tampa Bay on the board and cut the Red Sox’s lead to 3-1. Wearing No. 1, Adames started at shortstop, batting fifth.

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“It was amazing,” Adames said. “When you see all those guys on TV, then you come here and hit a bomb against Sale. Amazing. I can’t tell you how happy I am right now, other than not getting the win.”

Tweet from @RaysBaseball: Same, @willya02. Same.#RaysUp pic.twitter.com/G5JiEuRQZT

And it almost didn’t happen — Adames arrived about 30 minutes before game time. 

“They told me at 1:20 that I had a flight at 2:50, so I missed the first flight,” Adames said. “I took the other [flight] at 3:30, and it was pretty crazy — I got here late, too.”

Willy Adames missed his first flight

Adames became the fifth Rays player to homer in his Major League  Joe Carter Jersey debut, joining Brandon Guyer, Elijah Dukes, Delmon Young and Brent Abernathy.

“That was pretty special for him,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “The home run, the at-bats, the intensity. … That’s the second guy here recently who has come up between him and Christian Arroyo, who have definitely looked the part with the confidence and it’s good to see.”

Adames was acquired in the trade that sent left-hander David Price to the Tigers in July 2014. On Wednesday night, Adames will be in the lineup to face Price, who is Boston’s scheduled starter.

“I’m really excited about it, because that’s the guy I got traded for,” Adames said. “I wanted to face him as soon as I got traded. So tomorrow’s the day.”

Video: Must C Classic: Adames hits HR off Sale for first hit

In 40 games at Triple-A Durham this season, Adames hit .311/.387/.466 with four home runs. In ’17, he hit .277/.360/.415 with 10 homers and 11 steals in 130 games for Durham. Cash told reporters that Adames will likely return to Durham after several days with the team. Adames said he understood.

“That’s part of the business, I guess,” Adames said. “I’m just trying to do my thing over here. Trying to do my job, trying to do my best, trying to help the team win.”

At 22 years and 262 days, Adames became the youngest posi Joe Carter Throwback Jersey tional player to make his Major League debut for the Rays since outfielder Wil Myers on June 18, 2013, in Boston and the youngest infielder since Reid Brignac on July 4, 2008, against Kansas City. Adames is the third-youngest active player in the American League behind Gleyber Torres (21 years, 160 days) and Rafael Devers (21 years, 210 days).

Video: BOS@TB: Cash and Adames discuss his MLB debut

Adames allowed that the home run “calmed me down  Justin Smoak Blue Jays Jersey a little bit.”

“Because I was a little nervous in the first inning,” he said.

Other than the home run, Adames had three strikeouts swinging. He played well in the field, starting two double plays and turning the pivot on another.

Video: BOS@TB: Adames starts the 6-4-3 double play

Tuesday’s move became necessary when Joey Wendle was put on the paternity list as he and his wife, Lindsay, became the parents of a baby boy.

“Well, first and foremost, congrats to Joey and Lindsay Wendle, baby boy, all good from what we’re understanding, that’s exciting,” Cash said. “I think kind of the perfect time. Joey’s a smart player. He ducks out when Sale and Price were pitching. That was a great idea on his part.

Video: BOS@TB: Robertson turns, Adames fires to first for DP

“But it presented an opportunity for Willy to come up here. He’s going to play two or three of the next days. I’m not sure how long Joey’s going to be gone, but anticipate definitely today and tomorrow. And then we’ll kind of see where we go from there. And then Willy’s going to go back.”

Rays starting shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria is also unavailable, as he landed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring sustained in a game against the Angels last Thursday.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.


Tampa Bay Rays,
Willy Adames

Wi Joe Carter Throwback Jersey lly Adames homers, but Rays fall to Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Prior to Tuesday night’s 4-2 Rays loss to the Red Sox, manager Kevin Cash told reporters that the Yankees and Red Sox “should be” a measuring stick for how the Rays stand.

Cash then added: “They’re ahead of us in the division. We have to play better.”

