Rays’ rally falls short in extras Arizona Cardinals Custom Jersey vs. Marlins

MIAMI — What happened Monday night in Miami didn’t change the vibe in the Rays’ clubhouse.

Yeah, the Marlins cooled off the hot Rays with a 3-2 win in 10 innings at Marlins Park, but the Rays still feel like they’ve got something special.

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MIAMI — What happened Monday night in Miami didn’t change the vibe in the Rays’ clubhouse.

Yeah, the Marlins cooled off the hot Rays with a 3-2 win in 10 innings at Marlins Park, but the Rays still feel like they’ve got something special.

View Full Game Coverage


“I think we’re kind of findi Customized Falcons Jersey ng a little bit of an identity here,” third baseman Matt Arizona Cardinals Custom Jersey  Duffy said. “Kind of being a scrappy team. We’re starting to believe we can play with anybody. And we’re starting to realize that in order to do that, we’re going to have to play nine innings of focused baseball. Today happened to be 10. It’s a frustrating loss, especially after coming back in the ninth. But we think we can play with anybody.”

Video: TB@MIA: Hechavarria plates Robertson on a sac fly

Heading into Monday night’s loss, the Rays’ rearview mirror showed an 8-1 homestand against the Yankees, Nationals and Astros. But they couldn’t find the magic to finish things off against the Marlins.

Ryne Stanek walked Brian Anderson to start the 10th, and J.T. Realmuto singled to center to move Anderson to third. Yadiel Rivera then singled on a ground ball to Duffy to score Anderson and give the Marlins a walk-off win.

“I just came in a Women’s Nike Customized Atlanta Falcons Elite Away White NFL Football Uniform nd was really, really erratic with the fastball,” Stanek said. “And, obviously, it showed. Didn’t throw [Anderson] a strike. Didn’t make it a competitive at-bat. And free passes, usually leadoff walks, tend to hurt.”

Duffy thought he could make a play on Rivera’s ball, which he tried to backhand going into foul territory before making a throw home.

“I just didn’t get a grip,” Duffy said. “Rushed the transfer. I think I should have made that play. I feel like that play is one of my strengths — backhanded, on the run.”

Video: TB@MIA: Rivera grounds a walk-off single in the 10th

The Rays showed their grit by sending the game into extra innings after being down to their final out. Marlins closer Kyle Barraclough had not blown a save since May 8, and he only needed to retire C.J. Cron to notch his ninth save of the season. But Cron doubled home Jake Bauers to tie the score at 2.

“It’s been a lot of fun here of late,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Today was a tough one, but we came back. We tied the game off a really good pitcher.”

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Miami loaded the bases against starter Nathan Eovaldi with one out in the fourth, prompting the Rays to play their infield in. Lewis Brinson grounded up the middle, and the ball appeared to get through until Adeiny Hechavarria stabbed the ball going to his left, whirled and threw to home to get the forceout at the plate. Eovaldi then retired Wei-Yin Chen on a fielder’s choice at second to end the threat.

Video: TB@MIA: Hechavarria delivers a spinning throw home

SOUND SMART
Stanek’s scoreless-innings streak ended Monday night. He carried into his appearance a scoreless streak covering 12 appearances (seven starts) and 15 2/3 innings pitched.

HE SAID IT
“Leadoff walk comes to get you. Ryne’s thrown the ball so well for us in the ‘opener’ role. He’s done some good things in the later innings. But that leadoff walk, you just know with the lineup coming up with one run to play for, they can come and get you. And ultimately they did.” — Cash, on Stanek’s misfortunes in the 10th

UP NEXT
Ryan Yarbrough will start Tuesday when the Rays play the Marlins in a 7:10 p.m. ET contest at Marlins Park. He took the loss on Thursday against the Astros when he allowed one run on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. Right-hander Trevor Richards will start for the Marlins.

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


Tampa Bay Rays,
Nathan Eovaldi

Wilson Ramos leading Arizona Cardinals Custom Jersey AL catchers in ASG vote

HOUSTON — Chances for Wilson Ramos, “the Buffalo,” are looking good for winning the American League starting catcher spot at this year’s Midsummer Classic.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

HOUSTON — Chances for Wilson Ramos, “the Buffalo,” are looking good for winning the American League starting catcher spot at this year’s Midsummer Classic.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

The fourth vote for the 2018 All-Star Game was announced on Monday, and Ramos advanced his lead on Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez. Ramos has 1,556,195 votes. while Sanchez remains in second with 1,116,568 votes.

Last week, Ramos led Sanchez by 159,030 votes, and he now leads by 439,627 votes. After the announcement of the first vote, Sanchez led Ramos by 15,311 votes.

Rays fans need to continue voting if they want to see Ramos earn the starting spot.

Fans may cast votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites — on computers, tablets and smartphones — exclusively online using the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot until Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps. Each fan can vote up to five times in any 24-hour period, for a maximum of 35 ballots cast.

Following the announcement of this year’s All-Star starters, reserves and pitchers, fans should return to MLB.com and cast their 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Final Vote for the final player on each league’s roster. Then on Tuesday, July 17, while watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, fans may visit MLB.com to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverag Women’s Nike Customized Atlanta Falcons Elite Away White NFL Football Uniform e in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Ramos is in his second season with the Rays, and he has performed well. In addition to handling his catching duties, he has been a solid performer on off Custom Atlanta Falcons Jersey ense. Entering Monday, Ramos was hitting .290 with 11 home runs and 43 RBIs.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for  Custom Cardinals Jersey MLB. Arizona Cardinals Custom Jersey com since 2004.


