Alex Colome's visa issues have clearly been resolved, and the hard throwing righty reported to camp this morning. In contention for the fifth starter's role, Colome is a more interesting case in that he's guaranteed a roster spot due to his lack of remaining options.
El Caballo, as he's taken to calling himself, has been following the Rays' regiment from his home in the Dominican prior to this point.
On my way to Florida ✈️ The Horse is Back!— Alex Colome (@AlexanderColome) March 9, 2015
The Horse is the English translation from El Caballo, and it's unclear which language he prefers, but you best believe if that's what he wants to be called we will oblige. Just look at these endorsements.
Here's a couple retweets of his this morning:
"@RMooneyTBO: I'd say he has his visa. "@AlexanderColome: On my way to Florida ✈️ The Horse is Back!"" pic.twitter.com/1NOvFVBzfA— Cliff Wolf (@Cliff_Wolf) March 9, 2015
"@AlexanderColome: On my way to Florida ✈️ The Horse is Back!" Oh Yeah! #Rays pic.twitter.com/fdtIphLddl— Cliff Wolf (@Cliff_Wolf) March 9, 2015
Colome spoke with reporters this morning and assured everyone The Horse nickname is in reference to his ability to be a workhorse for the Rays: "strong, hungry
For his part, Colome confirmed he spent the winter getting what was his plus-plus curveball back into shape. At the major league level he'd only shown a cutter and change alongside his blazing fastball and there was concern his curve was hurting his elbow. If he can bring it back into the mix,
Colome says he'll be ready to start by Saturday or Sunday. When asked what role he'd like to play for the 2015 Rays?
Starter. It's what I want!
Cash said that from his reports, Colome is right on line with what the Rays needed from him to date, noting El Caballo was facing hitters earlier than pitchers in camp.
- Technically speaking, yesterday was the Rays' birthday, as March 9, 1995 was the day the Rays and Diamonbacks were announced as expansion franchises.
How about some birthday cake? On this day in 1995, owners named #Rays, @Dbacks the 13th, 14th expansion teams in @MLB history.— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) March 9, 2015
Shouldn't you be at the early-bird special? RT "@Cubs: Get off our lawn. @Dbacks @RaysBaseball"— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) March 9, 2015
@RaysBaseball Will this work? Happy Birthday! #DisneySide pic.twitter.com/DvlLjXhiyz— Walt Disney World (@WaltDisneyWorld) March 10, 2015
- Longo was looking dapper at this weekend's fundraiser for St. Joseph's:
.@Evan3Longoria chaired Saturday's Heroes Ball, helping raise $210,000 for St. Joseph's Children's Hospital. pic.twitter.com/Y5RFFw2Boe— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) March 9, 2015
- We're going split squat today. Here's your lineups:
Home vs. @Pirates: Jaso LF Jennings CF Cabrera SS Longoria 3B Loney 1B DeJesus RF Rivera C Casilla 2B Wilson DH Smith P— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) March 10, 2015
And the lineup at @RedSox: Kiermaier CF Beckham 2B Franklin SS Souza Jr. RF Forsythe 3B Francisco 1B Butler DH Brown LF Casali C Andriese P— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) March 10, 2015
- Per multiple reports, Smyly has yet to resume throwing, which is good news for Burch Smith and Alex Colome, both of whom are vying for rotation spots against favorite Nate Karns and groundballer Matt Andriese.
- Dock of the Rays sees a comparison between Tim Beckham and Brandon Phillips (Part 1 | 2)
- Alex Skillin looked into the origins of spring training for the Hardball Times
- Jeff Sullivan looks at the state of baseball with some of it's best pitchers getting hurt
- Kiley McDaniel and Carson Cistulli's Fangraphs Podcast is worth a listen to this week, recorded from a Spring Training game as they go through the process of scouting.