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 Joe Carter Jersey 

ST. PETERSBURG — Prior to Tuesday night’s 4-2 Rays loss to the Red Sox, manager Kevin Cash told reporters that the Yankees and Red Sox “should be” a measuring stick for how the Rays stand.

Cash then added: “They’re ahead of us in the division. We have to play better.”

View Full Game Coverage


On Tuesday night, the Rays played a close one, but once again they didn’t quite measure up to their American Leag Women’s Majestic Flexbase Authentic 14 Justin Smoak Toronto Blue Jays Alternate Royal Blue Jersey ue East rivals. The loss gave Boston an 8-3 advantage over Tampa Bay this season. Meanwhile, the Rays were unable to reach the .500 mark, dropping to 22-24 on the season.

Mookie Betts hit a three-run homer off Jake Faria in the third to stake the Red Sox to a 3-0 lead.

Video: BOS@TB: Betts launches his league-leading 16th HR

Willy Adames, who was making his Major League debut, answered for the Rays with a solo shot in the fourth and Daniel Robertson had a sacrifice fly in the fifth to cut the lead to 3-2. But Rafael Devers hit a solo home run off Austin Pruitt in the sixth to give the Red Sox a two-run cushion they would maintain.

Video: BOS@TB: Faria leave Justin Smoak Jersey s the game with injury in the 3rd

Chris Sale claimed the win to move to 5-1 on the season. Faria, who had to leave the game in the third inning with a left oblique strain, took the loss to fall to 3-3.

The Rays loaded the bases in the ninth vs. Boston closer Craig Kimbrel, but Mallex Smith grounded into a forceout to end the rally.

Video: BOS@TB: Cash on Adames’ debut, Faria’s injury in loss

“It turned out to be a better game than we were looking at when Jake came out of the ballgame,” Cash said. “Obviously, we did some frustrating things out on the field. I think overall you have to be fairly impressed with the guys. Put the pressure on Kimbrel, but even Chris Sale.”

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Making his Major League debut, Adames stepped to the p Men’s Mitchell and Ness Vintage 1993 Joe Carter Toronto Blue Jays Alternate Royal Blue Throwback Jersey late with one out in the fourth. The high-regarded shortstop, who is ranked the club’s No. 2 prospect by MLB Pipeline, struck out in his first at-bat, then watched a changeup for ball one before sending an 89.6-mph changeup from Sale into the left-field stands for his first Major League hit, and home run.

SOUND SMART
At 22 years, 262 days, Adames became the youngest positional player to make his Major League debut for the Rays since outfielder Wil Myers on June 18, 2013, in Boston and the youngest infielder since Reid Brignac on July 4, 2008, against Kansas City. Adames is the third-youngest active player in the AL behind Gleyber Torres (21 years, 160 days) and Devers (21 years, 210 days).

HE SAID IT
“I told him, I said, ‘I have to be there before 6:30, so please hurry up.’ And he was [going] fast. … He didn’t know anything about baseball. I was explaining everything, about the bases and everything.” — Adames, on his cab ride from the airport

UP NEXT
Chris Archer will start Wednesday night when the Rays host the Red Sox in a 7:10 p.m. ET contest at Tropicana Field. He did not allow a run in 6 2/3 innings in his last start, Thursday against the Angels. Archer is 2-12 with a 5.49 ERA in 20 starts against the Red Sox. David Price will start for the Red Sox.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.


Tampa Bay Rays,
Willy Adames,
Jake Faria,
Wilson Ramos

MJ Melendez leads Monday’s top Justin Smoak Canada Day Jersey performers

Here’s MLB Pipeline‘s roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Monday.

Fresh off earning MLB Pipeline Prospect Team of the Week honors, MJ Mel Men’s Majestic Flexbase Authentic 14 Justin Smoak Toronto Blue Jays Canada Day Red Jersey endez enjoyed the biggest offensive performance of his young career.

Here’s MLB Pipeline‘s roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Monday.