Tampa Bay Rays,
Wilson Ramos

Arizona Cardinals Custom Jersey Wilson Ramos in line to start All-Star Game

ST. PETERSBURG — Wilson Ramos has increased his lead on the Yankees’ Gary Sanchez to represent the American League at catcher for this year’s Midsummer Classic.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

View Full Game Coverage


ST. PETERSBURG — Wilson Ramos has increased his lead on the Yankees’ Gary Sanchez to represent the American League at catcher for this year’s Midsummer Classic.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

View Full Game Coverage


The third voting update for this year’s All-Star Game was announced for the AL on Tuesday, and Ramos continued to lead the Yankees’ catcher. Ramos has 1,063,708 votes, while Sanchez remains in second with 904,678 votes.

“I certainly hope [Ramos wins the spot],” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “He’s had a really good showing. … He’s done a lot of good things for us here lately. It’s good fans are recognizing that. Good that our fans are recognizing that. He’s very, very deserving.”

Last week, Ramos led Sanchez by 59,260 votes, and he now leads Sanchez by 159,030 votes Customized Falcons Jersey .

Rays fans need to con Women’s Nike Customized Atlanta Falcons Elite Away White NFL Football Uniform tinue voting if they want to see Ramos earn the starting spot.

Fans may cast v Custom Atlanta Falcons Jersey otes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites — on computers, tablets and smartphones — exclusively online using the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot until Thursday, July 5, at 11:59 p.m. ET. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps. Each fan can vote up to five times in any 24-hour period, for a  Arizona Cardinals Custom Jersey maximum of 35 ballots cast.

Following the announcement of this year’s All-Star starters, reserves and pitchers, fans should return to MLB.com and cast their 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Final Vote for the final player on each league’s roster. Then on Tuesday, July 17, while watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, fans may visit MLB.com to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Ramos, who is in his second season with the Rays, has performed well. In addition to handling his catching duties, he has been a solid performer on offense. After Monday night’s action — which saw Ramos hit two home runs against the Nationals — the veteran backstop was hitting .293 with 11 home runs and 39 RBIs.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com.


Tampa Bay Rays,
Wilson Ramos

Chris Archer a valuable chip in Arizona Cardinals Custom Jersey ‘weak’ market

With a trade market for starting pitchers termed “weak” by two executives, one name is consistently mentioned in virtually every conversation on the subject: Chris Archer.

The Rays right-hander is nearing a return from the disabled list, having been sidelined since early June with an abdominal strain. Archer may have a pedestrian 4.24 ERA this season, though he had been having a solid stretch when he landed on the DL, with a 2.47 ERA over a sev Custom Atlanta Falcons Jersey en-start run beginning May 1. 

With a trade market for starting pitchers termed “weak” by two executives, one name is consistently mentioned in virtually every conversation on the subject: Chris Archer.

The Rays right-hander is nearing a return from the disabled list, having been sidelined since early June with an abdominal strain. Archer may have a pedestrian 4.24 ERA this season, though he had been having a solid stretch when he landed on the DL, with a 2.47 ERA over a seven-start run beginning May 1. 

One general manager wonders why the Rays would be in a rush to move their pitcher, noting that the 29-year-old Archer is under control through 2021 at a team-friendly price of roughly $31 million.

“The days of a five- or six-year rebuild are over,” the GM said. “Everyone tries to rebuild on the fly now; how many of us have a five-year leash? It makes more sense to try building around Archer than to trade him, unless you’re worried he might get hurt.”

Rays senior vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom doesn’t disagree. He understands why Tampa Bay constantly gets asked about Archer, but Bloom said it’s no foregone conclusion that the starter gets dealt this summer.

“When you have a player of Chris’ caliber, you’re going to get calls and teams are going to be interested,” Bloom said. “With what we’re trying Customized Falcons Jersey  to build here and the core group that we’re trying to add to, players like Chris are exactly the type of guy that we need more of. He’s a guy that we can win with and can build around.

“We have to be open-minded to all possibilities, though, and when you have opportunities to add to the core group and to add to it in meaningful ways, we have to think about those opportunities. But in general, guys like Arch are exactly the type of guys that we want to bring in here.”

It’s hardly a surprise to hear Archer’s name involved in trade rumors. The Rays have dealt several stars over the years, though rarely has Tampa Bay traded a name player without doing plenty of due diligence. Archer’s name has surfaced in rumors for more than a year, so it’s unlikely that this year’s situation would impact him any differently.

“Tampa Bay is as adept as any club at gauging the value of their most valuable players — while not straining the relations with those players,” the executive said. “They’re very attentive to seeing when the stock seems to be ebbing or flowing, and they make moves accordingly. They certainly seem to have been able to walk the line between engendering loyalty and camaraderie while also shopping their players to see what value they have. It’s an interesting tightrope act that they have had.”

Bloom acknowledges that fine line, taking pride in the way he and his fellow front-office members keep open lines of communication with players throughout the year.

“They know that we’re going to be accessible to them, and we’re going to be honest with them and as upfront as we possibly can be,” Bloom said. “When we can’t make iron-clad promises, we don’t. They know that there is a business aspect to this and that when you perform, you’re going to be popular with other teams and that might lead to some conversations. They can ask us questions and we’re going to be straight shooters.”

The Rays are in a tough position, trying to contend with a low payroll in a stacked American League East. Tampa Bay drew criticism for its offseason moves, which included trading away Evan Longoria — their longtime face of the franchise — Jake Odorizzi, Steven Souza Jr., Corey Dickerson and Brad Boxberger, leading many to believe that an Archer deal would be among the next moves

Even after dealing Alex Colome and Denard Span to the Mariners last month — a move that opened up when Seattle picked up about $11 million to s Arizona Cardinals Custom Jersey pend following Robinson Cano‘s suspension — the Rays aren’t resigned to moving Archer (or anyone else) for certain, though it certainly can’t be ruled out.

“Our top priority is to continue to build this sustainable, competitive core that we’re working to build,” Bloom said. “A lot of the pieces to that core are on the club already, and over the course of last year and this year, we’ve continued to integrate more guys into our Major League roster that we feel can be big parts of that core. As far as outside acquisitions are concerned, we have to look for and stay open to opportunities to bring more players in here who have a chance to be a part of that.”

Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001.


Tampa Bay Rays,
Chris Archer

Rays have MLB’s be Ty Montgomery Jersey st ERA since starting Romo

On May 19, Sergio Romo took the mound to be Tampa Bay’s first “opener.” A week later, the club traded longtime closer Alex Colome to Seattle. Since then, the injury-plagued Rays have also lost Chris Archer and Jake Faria from a staff that’s already seen Brent Honeywell, Jose De Leon and Anthony Banda undergo Tommy John surgery. Other than thre Men’s Nike Green Bay Packers Ty Montgomery Elite Team Color Jersey Cheap e games with Baltimore, every team they’ve played since then has had a winning record.

This is the perfect recipe for disaster. This is how seasons implode. It hasn’t happened. Since May 19, Tampa Bay has had baseball’s most productive pitching staff. That’s a pretty big claim, and it’s not the same thing as the best pitching staff, but the numbers tell a pretty strong story. Since that day, here’s how the Rays’ staff ranks.

On May 19, Sergio Romo took the mound to be Tampa Bay’s first “opener.” A week later, the club traded longtime closer Alex Colome to Seattle. Since then, the injury-plagued Rays have also lost Chris Archer and Jake Faria from a staff that’s already seen Brent Honeywell, Jose De Leon and Anthony Banda undergo Tommy John surgery. Other than three games with Baltimore, every team they’ve played since then has had a winning record.

This is the perfect recipe for disaster. This is how seasons implode. It hasn’t happened. Since May 19, Tampa Bay has had baseball’s most productive pitching staff. That’s a pretty big claim, and it’s not the same thing as the best pitching staff, but the numbers tell a pretty strong story. Since that day, here’s how the Rays’ staff ranks.

Tampa Bay’s pitching ranks since May 19
First in ERA (2.87)
First in opposing batting average (.205)
First in on-base percentage (.282)
First in slugging percentage (.338)
First in wOBA (.271)
First in ground ball rate (46.6 percent)

The Rays had a 4.45 ERA when they started their new strategy, eighth worst in baseball. They’ve shed some talented pitchers since then, yet seen their fortunes completely turn around. Based on the enormous change in performance, it’s simple to say that trying something innovative that no other team had committed to before — and that almost no one has followed in doing since — is the reason for their success. The “opener” is behind all of this. Right? 

Not quite. If it were, 29 other teams would be doing the same thing. “The opener” is a good idea, and it matters, but what’s driving this pitching performance for Tampa Bay is a little more complicated. Let’s figure out why.

1. The Rays’ ace is pitching like an ace
For all the focus on how the Rays are challenging the accepted roles of a pitching staff, the biggest reason for their success is coming from the most traditional source of all: a starter who is actually being used like a starter. You might think that when we say “ace,” we’re talking about Archer. We’re not. Tampa Bay’s real ace is lefty Blake Snell.

Video: WSH@TB: Snell freezes Soto with a nasty curveball

A year ago at this time, Snell was in the Minors, having been optioned down in May due to continuing inconsistency. When he returned in late June, he was a different pitcher, crediting a change in where he positioned himself on the mound. So far in 2018, Snell has legitimately been one of the best pitchers in the game, as a career-high strikeout rate (28.1 percent) and a career-low walk rate (10 percent) have helped him post a 2.31 ERA.

Snell also has the third-lowest hard-hit rate (27.4 percent) of the 121 starters who have allowed 150 batted balls. Since Tampa Bay started with “the opener,” he’s been all but untouchable; only Atlanta’s Mike Foltynewicz (1.22) has a lower ERA than Snell (1.27). If the Rays had five Snells, they wouldn’t need “the opener” at all. The one they have is pitching like one of baseball’s best.

2. Tampa Bay is getting a ton more ground balls
There have been 13 pitchers to appear for the Rays both before they started “the opener” and after. That includes the big names like Snell and Archer, but also lesser-known arms like Jose Alvarado, Ryne Stanek (himself an “opener” six times), Ryan Yarbrough and Austin Pruitt.

For that baker’s dozen of pitchers, some of the metrics haven’t changed much at all. They struck out 22.7 percent of hitters through May 18, and 23.8 percent since, though that’s been balanced out by the fact that after walking 8.1 percent of hitters through May 18, they’re walking 9.5 percent since.

Their hard-hit rate hasn’t changed (34.2 percent before, 34.7 percent since). Their on-base percentage has only dropped slightly, from .302 to .295. Even the group’s BABIP hasn’t changed, holding steady at .279 before and .275 since.

So what has changed? Their slugging percentage has dropped from .396 to .339, a sizable difference of 57 points, and that’s in large part because a grounder rate that was below 42 percent before (ranked 23rd) has be an MLB-best 49 percent since.

Now, what’s behind that may be more comp Randall Cobb Jersey licated than we can get into here, but one thing is for sure: The Rays are simply pitching differently. Taking these 13 pitchers as a group, they’re throwing fewer four-seamers and more sinkers and curveballs, which is a great way to get more grounders. (Also worth noting: Only one team has allowed a lower average on fly balls in play, making for a powerful combination.)

Perhaps most notable in that group is Chaz Roe, best known for his physics-defying slider. He’s doubled his sinker usage, he’s added 15 points to his grounder rate — and he’s allowed one run in 15 post-“opener” games.

3. The new guys are pitching better than the old guys
It’s not all the same pitchers, of course. Setting aside appearances b position players and brief cameos from Hunter Wood and Chih-Wei Hu, there were two Rays pitchers who saw time before “the opener” who haven’t appeared since. Andrew Kittredge, who had a 9.72 ERA and a .410 wOBA in 16 2/3 innings, was entirely ineffective. Yonny Chirinos showed promise (3.71 ERA, .309 wOBA) in six outings, but he hasn’t appeared since April 28.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay has benefited from some outstanding performances from some brand-new and well-traveled arms. Wilmer Font is already on his third team of the season, and his results with the Rays have been stunning — after a 11.32 ERA with the Dodgers and a 14.85 mark with the A’s, he’s allowed four runs in 22 innings for Tampa Bay, perhaps helped in part by the club’s move to push him to the third-base side of the rubber. Vidal Nuno, who is on his fifth team in the past five years, has a 1.56 ERA in 17 1/3 innings.

