Rays Week In Review: Thrilling Plays Cap Gritty Week

Rays Get Contributions From All Parts Of Roster In Winning Week

The Tampa Bay Rays finished an eventful week with a record of 4-3 with series wins in both Boston and New York. The week included a controversial rules interpretation to force a day-night doubleheader in Fenway Park, a disputed instant replay call resulting in an ejection, a wild double play in extra innings in New York, and the Rays decision to designate Heath Bell for assignment on Sunday morning.

With the series wins in Boston and New York the Rays ended their 10-game road trip with a 5-5 record which was quite impressive with the way the team performed and the adversity they faced.

The Rays finish the week with an overall record of 15-17 and in third place tied with the Boston Red Sox and two games behind the New York Yankees. Between themselves and the Yankees sit the Baltimore Orioles who will visit Tropicana Field after the Rays have a well deserved off day Monday.

The Rays will finish the week with a three game set against the Cleveland Indians over the weekend.

The pitching matchups against the Orioles are:

Chris Archer (2-1, 4.84 ERA) vs Chris Tillman (3-1, 3.68 ERA) on Tuesday at 7:10

Cesar Ramos (1-1, 3.05 ERA) vs Bud Norris (2-2, 3.94 ERA) on Wednesday at 7:10

David Price (3-2, 4.44 ERA) vs Ubaldo Jimenez (1-4, 5.19 ERA) on Thursday at 7:10

Injury Updates:

Cobb_550 Both Alex Cobb (oblique strain)  and Jeremy Hellickson (elbow)  have progressed to throwing off the mound. They are both scheduled to throw a simulated game during the teams upcoming home stand and if all goes well both may begin their rehab assignments shortly.

Cobb, who had already built his foundation in spring training, will probably begin with a longer rehab appearance (usually around 3 innings/50 pitches) while Hellickson will be slightly behind and start by tossing an inning and building up from there.

C.J. Riefenhauser who appeared with the Rays during their last home stand was placed on the Durham Bulls disabled list with an oblique strain and there is no news as to when he may return.

Speaking of the Durham Bulls they end today with a record of 20-11 meaning they have played 31 games. It should be noted that when the Bulls reach the 50-game mark Alex Colome will be eligible to begin working out with the team again as his suspension for PEDs will be complete.

Another arm to keep an eye on in the coming weeks is left handed reliever Jordan Norberto who missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in May and is currently serving his 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogensis scandal.

Red Sox Scheduling Controversy

When the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox game Wednesday night was called due to inclement weather the Boston Red Sox took it upon themselves to schedule a day-night doubleheader on Thursday.  The Rays did not want to play the Thursday afternoon game because the forecast was as bleak for Thursday afternoon as it was for the Wednesday evening affair. The Rays were more than willing to play a day-night double header later in the year and felt that there was a practical alternative for the game. The Red Sox used an exemption in the collective bargaining agreement to reschedule as they saw fit without considering “practical alternatives.”

 (b) when there is no practical alternative to doing so, the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs shall have the right to reschedule a postponed game as a split doubleheader to be played in, respectively, Fenway Park and Wrigley Field, even if the cri- teria set out in subparagraph (a) above are not met. Scheduling a postponed game as part of a conventional doubleheader will not be considered a practical alternative

Alternative Schedule

You would think a mutual off-day in September before the two teams play each other in a three game series (with expanded rosters) would immediately be considered a practical alternative but let’s face it – the prospects of facing David Price, Alex Cobb, or Chris Archer or two of the three in that game versus Cesar Ramos and Chris Archer with the Rays having a taxed bullpen is why the game wasn’t scheduled later.

In other words, the Red Sox used an exemption in the CBA as a means to garner a competitive advantage which backfired when the Rays swept both games of the doubleheader.

There was also the underlying bobblehead issue. Wednesday night was supposed to be Dustin Pedroia bobblehead night – the promotion was moved to Thursday’s afternoon affair. Ben Zobrist commented about the bobblehead after the game:

Heath Bell Designated For Assignment:


The Tampa Bay Rays took a chance that they could find the fix for Heath Bell‘s woes. That they could unlock the magic of his time as a closer with the San Diego Padres where he served as the teams closer from 2007-2011 and appeared in 354 games and registering 134 saves including leading the National League in 2009 with 42.

The Rays front office felt that they would get the Heath Bell that was closer to the 2007-2011 version and not the pitcher that struggled with the Miami Marlins in 2012 (5.09 ERA) and Arizona Diamondbacks in 2013 (4.11 ERA).

They were confident in their ability to find the remedy. So much so that they acquired him as part of a three way deal between the Reds and Diamondbacks which resulted in the Rays assuming $5.5M of his 2014 salary.

The Rays weren’t able to find the fix and after 13 appearances and prior to Sunday’s game with the New York Yankees they designated the former All-Star for assignment. The Rays will have 10-days to work a trade with another organization before placing him on waivers. If they are unable to find a trade partner they will have to eat the remaining $5M or so on his contract.

Game highlights:

Monday April 28th: Odorizzi Struggles In 7-3 Loss To White Sox

Matt Joyce tags up from second to score on a long fly out off the bat of Matt Joyce:

Can not help but show this beautiful Dalmatian who was at the ball game:

The game wasn’t as entertaining as the Dalmatian:

Tuesday April 29th: Bedard Strong, Bullpen Falters As Red Sox Defeat Rays 7-4

Thursday, May 1st – Game 1 – Rays Defeat Boston 2-1

Instant Replay Favors Rays And Upsets Red Sox

Thursday, May 1st – Game 2 – Rays Defeat Red Sox 6-5

Sean Rodriguez Cuts Lead to 5-4

Escobar Launches Go Ahead Home Run

Balfour Saves Both Games Of Doubleheader:

Friday, May 2nd – Rays Win 10-5 In 14 Innings Due In Large Part To Crazy Double Play

David DeJesus Brings Back Rally Ice Cream


Wil Myers Post-Game

Wild Rundown Short Circuits Yankees Rally

Odorizzi Struggles Again, Bullpen Turns Tight Game To Laugher As Yankees Win 9-3

Sunday, May 4th: Myers Inside The Park Home Run Backs Strong Outing By Bedard As Rays Win 5-1

With Eli & Peyton Manning Watching Desmond Jennings With Fantastic Over The Shoulder Catch

I am a fan of all sports but am most passionate about baseball. From the fanatical to analytical, nothing about the game escapes me. Being born and raised in Northeast Ohio I'm very familiar with the heartache and pain that sports can bring and hope that I bring some understanding of the other side to my coverage. I will focus mostly on baseball but also cover the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of the most electric franchises in all of sports. Always willing to converse about any sport and have only one rule and that is be respectful at all times.