Fresh off earning MLB Pipeline Prospect Team of the Week honors, MJ Melendez enjoyed the biggest offensive performance of his young career.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Melendez, Kansas City’s No. 4 prospect, hit a three-run home run and a pair of doubles en route to a career-high six RBIs on Monday, pacing Class A Lexington in an 18-2 rout of Rome. He finished 3-for-6, also scoring two runs in the contest.

The Royals’ second-round pick in the 2017 Draft, Melendez was named to the Pipeline PTOW after he led all qualified team Top 30 prospects in slugging (1.042) and ranked second in home runs (tied-four) and OPS (1.503).

With his home run on Monday, the 19-year-old catcher has now homered in five of his past seven games, giving him eight home runs on the season along with a share of fourth place on the South Atlantic League leaderboard. Overall, Melendez has produced a .271 batting average with 21 extra-base hits and a .627 slugging percentage, the circuit’s second-best mark, in 31 games.

Lexington scored at least four runs in three different innings as the top five hitters in the Legends’ lineup combined for 17 hits and 13 RBIs. Among those standouts was first baseman Nick Pratto (No. 2), who went 3-for-5 with a double, three RBIs and three runs scored. The 2017 first-rounder is slashing .272/.321/.444 in his first full season, with six homers, 22 RBIs and five steals in 38 games.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Monday

No. 3 overall prospect Eloy Jimenez (White Sox No. 1) blasted his eighth home run, bumping him up to second place on the Double-A Southern League leaderboard. The solo shot was the lone hit in four at-bats for the 21-year-old outfielder, who owns a .328 average with 29 RBIs through 31 games.

Video: Top Prospects: Eloy Jimenez, OF, White Sox

• No. 22 overall prospect Willy Adames (Rays’ No. 2) tallied two hits, including a two-run homer with two outs in the fourth inning, his fourth homer this season. The 22-year-old shortstop has been consistent in his second tour of the International League, slashing .311/.387/.466 over 40 games.

Adames blasts homer

At the Class A Advanced level, Jesus Sanchez (No. 53 overall, Rays’ No. 4) hit a two-run homer and finished 2-for-5, leading Charlotte past Tampa, 12-9. The 20-year-old outfielder has put up big numbers so far in the Florida State League, producing a .353/.367/.549 batting line, six home runs and 30 RBIs in 37 games.

Video: Top Prospects: Jesus Sanchez, OF, Rays

• No. 48 overall prospect Keibert Ruiz (Dodgers’ No. 3) went 2-for-5 with his second home run in as many days as Double-A Tulsa fell to Arkansas, 7-6. The homer, a two-run shot in the eighth inning, was the 19-year-old catcher’s sixth in 33 games this season, and he’s now hitting .375 with eight RBIs during his current 10-game hitting streak. DJ Peters (No. 6) also homered for the Drillers, his ninth of the year.

Video: Top Prospects: Keibert Ruiz, C, Dodgers

• No. 68 overall prospect Jon Duplantier (D-backs’ No. 1) completed a season-high six innings of two-hit ball in his first scoreless start of the season as Double-A Jackson beat Pensacola, 5-0, in a rain-shortened game. He induced seven ground-ball outs and struck out six in  Marco Estrada Canada Day Jersey the outing, throwing 51 of his 73 pitches for strikes. The 23-year-old righty has pitched to a 2.37 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings (six starts) this season after getting a late start due to a hamstring injury.

Watch: Duplantier fans Long

Angels No. 11 prospect Jose Suarez racked up 11 strikeouts for a second straight start, tossing five scoreless innings of two-hit ball as Double-A Mobile blanked Jacksonville, 1-0, in Game 1 of a doubleheader. The 20-year-old lefty has already registered a trio of double-digit s Justin Smoak Canada Day Jersey trikeout performances this season and sports a 69-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in a combined 38 2/3 innings (nine starts) between Mobile and Class A Advanced Inland Empire.

Suarez fans 11th hitter

Brewers No. 18 prospect Jake Gatewood was perfect at the plate, going 4-for-4 with three doubles and three RBIs to help power Double-A Biloxi past Chattanooga, 12-7. The multi-hit effort was Gatewood’s sixth in his past 11 games, during which he’s improved his average from .175 to .241.