Video: NYY@TB: Font allows 3 hits, earns 1st career win

Rookie Diego Castillo has a 1.46 ERA in his first 12 1/3 innings, striking out 13, while Nathan Eovaldi, who was injured on the eve of the season just shut out the Nationals over six innings. Font, Nuno, Castillo and Eovaldi all have better wOBA marks than Kittredge or Chirinos.

Has “the opener” mattered?
Those are all legitimate reasons for improvement, and few of them have anything to do with “the opener.” So: Is it actually working? Or is Tampa Bay’s good performance about unrelated issues?

It’s a complicated question, because it’s hard to evaluate. In “opener games,” the Rays have had a 3.64 ERA; in games where they haven’t, since May 19, they’ve had a 2.55 ERA. You could take that to mean that it’s not working, but of course that is not the correct way to look at it, because only the non-“opener” group benefits from Snell.

Ultimately, you’d want to see if “the opener” games featured better platoon advantages and fewer times where a pitcher was facing hitters for the third time through. That hasn’t really manifested yet, in part because there’s only been about a dozen “opener” games, and in part because since Romo’s first start, they’ve had nine relief appearances of at least fi Randall Cobb Jersey Cheap ve innings, somewhat negating those effects. Some of this is just too soon to say.

Tampa Bay won’t pitch like this all year, because journeymen like Font and Nuno have shown no track record of this kind of success, because “the opener” is not a secret potion, and because this is simply not baseball’s best pitching staff.

The Rays are better tha Ty Montgomery Jersey For Sale n you think, though. Snell really is this good. Archer has been in the past. Despite the narrative of the offseason, the Rays really haven’t missed Alex Cobb or Jake Odorizzi, and “the opener,” while still unproven, remains a valid experiment built on sound reasoning. It’s just not the reason Tampa Bay is succeeding — not yet.

Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast.


Tampa Bay Rays,
Sergio Romo,
Blake Snell

Astros Kyle Ty Montgomery Jersey Tucker leads top prospects

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

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

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Kyle Tucker isn’t just knocking on the door of the Major Leagues — he’s nearly knocking it down.

Tucker, the Astros’ No. 1 prospect (No. 10 overall), connected on a first-inning homer as he extended his hitting streak to 15 games in Triple-A Fresno’s 9-5 loss against El Paso. It was the second homer in as many days for Tucker, who finished 1-for-5 at the plate in Tuesday’s contest.

After a modest first two months of his season, Tucker has erupted in June to slash .411/.450/.678 with 37 hits, including 13 extra-base hits, in 22 games. The 21-year-old outfielder is hitting .484 (31-for-64) during his hitting streak, while his overall average has jumped from .269 to .316 thanks to nine multihit performances in that span.

Meanwhile, with 12 home runs and 13 steals already this season, Tucker is well on his way toward achieving his second straight 20-homer, 20-stolen base campaign after he totaled 25 and 21, in 2017. He also ranks among the Pacific Coast League leaders with 59 RBIs (second), 59 runs scored (second), 92 hits (third) and 153 total bases (third).

Tucker hits 12th homer

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Tuesday

• No. 27 overall prospe Ty Montgomery Jersey For Sale ct Kyle Wright (Braves’ No. 3) allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits and three walks but also set a career high with 13 strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision for Double-A Mississippi. He settled down after a rocky first inning to strike out the side in order in each of the next two frames. The 22-year-old righty has pitched to a 4.11 ERA in 16 starts this season, compiling 84 strikeouts and 36 walks in 82 1/3 innings.

Wright’s 13th strikeout

• No. 38 overall prospect Jo Adell (Angels’ No. 1) launched his sixth homer in 11 games as well as a double to finish 2-for-4 in his third straight multihit game for Class A Advanced Inland Empire. The 19-year-old outfielder has hit 10 of his 16 homers in the 31 games since his promotion to the California League. He’s hitting .329 overall, with 75 hits, 53 RBIs, and 11 steals in 56 games across two levels. Brandon Marsh also had a big game for the 66ers, as the Angels’ No. 4 prospect (No. 91 overall) hit a pair of triples and scored two runs to finish 3-for-4.

Watch: Adell goes yard

• No. 50 overall prospect Matt Manning (Tigers’ No. 2) allowed one earned run on eight hits in his second straight seven-inning start for Class A West Michigan. The 2016 first-rounder recorded eight strikeouts and did not issue a walk in the outing, throwing 67 of his 90 pitches for strikes. Manning, 20, owns a 3.40 ERA with 76 strikeouts and a .229 opponents’ average in 55 2/3 innings (11 starts) on the season.

Manning fans eighth batter

Blue Jays No. 28 prospect Jonathan Davis became the first player in Double-A New Hampshire’s franchise history to hit for the cycle. He accomplished feat in his first four at-bats, too, tallying a double and a home run in the first two innings, respectively, before adding a fourth-inning single and a triple in the sixth to finish 4-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored. The 26-year-old outfielder is hitting  Randall Cobb Jersey Cheap .307 in 70 games this season and leads the Eastern League with 86 hits.

Davis triples for cycle

• Braves No. 18 prospect Drew Waters hit a solo home run and went 2-for-4 out of the leadoff spot as Class A Rome edged Greenville, 4-3. It was the seventh home run of the season for the 19-year-old switch-hitter, who’s hitting .298/.348/.535 with 34 extra-base hits and 11 steals in his first full season. Right-hander Freddy Tarnok (Braves’ No. 24) logged a career-high four scoreless innings, mixing one hit with one walk and five strikeouts, to earn the win out of the bullpen. The 19-year-old has been excellent this season, posting a 1.26 ERA with 49 strikeouts and a .164 BAA over 35 2/3 innings (16 appearances).

