The Rays dropped a game to the Twins yesterday evening in 10 innings, with a final score of 6-4, but had positive signs from both Desmond Jennings and Luke Scott, who have been injury stricken this spring. Jennings doubled in the first inning and seemed to have no issue with his mild left ankle sprain, while Scott's tight left hamstring didn't prevent him from hitting a solo homer in the second.
Roberto Hernandez had four innings of work, allowing three runs, two earned, on five hits and striking out three. As he's competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, Hernandez seemed pleased with his outing, saying, "I felt great today, I kept the ball down. ... I'm very, very happy about [the way I'm progressing]. Every day I continue to work."
The Yankees will trek down to Port Charlotte today for a 1:05 p.m. ET game, with rain expected prior. Alex Cobb is set to make his fourth start of the spring, and thus far he's allowed just two earned runs in nine innings of work and has struck out 12.
The Rays made their first cuts of Spring Training Monday, optioning LHP Mike Montgomery, RHP Alex Colome, and LHP Frank De Los Santos to AAA Durham.
LHP Enny Romero was optioned to Double-A Montgomery and LHP Felipe Rivero was optioned to Class A Charlotte.
Six players were reassigned to minor-league camp: RHP Matt Buschmann, LHP Adam Liberatore, RHP Marquis Fleming, 1B Nick Weglarz, C Mark Thomas and INF Shawn O'Malley. With these moves, the roster is now at 51.
Mike Montgomery, the No. 8 prospect acquired in the Shields trade, was the biggest name demoted, and Maddon provided a take on his status, "It's not a surprising situation that he's not ready yet, but it was really good to be on the field with him and have a better understanding about what he needs to do to get better, and I think we were very specific with him in a meeting right now about what to do."
Maddon also had quite the praise for three of the Dominican Republic pitchers sent down, and admired the work of the international scouting, "Colome, you can tell where he needs some work yet. I really liked what Felipe Rivero did -- I'm a big fan of his, and [of] Enny. ... The thing that really stands out is how well we've done in the Latin American program regarding preparing these guys to be here, period."
- Cesar Ramos rejoined the Rays Monday, but didn't join the Mexico/Canada brawl at the WBC because his uniform was already in the wash.
- Scott Kazmir had another smooth outing with four shutout innings, allowing him an impressive 13/2 K/BB over 11 shutout innings this spring thus far. Will the Rays see him during their opening homestand?
- The Netherlands stunned Cuba and eliminated them from the WBC, and began play with Japan in Tokyo at 6 a.m. ET to decide the Pool 1 winner and runner-up. The Pool 2 schedule in Miami is Italy vs. Dominican Republic at 1 p.m. ET and U.S. vs Puerto Rico at 8 p.m. ET, with the double-elimination format in the second round a tad tricky.