Watch: Gatewood bangs third double

Brewers No. 22 prospect Trey Supak posted six scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in Class A Advanced Carolina’s 4-2 win against Down East. He’s allowed two or fewer earned runs in all but one of his nine starts this season and currently ranks among the Carolina League leaders with a 1.76 ERA (second), 48 strikeouts (tied-second) and 51 innings pitched (first).

Cardinals No. 11 prospect Austin Gomber struck out nine batters over eight innings, marking his fourth eight-plus strikeout performance in his past five starts for Triple-A Memphis. The big left-hander allowed one earned run on six hits and two walks as he paced the Redbirds in a 2-1 win over Oklahoma City. He’s fanned 57 batters in 49 innings (eight starts) on the season while pitching to a 4.04 ERA.

Rangers No. 30 prospect Tyler Phillips hasn’t allowed an earned run in his past three starts after tossing seven scoreless innings in a no-decision for Class A Hickory. Throwing 55 of his 79 pitches for strikes, the 20-year-old right-hander yielded five hits and struck out seven while generating another nine outs via ground balls. He’s lowered his ERA from 4.73 to 2.86 across his past three turns, allowing 13 hits and striking out 18 in 17 1/3 innings.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Rays fans ask ab Justin Smoak Canada Day Jersey out prospects, hitting, more

You hear a lot about the guys like Willy Adames and Jake Bauers who are doing so well in Triple-A. Why haven’t the Rays called some of those players up?
— Donald H., Zephyrhills, Fla.

A part of that is the business of baseball. By not summoning a player to the big league club until later in the season, teams are delaying the start of the player’s Major League clock, thereby pushing back the beginning of that player’s arbitration eligibility. All teams do this. It’s accepted practice. In addition, the Rays adhere to the thinking that once they bring up the prospects they truly covet, they don’t want to have to send them back down. Adames, Bauers (the Nos. 2 and 5 prospects in the organization as ranked by MLB Pipeline) and others will be at Tropicana Field in the near future, I would think, and if you’re a Rays fan, you hope they’re ready to produce when they arrive.

You hear a lot about the guys like Willy Adames and Jake Bauers who are doing so well in Triple-A. Why haven’t the Rays called some of those players up?
— Donald H., Zephyrhills, Fla.

A part of that is the business of baseball. By not summoning a player to the big league club until later in the season, teams are delaying the start of the player’s Major League clock, thereby pushing back the beginning of that player’s arbitration eligibility. All teams do this. It’s accepted practice. In addition, the Rays adhere to the thinking that once they bring up the prospects they truly covet, they don’t want to have to send them back down. Adames, Bauers (the Nos. 2 and 5 prospects in the organization as ranked by MLB Pipeline) and others will be at Tropicana Field in the near future, I would think, and if you’re a Rays fan, you hope they’re ready to produce when they arrive.

I really enjoy the Rays’ approach to hitting this year. I’ve long thought that the problem with declining interest in baseball is not the length of the game but the lack of action within a game. Emphasizing home runs r Women’s Majestic Flexbase Authentic 14 Justin Smoak Toronto Blue Jays Canada Day Red Jersey esulted in bunches of strikeouts and few runners on base. The Rays’ approach this year seems to be making contact and putting the ball in play. Do you think the Rays’ management likes the results? Will they stick with it?
— Larry A., Seminole, Fla.

The Rays do have a different offense this season — one that relies more on making contact to drive home runners. The past two seasons they relied heavily on the long ball, and I would agree with you, I like putting the ball in play a lot more than long ball-strikeout. Timely hitting is the key for the Rays, and during this recent hot streak they had plenty of hits at the right time. We’ll just have to see if that continues.

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When it is clear that a pitcher, particularly in relief, has thrown a minimal number of pitches and is effective, why doesn’t Rays manager Kevin Cash stay with him instead of following the book? Once a pitcher is warmed up and throwing well you have used him, so another 15 pitches makes no difference.
— Blane C., Orange Park, Fla.