Watch: Waters blasts homer

Dodgers No. 13 prospect Cristian Santana had been 0-for-20 in his previous five games before connecting on a pair of solo homers in Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga’s 6-0 win against Lake Elsinore. The two homers pushed Santana’s season total to 12, a new career high for the 21-year-old first baseman after he went deep 10 times in 54 games during an eye-opening 2017 campaign.

• Giants first-rounder and No. 2 overall pick Joey Bart hit his first pro double in his first career multihit game in the Rookie-level Arizona League. The 21-year-old backstop finished the game 2-for-3 with a walk, one day after tallying his first career knock. Playing in 57 games as a Georgia Tech junior this past spring, Bart batted .359/.471/.632 with 16 homers.

Marlins No. 20 prospect Jordan Yamamoto was lights-out once again as he improved to 4-0 in six starts by leading Class A Advanced Jupiter past St. Lucie, 1-0. Tossing seven scoreless innings for a second straight start, the 22-year-old righty scattered four hits, walked one and struck out two while throwing 61 of his 92 pitches for strikes. Yamamoto sports a 1.30 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in 34 2/3 innings this season — his first in Miami’s system after coming over from Milwaukee in the offseason Christian Yelich trade.

Pirates No. 10 prospect Taylor Hearn fired a seven-inning shutout, allowing four hits and striking out seven, in Game 1 of Double-A Altoona’s eventual doubleheader sweep of Harrisburg. It was the first shutout of Hearn’s career and his second complete game after the 23-year-old left-hander was credited with a complete game in his most recent turn — a rain-shortened, four-inning loss. Hearn has been impressive in his first Double-A campaign, pitching to a 3.28 ERA with 83 strikeouts and 28 walks in 74 innings (14 starts).

Hearn’s seventh strikeout

• Another big night at the plate from Rays No. 14 prospect Brandon Lowe was the difference in Triple-A Durham’s 6-4 win over Charlotte. The 23-year-old hit his sixth homer in as many games, matched his season high with five RBIs and reached base four times, ultimately finishing the games 3-for-5 with a walk and two runs scored. Overall, Lowe has compiled a .289/.391/.540 batting line with a career-high 14 homers across two levels this season.

Lowe smacks three-run homer

Twins No. 11 prospect Lewis Thorpe racked up seven strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings of one-run, four-hit ball in a no-decision for Double-A Chattanooga. The 22-year-old southpaw has fanned 28 batters in 19 innings over his past three starts — highlighted by a career-best 12-strikeout effort in his most recent turn — during which he’s also lowered his 2018 ERA from 4.95 to 4.06.

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

N Ty Montgomery Jersey athan Eovaldi flirts with no-hitter vs. Nats

ST. PETERSBURG — Nathan Eovaldi carried the torch on Tuesday afternoon.

Not even 24 hours after Blake Snell held the Nationals hitless for six innings, Eovaldi held Washington hitless f Randall Cobb Jersey or 5 2/3 innings to lead the Rays to a 1-0 win at Tropicana Field.

View Full Game Coverage


ST. PETERSBURG — Nathan Eovaldi carried the torch on Tuesday afternoon.

Not even 24 hours after Bla Ty Montgomery Jersey ke Snell held the Nationals hitless for six innings, Eovaldi held Washington hitless for 5 2/3 innings to lead the Rays to a 1-0 win at Tropicana Field.

View Full Game Coverage


Bryce Harper finally ended the no-no suspense when he doubled with two outs in the sixth to break up the bid. Eovaldi finished with six scoreless innings before handing off to Diego Castillo to start the seventh.

Video: TB@WSH: Harper doubles, breaks up Eovaldi’s no-hitter

“I felt really good today,” Eovaldi said. “I had my splitter going today I felt like for the first time since being back [from the disabled list]. My fastball command was there. My cutter was really good today. We had some good plays in the infield being made and we were able to score.”

Eovaldi allowed just the one hit and two walks while striking out nine, throwing 100 pitches, of which 64 were strikes.

“He’s got good stuff,” said Nats outfielder Michael A. Taylor of Eovaldi. “He’s got a good cutter. He’s got a good fastball. He works quick. You just have to get him in the zone and it is a different game.”

On May 30, Eovaldi made his first start of the season and held the A’s scoreless on no hits through six innings before getting lifted. When asked to compare the two outings, he noted that he was able to have fastball command in both.

Video: WSH@TB: Cash on Eovaldi besting Scherzer, scuffle

“I was able to get first-pitch strikes and keep attacking the zone,” Eovaldi said. “The split felt really good for me today. Being able to get first-pitch strikes and then being able to throw that below the zone was really effective for me.”

Benches clear after last out of game

Kevin Kiermaier singled off Max Scherzer in the first and later scored on a Jake Bauers groundout to give the Rays a 1-0 lead. That was all they would get off Scherzer, but one run was all they needed. An eventful ninth ended with Sergio Romo coming on with one out and the bases loaded to record the final two outs and earn his sixth save. Both benches then cleared after Romo exchanged words with Taylor, whom he had fanned for the final out.

Video: WSH@TB: Cash moves Alvarado to 1st in eventful 9th

The final frame began with manager Kevin Cash moving players all over the field — including having Jose Alvarado, a left-handed pitcher, move to first base for a batter, then return to face another batter. Although Alvarado allowed three baserunners sandwiched around his stint at first, the strategy nonetheless proved successful, as Chaz Roe retired the only batter he faced and Romo clamped down to end the game.

Video: WSH@ Ty Montgomery Jersey For Sale TB: Benches empty after Romo’s K for 6th save

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Getting to Scherzer early: Hitting second in the order, Matt Duffy stepped to the plate in the first to face Scherzer with Kiermaier on first. Duffy then battled the Nationals’ ac Randall Cobb Jersey Cheap e until he singled on his 10th offering, allowing Kiermaier to reach third. Kiermaier then scored on Bauers’ groundout for the game’s only run.

