The Rays Tank: Archer and Molina Shine in Shutout

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Molina scores from first on a DeJesus triple, Archer gets the win while throwing two innings on 21 pitches, while striking out Ortiz and allowing only one hit.

Chris Archer made his first start of the spring yesterday, going two innings and allowing only one hit, while getting three groundouts and a strikeout of David Ortiz. Here's video of Big Papi striking out, courtesy of Sun Sports Rays instagram account,

Archer also began to work in his change up yesterday, and talked to the media afterwards about how pleased he was with it. He told MLB.com, "I think it's just an added weapon to my arsenal. It will be something that they'll have to respect and it will make my other pitches better."

In the top of the second inning, Jose Molina got a lead-off walk, and would then score from first on a David DeJesus triple, his second XBH of the game. Joe Maddon tweeted what we were all thinking,

You can view the video evidence of Molina's hustle in Ian's video highlight post from yesterday.

The Rays went on to defeat the World Champions by a score of 8-0. They will host the New York Yankees in Port Charlotte at 1:05 today.

Three candidates for the number five starter role will take the mound for the Rays tomorrow as the following pitchers are scheduled to throw: Cesar Ramos, Grant Balfour, Joel Peralta, Erik Bedard, Jake Odorizzi and Matt Andriese. Yes, Cesar Ramos is now being considered for the Rays fifth starter role, as noted by Spencer Fordin of MLB.com.

Jake McGee pitched yesterday, and finally flashed his curveball to a left handed hitter, getting David Ortiz to take a strike, but his next few were in the dirt. McGee talked extensively about bringing his curve back with Roger Mooney, who also noted thoughts from Joe Maddon about the importance of having a feel for the curve:

"When (McGee's) fastball is right, and it's right about belly button high, he's going to get a lot of swing-throughs," Maddon said. "I kind of like it like that. But there's going to be days when he doesn't have that going on and just to throw something else, which has to be a strike once in a while, otherwise the hitter will just say forget about it. So to gain a feel for that pitch as a strike takes a little pressure off the other pitch, puts more thought in a hitter's head and then he becomes more difficult to face."

By all accounts thus far, McGee's curve seems like more than something he's just trying out this Spring.

Links:

- Jayson Stark of ESPN joined 620 WDAE yesterday to discuss David Price.

- Ian Kinsler hopes that the Texas Rangers go 0-162. Guess he forgot that Houston is also a part of that division now, so his hopes will be shattered. Josh Hamilton teased Kinsler via Twitter.

Of course, the Rangers responded to Kinsler's comments, with Ron Washington sticking up for his boss.

- Zach Links of MLBTradeRumors.com examines how clubs determine pre-arbitration salary rates.

- Zack Greinke has officially been ruled out of starting for the Dodgers in Australia.

- Stephen Strasburg introduced his slider yesterday, throwing two against BJ Upton and ultimately striking him out swinging. Ooof.

- If the Royals cannot work out a deal with James Shields by opening day, rumor has it there will not be a deal at all.

- Astros prospect Jonathan Singleton opened up about his marijuana addiction and how it drove him to alcohol abuse.

- Finally, Dave Cameron on the cost of a win this off-season.

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