First, Cash is trying to win games. He also wants to put his pitchers in situations where they can succeed. The Rays’ front office puts a premium on analytics, so Cash is loaded with information for optimizing a situation with a certain pitcher vs. a certain hitter, how effective that pitcher is after a certain number of pitches, etc. Instincts are still involved, but the Rays would rather have a decision based on what the data tells them.

Of all the trades the Rays made prior to the season, I disapproved of the Steven Souza Jr. trade the most. The guy had 30 home runs last year and seems to have a big upside. I’m not exactly sure whether we got anything decent for h Blue Jays Canada Day Jersey im.
— Ben B., St. Petersburg

I share your opinion about Souza’s upside. He began the season injured, but I think he’ll get things going in Arizona. Having said that, I believe the Rays got some talent in return for Souza, beginning with left-hander Anthony Marcus Stroman Canada Day Jersey  Banda. He’s smooth looking out on the mound, and I don’t see any reason why he can’t be a big contributor to the team’s future success.

Do you think that totally overhauling the team is the reason for this start?
— Ron C., Beverly Hills, Fla.

Based on what I’ve gathered from comments made by the Rays’ front office, they felt like somewhat of an overhaul — without totally tanking — was needed. The thought was they were stuck in mediocrity on the path they were headed. I’d have to agree with that. I’ve heard a lot of criticism about the Rays breaking up the team they had last season, but seriously, breaking up an 80-82 team is hardly breaking up the ’27 Yankees.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.


Tampa Bay Rays

Kevin Cash bucking convention with bullp Justin Smoak Canada Day Jersey en

ANAHEIM — Turning convention on its ear is making Rays manager Kevin Cash more popular than ever, as the crowd grows  Blue Jays Canada Day Jersey during his pregame media scrum.

Cash answered questions Sunday, mostly about his strategy to have relievers open games — like on Saturday, when he used Sergio Romo in the first inning. As Cash was doing so, Rays pitcher Chris Archer emerged into the dugout to see the crowd gathered around his manager.

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ANAHEIM — Turning convention on its ear is making Rays manager Kevin Cash more popular than ever, as the crowd grows during his pregame media scrum.

Cash answered questions Sunday, mostly about his strategy to have relievers open games — like on Saturday, when he used Sergio Romo in the first inning. As Cash was doing so, Rays pitcher Chris Archer emerged into the dugout to see the crowd gathered around his manager.

View Full Game Coverage


“Popular today, Cash …” Archer said as he made his way to the field to stretch before Sunday’s game against the Angels.

“Yeah, tell me about it,” Cash said.

The Rays used Romo as their starter for the second consecutive day on Sunday. After the right-hander went one inning and struck out the side Saturday in the Rays’ 5-3 victory over the Angels, Romo again opened the game Sunday with three strikeouts, and he ended up going 1 1/3 innings (with two walks) in a game the Rays would lose, 5-2, at the hands of a dominant Shohei Ohtani and the Angels.

Vide Women’s Majestic Flexbase Authentic 14 Justin Smoak Toronto Blue Jays Canada Day Red Jersey o: TB@LAA: Romo, Cash discuss scoreless starts, future

Moving forward, the Rays do not plan on using their unique pitching setup all of the time, but they could use it for more right-handed-heavy lineups like the Angels have. Lefty-heavy lineups could also inspire the plan. Cash admitted that it makes less sense against a more balanced lineup — like the one the Indians possess, for example.

Without bring prompted, Cash did mention the right-handed top of the order of the Orioles. Matchups against the O’s, like the one next weekend at home, could mark the return of his bullpen “opener.”

“I don’t know if it’s that innovative or not, but I’m glad it  Justin Smoak Canada Day Jersey worked out [Saturday],” Cash said. “I’m intrigued to see how it’s going to continue to work, because I’m confident we’re going to do it. It might not just be Sergio. It might be [left-hander] Jonny Venters. It depends.

“It gives us the flexibility to be able to match up with the opposing lineup a little better when we can insert a guy in there to get three to six outs.”