Video: WSH@TB: Kiermaier scores on Bauer’s fielder’s choice

SOUND SMART
The Rays improved to 5-0 on their nine-game homestand against the Yankees, Nationals and Astros (four games starting Thursday). They are 7-2 in their past nine games, all against teams currently .500 or better — they were 8-28 against teams .500 or better before this stretch.

YOUNG MAN
Bauers’ first-inning RBI accounted for the only run of the game. At 22 years, 263 days, he became the youngest player in franchise history to drive in the only run of a 1-0 win.

HE SAID IT
“We are playing a really good team in Washington. A 1-0 win and finding a way to be the game’s best. That pulls a lot of passion and emotion out of it. This group has been pretty special the way they carry themselves all year long. They will continue to do that. It took all of our defense and some great pitching to win this series.” — Cash, on the confrontation at the end of the game

UP NEXT
Ryne Stanek will start for the Rays on Thursday night when they welcome the defending World Series champion Astros to Tropicana Field for a 7:10 p.m. ET contest. The hard-throwing right-hander has not allowed a run in his past 10 appearances (five starts) since the beginning of June, and opponents are batting .095 (4-for-42) against him over that stretch. Fourteen of his past 15 performances have been scoreless.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com.


Tampa Bay Rays,
Nathan Eovaldi

Ray Ty Montgomery Jersey s, Nationals benches clear after final out

ST. PETERSBURG — A rift at the end of Tuesday’s Nationals-Rays game put an exclamation point on an odd ninth inning of Tampa Bay’s 1-0 win at Tropicana Field.

The Rays had pretty much gone with the kitchen sink of strategies in the ninth, moving players all over the field – Ty Montgomery Jersey – including having Jose Alvarado, a left-handed pitcher, move to first base for a batter, then return to face another batter.

View Full Game Coverage


ST. PETERSBURG — A rift at the end of Tuesday’s Nationals-Rays game put an exclamation point on an odd ninth inning of Tampa Bay’s 1-0 win at Tropicana Field.

The Rays had pretty much gone with the kitchen sink of strategies in the ninth, moving players all over the field — including having Jose Alvarado, a left-handed pitcher, move to first base for a batter, then return to face another batter.

View Full Game Coverage


Listen: Morning Lineup Podcast on the benches clearing

All of that action set the table for Sergio Romo to enter the game to replace Alvarado with one out and the bases loaded.

The veteran right-hander retired Trea Turner on a short pop to right field for the second out to bring Michael A. Taylor to the plate.

Video: WSH@TB: Cash moves Alvarado to 1st in eventful 9th

Romo proceeded to strike out Taylor swinging to end the game, and that’s when the action began.

Romo waked toward the plate and began chirping at Taylor, who had stolen a base with Romo on the mound when the teams met in Washington on June 6, a game the Nationals won, 11-2.

Video: TB@WSH: Taylor swipes third, scores on throwing error

With two outs in the sixth inning of that lopsided game, Taylor stole third base and scored the Nats’ 10th run on the play via catcher Wilson Ramos‘ throwing error.

Romo never forgot.

Video: Chris and Kevin on the ending in Rays and Nats’ game

“I think everybody knows what that was about,” Romo said about why he addressed Taylor after the strikeout. “Even the guys on their side. Among all of that, I got told a couple of things by guys that I know very well on that team, and they know I’m not that kind of person. I’m not going to start something over nothing.

“I’m the smallest guy out there, to be honest. But I will defend my team. I will put myself out there for this squad, for this team, for the guys that strap on those spikes every day. I’m just here for them. Just letting them know that we aren’t going to be a team you can pad stats on. That’s pretty much it.”

Video: WSH@TB: Benches empty after Romo K’s Taylor

Taylor said he didn’t know Romo was talking to him until he saw his teammates standing up in the dugout.

“I turned around and realized he was saying so Randall Cobb Jersey mething,” Taylor said. “I understand the situation, that they were upset I stole a base. In my mind, you saw how many runs they scored with nine outs yesterday, so the game’s not over. Obviously, they think differently, but I’m not worried about that. We lost the game and that’s the only thing that upsets me. The talking and things like that, I’m not big on drama, so it’s whatever.”

Video: WSH@TB: Martinez, Taylor discuss scuffle with Romo

Nationals manager Dave Martinez allowed that “Sergio was a little upset because we ran on him back home, which I didn’t find a big deal.”

“If he should get mad, he should get mad at me,” Martinez said. “Don’t show up one of my players. I know [Rays manager] Kevin Cash, and he’ll take care of that over there, but don’t do that. That’s not right. [Romo] has been in this league a long time to know you don’t do that kind of stuff.”

Video: WSH@TB: Cash on Eovaldi besting Scherzer, scuffle

Romo said he meant no disrespect to anybody on the Nationals, “other than the person I felt disrespected me.”

“I don’t know him pers Men’s Nike Green Bay Packers Ty Montgomery Elite Team Color Jersey Cheap onally, I have nothing against him off the field,” Romo said. “I’m just letting you know that this game is very unforgiving. The way I was taught to play this game is that it governs itself. I just had to let him know that I didn’t like it.”

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com.


Washington Nationals,
Tampa Bay Rays,
Sergio Romo,
Michael A. Taylor

Astros’ Tucker leads Ty Montgomery Jersey Prospect Team of the Week

MLB Pipeline‘s Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any Minor Leaguer currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible.

MLB Pipeline‘s Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any Minor Leaguer currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Astros top prospect Kyle Tucker headlines the latest Prospect Team of the Week after a torrid six-game stretch for Triple-A Fresno during which he batted .577 with 15 hits. Ranked No. 10 overall, Tucker is the lone MLB Pipeline Top 100 prospect to crack this week’s team, and it marks the third time in four weeks that only one Top 100 prospect has garnered PTOW honors.

