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Tampa Bay Rays News and Links: Snell can’t find the zone

MLB: Spring Training-Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Rays are off today (although a few pitchers will throw simulated games).

Yesterday they dropped their game against the Blue Jays by a score of 8-3.

The game marked Blake Snell’s return to the mound after a brief hiatus. He had complained of discomfort and received a cortisone injection, waiting a few extra days to start throwing again.

He started yesterday’s game, and it was a sort of Nuke Laloosh experience. Everything was 97-98 mph more or less in the vicinity of the batter’s head. I don’t mean to imply Snell was intentionally throwing at anyone’s head, but that’s where his pitches ended up. At one point Kyle Snyder came out to talk to him and he seemed to take the velocity down to about 95 with briefly better results. Overall, however, he looked very amped up, with no ability to control his fastball. He managed to walk four and only record one out.

You can read his thoughts about his performance in this article, and also in this tweet thread:

Rays hitters, meanwhile, succumbed to “soft-tossing lefty” syndrome, getting just three hits off of Hyun-Jin Ryu. They did manage to score three late in the game.

Other notable pitching performances: Trevor Richards came in to relieve Snell with bases loaded in the first, and gave up a rally-killing grand slam home run. But Jalen Beeks pitched an effective 2.2 innings.

Because I happened to attend the game I can give you the benefit of a few photos from pre-game warm ups:

A Yoshi Tsutsugo sighting

Daniel Robertson has an elaborate warm up routine.
Snell warm-up

Other Rays News:

Yoshi Tsutsugo is spending the off day house hunting, according to Marc Topkin. ($)

Tsutsugo was on the trip so he could use Tuesday’s off-day to find a rental home in the St. Pete area for the season. “Hopefully I can find a place and that will let me really focus on baseball,’’ he said. …

Nick Anderson’s winding path to the majors, revisited, from his hometown newspaper.

Yesterday’s Catwalk featured a link to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article focused on Tyler Glasnow and Gerritt Cole and how much they’ve improved since leaving the Pirates. Well, that prompted another Pittsburgh sports media person to weigh in on Twitter, implying that Glasnow’s poor showing had been based on a questionable work ethic, which generated an angry comeback from Glasnow:

Old friend alert: this one involves a rapper, a record contract, and Carl Crawford.

Around the League:

MLB has decided to close their locker rooms pre- and post-game in an effort to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Teams will be expected to make players available to the media, but not in the clubhouse. We had previously read that MLB advised players to avoid the practice of signing fans’ items at the ballpark since those exchanges involve contact and potential virus transmission. (Apparently and understandably it’s hard for some players to break that habit; I saw both Kevin Kiermaier and Willy Adames signing for fans in Dunedin yesterday).

Kiermaier signing autographs for fans despite MLB warnings.