The crux of the plan, according to Cash, is to get deeper into games while limiting the times a pitcher has to go through a lineup three times.

Cash said he talked to team president of baseball operations Matt Silverman to discuss how Saturday’s game turned out. The summary of Silverman’s response: What took you so long?

“‘Do you want my snarky answer? I tried to get you to do this three years ago,'” Silverman said, according to Cash. “He’s happy.”

Have there been any negative reactions thus far?

“I’ve been called an idiot, but that has happened before,” Cash joked.

Romo made a little bit of history with his weekend outings, his 589th and 560th career appearances. According to STATS, only three players had more career relief appearances before their first start — Troy Percival (638), Todd  Men’s Majestic Flexbase Authentic 14 Justin Smoak Toronto Blue Jays Canada Day Red Jersey Jones (632) and Chuck McElroy (603). In the past 40 years, there have been four instances in which a pitcher has started on consecutive days. The most recent occurrence happened in 2012. That season, Zack Greinke and C.J. Wilson each started two games in a row.

Greinke was a member of the Brewers when he started consecutive games. He was ejected on July 7, 2012, after throwing just four pitches against the Astros. He returned the next night and allowed three runs in three innings.

Greinke also started the following Brewers game as well. It came against the Pirates after the 2012 All-Star Break. He became the first pitcher to start three consecutive games in a season since Red Faber in 1917.

Wilson was the initial starter for the Angels against the Rangers on May 11, 2012. His start was cut short by a two-hour rain delay. Wilson only faced five batters before departing after the delay. He took the mound the following game and threw 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits.

Prior to 2012, former Rangers pitcher Aaron Myette (2002) and A’s pitcher Steve McCatty (1980) each performed back-to-back starts.

Myette faced a similar fate as Greinke. He was ejected after two pitches against the Orioles on Sept. 3, 2002, and he came back the next game. McCatty was the only pitcher of the group to throw at least an inning and then start the next day.

Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com.


Tampa Bay Rays

Sergio Romo to star Justin Smoak Canada Day Jersey t second straight game

It took Sergio Romo 11  Men’s Majestic Flexbase Authentic 14 Justin Smoak Toronto Blue Jays Canada Day Red Jersey years in the Majors to get his first big league start. And he got his second one on Sunday.

The Rays right-hander, who started Saturday night and pitched a scoreless inning in Tampa Bay’s 5-3 victory over the Angels, hurled a scoreless first inning on Sunday. After allowing a leadoff walk to Ian Kinsler, who later stole second base, Romo struck out Mike Trout and Justin Upton, then got Andrelton Simmons to ground out to third to end the first.

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It took Sergio Romo 11 years in the Majors to get his first big league start. And he got his second one on Sunday.

The Rays right-hander, who started Saturday night and pitched a scoreless inning in Tampa Bay’s 5-3 victory over the Angels, hurled a scoreless first inning on Sunday. After allowing a leadoff walk to Ian Kinsler, who later stole second base, Romo struck out Mike Trout and Justin Upton, then got Andrelton Simmons to ground out to third to end the first.

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Romo, who faced off against rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani in the series finale, came out for the second inning and walked Zack Cozart to open the frame. He fanned Jefry Marte before he was replaced by right-hander Matt Andriese, who finished off the inning with Cozart left at first base.

Ohtani in HR Derby? Scioscia won’t stop him

Romo joined a short list of players who have started on consecutive days in the last 40 years, including Zack Greinke and former big league hurlers C.J. Wilson, Aaron Myette, and Steve McCatty.

“It’s a completely different animal,” Romo said. “Kudos to all the starter Marco Estrada Canada Day Jersey s that can do that every fifth day. Plus, they get asked to throw 100 pitches. I barely got a quarter of that done today. It’s impressive what they do, and I can’t sit here and say I can do it as well as they can. But I got two zeros in the first inning, so I think I’m OK at this point.”

In addition, only three pitchers had more career relief appearances than Romo before making their first big league start: Troy Percival (638), Todd Jones (632) and Chuck McElroy (603).