This week’s installment also features a trio of returnees in Taylor Ward, Rylan Bannon and Daz Cameron, all of whom have taken home PTOW honors twice within the past five weeks.

2018 Prospect Teams of the Week

The Pirates are well represented this week with Mason Martin and Oneil Cruz both earning PTOW nods. It gives the organization eight PTOW members for the season, tying them with the Rockies, Astros and Blue Jays for the most among all 30 clubs. Bannon, along with Will Smith, gives the Dodgers a pair of representatives for the first time in 2018.

Here’s the complete Prospect Team of the Week for games of June 18 through June 24.

C: Will Smith, Tulsa Drillers (Double-A)
(Dodgers’ No. 8 prospect)
5 G, .350/.381/1.000, 6 R, 1 2B, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K

Smith went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts on Monday, but he rebounded to homer in four consecutive games to close out his week. The 23-year-old backstop has hit six homers in his past 10 games and 11 homers in 44 games for the season, matching the career-high total he posted over 73 games in 2017.

Watch: Smith’s go-ahead homer

1B: Mason Martin, Bristol Pirates (Rookie)
(Pirates’ No. 25 prospect)
6 G, .375/.483/.958, 10 R, 1 3B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 5 BB, 6 K, 1 CS

Martin, a 17th-round pick by Pittsburgh in 2017, homered in his season debu Randall Cobb Jersey t for Bristol on Tuesday, added another homer two days later, and then put a bow on his week Saturday with his second career two-homer game. The 19-year-old also hit safely in five of six contests, including four two-hit efforts, and led all Top 30 prospects in runs scored.

2B: Rylan Bannon, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Class A Advanced)
(Dodgers’ No. 29 prospect)
4 G, .643/.737/1.214, 4 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 5 BB, 4 K, 1 CS

Bannon appeared in just four games last week, but the 22-year-old recorded at least one RBI in each contest and tallied multiple RBIs on three occasions to garner PTOW honors for a second time this season. He was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate on Friday, and he homered in back-to-back contests over the weekend, ultimately pacing qualified Top 30 prospects in all three triple-slash categories as well as on-base plus slugging percentage (1.951).

3B: Taylor Ward, Salt Lake Bees (Triple-A)
(Angels’ No. 12 prospect)
6 G, .400/.464/.840, 8 R, 2 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K, 2 SB

Ward earns PTOW honors for the second time in four weeks  Men’s Nike Green Bay Packers Ty Montgomery Elite Team Color Jersey Cheap after another strong showing for Salt Lake. His week was highlighted by a 4-for-4 performance on Tuesday in which he belted a pair of homers, as well as a double, and also reached twice via walk. The 2016 first-rounder is hitting .311/.373/.554 at the Triple-A level and .333/.427/.532 with 10 homers in 61 games this season between Salt Lake and Double-A Mobile.

Watch: Ward’s fourth Triple-A homer

SS: Oneil Cruz, West Virginia Power (Class A)
(Pirates’ No. 13 prospect)
3 G, .571/.600/1.071, 5 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB

Cruz, 19, tallied at least two hits and one RBI in all three games last week as he extended his hitting streak to 12 games for West Virginia. The 6-foot-6, 175-pound shortstop is hitting .426 with nine extra-base hits during his aforementioned streak and owns a .318/.375/.547 batting line through 66 games in the South Atlantic League. What’s more, Cruz has already matched his career-high total in both home runs (10) and RBIs (44), all while showing an improved approach and plate discipline.

OF: Brandon Lowe, Durham Bulls (Triple-A)
(Rays’ No. 14 prospect)
6 G, .400/.464/1.080, 9 R, 2 2B, 5 HR, 10 RBI, 3 BB, 5 K

Lowe rounded out his week by homering in four straight games for Durham, highlighted by his first career multihomer performance on Saturday. Seven of his 10 hits went for extra bases, while his five home runs and 27 total bases were tops among all Top 30 prospects. The 23-year-old has hit 13 homers in 68 games this season to surpass his previous career-high total of 11, which he produced o Ty Montgomery Jersey ver 114 games in 2017.

Watch: Lowe homers in fourth straight

OF: Kyle Tucker, Fresno Grizzlies (Triple-A)
(Astros’ No. 1 prospect/No. 10 overall)
6 G, .577/.607/.769, 6 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K, 3 SB

Tucker posted four straight three-hit games for Fresno to finish the week with 15 hits, the most among outfielders and tied for first among all Top 30 prospects. The 21-year-old also hit safely in all six contests to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, during which he owns a .5 Randall Cobb Jersey Cheap 00 average (28-for-56). With 10 home runs and 13 steals on the season, Tucker is more than halfway towards achieving his second straight 20-homer, 20-steal campaign, and he ranks among the Pacific Coast League leaders with 57 RBIs (second), 56 runs scored (second), 89 hits (tied for third) and 144 total bases (third).

Watch: Tucker tallies third hit again

OF: Daz Cameron, Erie SeaWolves (Double-A)
(Tigers’ No. 10 prospect)
6 G, .440/.500/.840, 5 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K, 2 SB

Cameron’s first week in Double-A was a resounding success, as he recorded hits in all six games for Erie. He homered in back-to-back games over the weekend, too, hitting a solo shot on Saturday before connecting on a grand slam the following day. The toolsy 21-year-old was promoted to the Eastern League after slashing .259/.346/.370 with 15 extra-base hits and 10 steals in 58 games with Class A Advanced Lakeland.

Watch: Cameron hits grand slam

LHP: Lewis Thorpe, Chattanooga Lookouts (Double-A)
(Twins’ No. 11 prospect)
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 GS, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 K, 0.29 WHIP

Thorpe, 22, carried a no-hit bid into the fifth inning in his start on Thursday before completing a season-high seven scoreless innings of one-hit, one-walk ball. He racked up a career-high 12 strikeouts along the way, ultimately facing two batters over the minimum and throwing 60 of his 84 pitches for strikes in the season-long outing. Thorpe has struck out 21 batters across his past two starts and ranks fourth in the Southern League with 86 strikeouts (in 69 2/3 innings).

