Future Rays Put On Show For Fans In Port Charlotte
The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 7-4. Chris Archer made his first Grapefruit League start and delivered two innings of scoreless frames.
Jose De Leon, limited to 41-innings across the minors and one big league appearance in 2017 due to injuries, worked a scoreless inning. “I thought he looked really good.” Manager Kevin Cash said. “Clean inning, spotted his fastball. Threw some changeups underneath. We knew we were going to get a different pitcher than what we saw last year and so far he’s definitely provided that.”
Diego Castillo, who has an opportunity to play a big role in the bullpen in 2018, worked a scoreless fourth inning.
Cash was pleased with Archer’s performance, which he called ‘crisp’. He also was impressed with Jesus Sanchez. “First time I’ve seen him in this atmosphere. I’ve seen him on some back field games and stuff like that. Watched him take batting practice.” Cash said of his familiarity with Sanchez. “But to see him timed up. Really impressive. He definitely looks the part. Put on 15-20 pounds this off-season. He’s really worked hard in the weight room and whatever he is, 19-20 years old, we’re very excited.”
In another note, Matt Duffy made two very nice plays in the field. It appears thus far that the heel issues that ailed him much of the past two season are behind him.
The Rays will take on the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday afternoon at 1:05. Nate Eovaldi will make his Grapefruit League debut. He did not pitch in the big leagues last year as he was recovering from Tommy John surgery but did appear in post-season games with the Montgomery Biscuits and Durham Bulls.