Video: TB@LAA: Romo strikes out the side in 1st career start

For Rays manager Kevin Cash, the experiment of using a career reliever as a starter couldn’t be off to a better beginning.

“It did go really, really well,” Cash said of Romo’s start Saturday. “He opened the game with a slider just like he was pitching the eighth or ninth inning. So, we’re going back to Sergio, because it worked so well.”

Romo even enjoyed the benefits associated with a starter. He was sent home early after his Saturday outing to prepare for Sunday’s start.

“Sergio is pumped,” Cash said after Saturday’s game. “He’s treated himself as a starter. He’s left to get his rest and throw his one or two innings.”

While making consecutive starts may have been commonplace early in the game’s history, it hasn’t happened in nearly six years. The most recent occurrence was in 2012, when both Greinke and Wilson each started successive games.

Greinke was ejected in his start on July 7, 2012, after throwing four pitches against the Astros. He returned the next night and allowed three runs in three innings.

Greinke started the next Brewers game as well, but that was because it came after the All-Star break. Still, with the back-to-back-to-back starts, he became the first pitcher to start three consecutive games in a season since Red Faber in 1917.

Weather was the factor for Wilson’s feat. He started for the Angels against the Rangers on May 11, 2012. But his start was cut short by a two-hour rain delay. Marcus Stroman Canada Day Jersey  He faced only five batters before departing after the delay. He took the mound the following game and threw 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits.

Myette accomplished the feat with the Rangers in 2002. He faced a similar situation as Greinke. He was ejected after two pitches against the Orioles on Sept. 3, and came back the next game.

McCatty was a member of the A’s when he started two straight games in 1980, and his path to pitching the beginning of successive games most resembles Romo’s outing, as he threw an inning in his first outing and then started the next day.

Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta. Follow him on Twitter at @jaylonthompson.


Tampa Bay Rays,
Sergio Romo

Sergio Romo makes history in Rays los Justin Smoak Canada Day Jersey s

ANAHEIM — The Rays’ six-game win streak was snapped Sunday in a 5-2 defeat to the Angels at Angel Stadium, yet nothing could take away a successful road trip that has Tampa Bay feeling better about its prospects again.

Sunday’s loss materialized when the Angels scored on three sacrifice flies and added another tally on a ground out. The offense managed just two runs against Angels rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani.

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ANAHEIM — The Rays’ six-game win streak was snapped Sunday in a 5-2 defeat to the Angels at Angel Stadium, yet nothing could take away a successful road trip that has Tampa Bay feeling better about its prospects again.

Sunday’s loss materialized when the Angels scored on three sacrifice flies and added another tally on a ground out. The offense managed just two runs against Angels rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani.

View Full Game Coverage


And while the setback came while using reliever Sergio Romo again to absorb a few outs to start the game, the Rays continue to like what they see in their daring experiment that has the equivalent of a long man sandwiched by a reliever at the outset and more bullpen arms at the tail end of the game.

Romo once again opened the game with three strikeouts, but went 1 1/3 innings Sunday after opening with just one inning Saturday. Matt Andriese followed by giving up two runs over two innings, but neither were earned in a game that more accurately resembled a bullpen day for the Rays.

“It’s definitely outside of the box and is one of those things that came out of left field,” Romo said. “But I think it was really cool. It’s cool for the game of baseball from the strategic side. It’s unheard of, and it’s a lot of fun to be part of the unheard of … the abnormal.”

Romo said he tried to treat the last two days like any other relief appearance, outside of the fact that he had hours upon hours to chew on the exact moment he would pitch, as opposed to jumping off a bullpen chair and warming up as fast as possible. But, there was one unexpected aspect to pitching in the first inning.

“The one thing that was odd for sure, 100 percent, was going on to an unscathed mound,” said Romo, who was actually stepping onto a mound that had been used for a half inning by the Angels’ starter each of the last two days. “It was clean, it was pristine. It was like, ‘Woah, what is this?’ I kind of had to kick out [the dirt] to get the normal bump under my foot.”