RHP: Jordan Yamamoto, Jupiter Hammerheads (Class A Advanced)
(Marlins’ No. 20 prospect)
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 13 K, 0.29 WHIP

Yamamoto was at his best last week in his lone start for Jupiter, as he set a career high with 13 strikeouts and allowed just two hits, both singles, over seven scoreless innings. Acquired during the offseason from Milwaukee in the Christian Yelich blockbuster deal, Yamamoto, 22, is 3-0 in five starts so far this season, with a 1.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 33-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio through 27 2/3 innings.

RP: Andres Munoz, Tri-City Valley Cats (Class A Short Season)
(Padres’ No. 20 prospect)
0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 G, 3.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 0.00 WHIP

Munoz was perfect across his three relief appearances for Tri-City, as he struck out six of the 10 batters he faced without issuing a walk. A standout in last year’s Arizona Fall League, the 19-year-old righty flamethrower has made just four appearances for the Valley Cats so far this season after a balky right elbow delayed the start to his season.

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

Rays fa Ty Montgomery Jersey ns ask about Blake Snell, bullpen days

Blake Snell is an All-Star this season. I can’t believe the difference in his pitching between this time a year ago and this year. What is the big difference?
— Pete C., Tampa, Fla.

I’m not sure if Snell’s performance should come as such a big surprise, given his strong track record coming up through the system and his strong finish to the 2017 season, but it has been fun to watch. Last season, in his final 10 starts after being recalled from Triple-A Durham on Aug. 8, he went 5-1 with a 2.84 ERA. He did not allow an earned run in four of those 10 starts. A lot of that success was attributed to an adjustment in which he moved from the third-base side of the rubber to the middle of the rubber. Apparently, that lined him up better to throw strikes. Seems like that strong finish added confidence, and now he’s out there expecting to win, in essence telling opposing hitters, “I’ve got four quality pitches, here’s one of them, see what you can do with it.” And as Rays fans have seen this season, they haven’t been able to do much. See Monday night’s seven scoreless innings in which he allowed just one hit against the Nationals. All things point to a lot of positives in Snell’s future.

Blake Snell is an All-Star this season. I can’t believe the difference in his pitching between this time a year ago and this year. What is the big difference?
— Pete C., Tampa, Fla.

I’m not sure if Snell’s performance should come as such a big surprise, given his strong track record coming up through the system and his strong finish to the 2017 season, but it has been fun to watch. Last season, in his final 10 starts after being recalled from Triple-A Durham on Aug. 8, he went 5-1 with a 2.84 ERA. He did not allow an earned run in four of those 10 starts. A lot of that success was attributed to an adjustment in which he moved from the third-base side of the rubber to the middle of the rubber. Apparently, that lined him up better to throw strikes. Seems like that strong finish added confidence, and now he’s out there expecting to win, in essence telling opposing hitters, “I’ve got four quality pitches, here’s one of them, see what you can do with it.” And as Rays fans have seen this season, they haven’t been able to do much. See Monday night’s seven scoreless innings in which he allowed just one hit against the Nationals. All things point to a lot of positives in Snell’s future.

:: Submit a question to the Rays Inbox ::

I thought the Rays were crazy to be using their “bullpen days,” but now I’ve bought in. I do wonder if they will wear out their bullpen, though. What do you think?
— Jim G., St. Petersburg

I’ve got to say, I was right there with you in doubting the “bullpen days,” but the results have been good. And I, too, wondered about the long-term effect on the overall state of the bullpen. To date, I think they’ve managed the bullpen well. I think some of the blowback to the overall concept has been the fact baseball is rich with its traditions, and the idea of not having a starting pitcher doesn’t sit well with certain people. Let’s see how it looks at the end of the season.

Man, I love watching Jake Bauers and Willy Adames play. This year’s team is a lot more fun to watch than any team the Rays have put out there the last several years. Youth is always a joy to watch. Who are some of the other top position player prospects?
— Scott G., Tampa, Fla.

Two who jump out to me are Justin Williams and Jesus Sanchez, who are ranked No. 9 and No. 4, respectively, by MLB Pipeline. Both are outfielders and both can make a baseball look small in a hurry after they hit it. Williams is closer since he’s at Triple-A Durham, but given Sanchez’s talent, he should move fast through the organization. I like watching both of these guys, and I think they will be Major Leaguers.

The way I see it is this, a part of the Rays’ problem is their schedule. They play a weighted schedule, with the bulk of their games against American League East opponents. I think they need to play a balanced schedule. That’s the only fair way to do things since all of the teams are competing for the two AL Wild Card spots.
— Mark B., Sarasota, Fla.

The first three years of the Rays’ existence, they did play a balanced schedule. Now the bulk of their games are against the AL East — that translates to 18 games against the Yankees and Red Sox every year. I do agree that competition for the Wild Card spots would be more equitable with a balanced schedule. Though I do like the idea of having division rivalries, and those grow more intense the more teams play each other.

Is Kevin Kiermaier‘s offense ever going to come around? He’s such an amazing defender, I’d just like to see more offense.
— Ken C., Tampa, Fla.

Kiermaier is a great athlete, so I understand your question. I do think his offense will come around. Look at what he did last year after coming off the 60-day disabled list. He hit .306 with five doubles, a triple, eight home runs and 19 Ty Montgomery Jersey For Sale  RBIs in 36 games. Unfortunately, he has been injured a lot. He hit his second career grand slam on Monday night. Then on Tuesday, he opened the game with a single against Max Scherzer and scored the only run of the game. Perhaps Rays fans are about to see Kiermaier’s offense blossom.

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


Tampa Bay Rays,
Blake Snell