Chris Archer was fantastic as the Rays took on the Phillies in Spring Training play.
Once again, there was no video broadcast, but to make up for it the Rays provided highlights and a couple interviews. Rays, if you're reading this, you're the best.
The first televised game will be today on YES network and mlb.tv, and the first game broadcast on Sun Sports will be March 19. You can view the whole spring training broadcast schedule here.
Just as the highlight of the game was Archer on the mound, he provided a quality interview from the clubhouse as well after the game.
"I was happy with every single one of them. It was hard to decipher which one it was, which for me is huge."
Sure, Archer... ha! In the rest of the interview Archer discusses working with Rene Rivera and his items to work on: the change, and pitching from the stretch.
You can watch video highlights from the game itself here, which the Rays technically lost 5-4, but luckily that doesn't matter in the slightest:
After the game, Kevin Cash shared his postgame thoughts. Where Archer was impressed with the defense, Cash saw room to grow:
Cash was happy with Archer's development, but says he was still able to tell whether he threw a slider or change. A nice turn by Topkin to ask Cash that question.
Jose Dominguez and Jake Elmore also impressed, according to Cash. The former is a blazing reliever we can expect to see mid-season, the former is a likely utility replacement out of Durham on an emergency basis in 2015.
- There was a great profile of Steven Souza in the Sunday edition of the Times: "Faith helps Rays' Steven Souza Jr. turn around life, career." Give that a read if you haven't yet.
- Topkin notes that one of the owners of the Port Charlotte Stone Crabs, baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, was in camp on Sunday and threw the first pitch... to Boog Powell, the Rays prospect. Ripken was a bit confused.
"After he threw the pitch he came up to me and he said, 'Did I hear correctly, Boog Powell?' I was like, 'Yeah, that's my nickname, that's what I go by,' " Powell relayed. "He goes, 'Great name to live up to.' It was great meeting him."
- And the man himself will be returning to radio:
- Yesterday morning we learned Drew Smyly might be slowed to start the season due to shoulder tendonitis. Behind the link you can read about injuries to Jaso (HBP) and Franklin (hip strain) as well.
- Accordingly, Neil Solondz interviewed one of the names in contention for fifth starter, Matt Andriese, as those names might possibly need to step in for Smyly as well. He describes himself as a work horse. Andriese takes the mound tomorrow in Boston in a split squad game.
- Arizona chose their opening day starter, and it's not Hellickson.
- There are ten articles about Clayton Kershaw on Baseball Prospectus today.Ten! Finally, Chris Archer went around to the reporters and interviewed them on what they thought of his performance on Sunday. The last guy asked, mlb.com's Bill Chastain, doesn't give an answer Archer expects.