Video: TB@LAA: Romo, Cash discuss scoreless starts, future

And that seemed to be as odd as it got for the pitchers who actually had to execute baseball’s newest strategy. Andriese has made 46 career starts, but 12 of his 14 outings this year have come in relief, so when he spelled Romo in the second inning, he wasn’t making much of the experience.

“If Sergio Romo is starting the game, you know it’s going to be a bullpen day,” Andriese said. “You know he won’t go more than two innings, so the bullpen is on full tilt, ready to go.”

The Rays went 7-4 on their road trip to Baltimore, Kansas City and Anaheim, with the success all the more impressive after it started by going 1-3 at Camden Yards. A three-game sweep over the Royals, and three consecutive victories over the Angels, moved the Rays to 22-22, the first time they reached .500 since they were 1-1 way back in March.

For leadoff hitter Denard Span, who went 0-for-4 but had an RBI groundout, the road trip’s success had him thinking of the Rays’ eight-game win streak toward the end of April. This run of success seemed to validate that one.

Video: TB@LAA: Field scores on Span’s groundout in the 8th

“I think that we’re starting to get the rest of the league’s atten Women’s Majestic Flexbase Authentic 14 Justin Smoak Toronto Blue Jays Canada Day Red Jersey tion … a little bit,” Span said. “But, we still have a long way to go, obviously. It’s only a quarter of way through the season and we just have to continue to work and get better.”

Despite the success, what will resonate from the trip is the execution of Saturday’s plan to have Romo make the first start of his 11-year career. The Rays went on to a 5-3 victory that day. Romo’s second start came less than 24 hours later, and even in a Rays’ defeat, the new pitching plan continues to have merit.

The Rays actually outhit the Angels 7-4 on Sunday. And the Angels’ two-run fourth inning was h Blue Jays Canada Day Jersey elped by an Andriese fielding error. Envisioning how the season will unfold just got a bit harder for Romo. And that is not a bad thing.

“Anything the team asks me to do,” Romo said. “I’m very thankful every day they let me through the doors. I have a locker with my name on it, a jersey with my name on it and an opportunity to play and contribute every day. If they ask me to start, obviously I’m down to start. If they ask me come pitch in the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th, 11th, 12th … yeah, I’m in. Whatever they want, I’m in.”

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
When the Angels took a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning on Martin Maldonado‘s sacrifice fly to center field, it was the first time that the Rays had trailed in a game since the end of their blowout one week prior, on May 13 against the Orioles. They would be unable to reclaim the lead.

Video: TB@LAA: Cozart scores on Maldonado’s sacrifice fly

SOUND SMART
The Rays’ six-game win streak that ended Sunday was the franchise’s longest on the road since an eight-game run in 2014 at Detroit, Minnesota and St. Louis. The Rays are also 10-2 over their last 12 games  Marco Estrada Canada Day Jersey at Angel Stadium, but are just 11-17 at home against the Angels since the start of 2010.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Rookie Johnny Field connected on his fourth career home run, going deep in the third inning against Ohtani. Two of those four home runs came in the series at Anaheim, as he also hit one Thursday. He is not only 17-for-48 (.354) over his last 14 games since April 28, he was 7-for-16 (.438) in the series against the Angels.

Video: TB@LAA: Field jacks a solo homer off Ohtani

HE SAID IT
“I’ll definitely play some center field. I don’t know if Slo-Mo Romo can run those balls down like K.K. [Kevin Kiermaier] or Mallex [Smith], or any of those guys, but I’ll stand out there,” — Romo, when asked if his offer to do anything the team needs includes playing center field

UP NEXT
After a day off Monday, right-hander Jake Faria (3-2, 5.20 ERA) will take the mound in the opener of a six-game homestand and three-game series against the Red Sox on Tuesday night with a 7:10 p.m. ET start time. Faria is 2-0 at home with a 1.74 ERA and has allowed one run of fewer in all four of his starts at Tropicana Field. The Red Sox will counter with left-hander Chris Sale (4-1, 2.29), who returns to pitch in his home state.

Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com.


Tampa Bay Rays,
Sergio Romo