Spring Training is nearly over as we've reached the point that this upcoming Sunday will be the first game of the regular season. Over these next few days, major position battles will have their winners and losers, with the starting rotation, bullpen, lineup, and defensive alignment all taking shape.
Yesterday, the Rays took a sloppy 7-3 loss to the Blue Jays, who are well on their way to being named the 2016 Grapefruit League Champions. A feat I'm sure that their new top brass will covet.
Almost every player on the roster had sluggish days as the offense only mustered four hits, while matching that number in errors committed, with Evan Longoria and Brad Miller making one each.
The Rays actually held the lead entering the seventh, scoring their first run after an odd turn of events in the fifth inning. Brad Miller led off the frame with a walk. He then took off trying to swipe second, meanwhile A.J Jiminez -- Tornto's catcher -- received the ball and hurled a bullet right into the back of a kneeling Drew Hutchison, ricocheting off his skull, allowing Miller to take third base as well. Although Hutchison seemed fine, he would be removed from the game. Steven Souza would then plate Miller with a sacrifice fly.
The following inning is when the team took the lead as Toronto's defensive miscues led to two runs.
Then the wheels fell off as the Rays allowed five runs over the next three innings, resulting in the loss.
Pitching wise for the Rays, David Carpenter started and tossed two scoreless frames. He would be relieved by Ryan Webb, who allowed just an unearned run. Alex Colome pitched a perfect frame, picking up a strikeout. Xavier Cedeno and Danny Farquhar each allowed runs during their outings with Cedeno laboring through his less than an inning of work. Andrew Belatti heavily struggled, allowing three runs in the eighth.
Kevin Cash was clearly displeased by the game
- Following the incident with the fan charging the field and chucking bottles at the Rays, there will now be added security in order to prevent future incidents.
- Matt Moore pitched an intra-squad yesterday in lieu of facing the Blue Jays
- After Logan Forsythe's breakout campaign in 2015, he has been officially named the team's lead-off hitter
- The Rays made five cuts following the loss dropping their roster total to 35 as Jaff Decker, Talyor Sturdevant, Jhan Marinez, and Mayo Acosta were reassigned, and the most notable, Taylor Motter being optioned giving Tim Beckham the 25th spot on the opening day roster.
- With their Natonal team depleted and relations improving with the United States, Cuba may allow past defectors to return.
- Sun Sports covered yesterday's game and did numerous interviews with players and coaches.