Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays journal: Erasmo Ramirez shines in spot start out of bullpen

RECOMMENDED READING


ST. PETERSBURG — In the back of RHP Erasmo Ramirez's mind Thursday was the need to pitch deep into the game against the Tigers to help save an overworked bullpen.

"I've been there, so I know how tough it is to pitch back-to-back (games), even for one inning, so if I can save one inning or one batter, that's big for the bullpen," said Ramirez, starting in place of RHP Jake Odorizzi (left hamstring strain). "I've been there. I know how that feels."

Ramirez, making his first start since April 16, 2016, pitched five innings and earned the win in the 8-1 victory that completed a three-game sweep.

He allowed a homer to Ian Kinsler on the third pitch of the game, then retired the next 11.

"He did a nice job and really kind of stymied our bats for five innings," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "We couldn't get anything going."

Ramirez, who allowed two hits and struck out five, is now 13-6 with a 3.33 ERA in 29 starts as a Ray.

RHP Chase Whitley pitched three innings, and RHP Tommy Hunter worked the ninth.

"How fortunate for us to have that coverage for when a guy like Jake goes down, to be able to piece it together with those two guys," manager Kevin Cash said of Ramirez and Whitley.

The Trop crowd? Really?

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus reiterated Thursday that a misplay in the outfield during Wednesday's game, where a ball dropped between CF JaCoby Jones, 2B Ian Kinsler and RF Tyler Collins was due to a fan in the stands at the Trop.

Ausmus said the fan yelled "I got it," which led to Kinsler and the outfielders backing off on the third-inning ball hit by Brad Miller that dropped in for a single.

"The acoustics helped … and the fact that there were not a huge number of people sitting in stands," Ausmus said.

Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with yelling that, like when Alex Rodriguez did it during a game in Toronto in 2007.

"Never heard of a fan doing it," Ausmus said. "I'm not blaming the fan, he's within his rights. … We have to make the adjustment."

But he did make it clear he felt the rather, um, intimate setting at the Trop, with an announced crowd of 12,281, contributed.

"Most of the time when you have a decent size crowd, it's all kind of white noise, all the noise kind of mixes together and nothing really stands out," Ausmus said.

When asked for his reaction to Ausmus' comments, Rays manager Kevin Cash said, "We want to make homefield an advantage, so if that's an advantage, so be it."

Going, going, gone

Waiting for rookie Daniel Robertson after Thursday's game were a slew of texts, including this one from his buddy, Don Sullivan, congratulating Robertson on his first big-league home run: Only 499 more to go.

"Geez, I'd like to get two," Robertson said. "Focus on the next one first and we'll go from there."

The homer came in the eighth off RHP Warwick Saupold and traveled 396 feet to left-center.

"When you don't feel it off the bat that's a good thing," Robertson said. "I hit it pretty well."

Number of the day

6 Game home winning streak for Rays, their longest since they won six straight at the Trop between April 22-May 1, 2015.

Miscellany

. OF Colby Rasmus (hip surgery) is scheduled to resume his minor-league rehab Saturday at Double-A Montgomery. A date for his return has not been set, but it's reasonable to believe he will join the team next weekend for the series in Toronto.

. RF Steven Souza Jr. fell a single short of hitting for the cycle Thursday. He has reached base at least twice in a game 12 times this season.

. CF Kevin Kiermaier, who homered for the first time this season, has multiple hits in four of his past five games.

. Both teams will wear No. 42 tonight as part of Jackie Robinson Day.

Times staff writer Marc Topkin contributed to this report.

Comments
Rays INF Matt Duffy has to say big goodbye to 27-pound cat Skeeter

Rays INF Matt Duffy has to say big goodbye to 27-pound cat Skeeter

When the Rays acquired INF Matt Duffy from the Giants during the 2016 season, we also heard about the giant and somewhat famous cat he had, an up-to-27-pounder named Skeeter.Duffy announced over the weekend on Instagram that the family had to have Sk...
Published: 11/21/17
Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

ST. PETERSBURG — That the Rays went right up to Monday’s 8 p.m. deadline in deciding to add seven players to the 40-man roster, and that a couple they left off seem to be potential Rule 5 draft losses, was apparently a good thing."There’s always some...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/21/17
UPDATE: RHP Brent Honeywell among 7 added to Rays 40-man roster

UPDATE: RHP Brent Honeywell among 7 added to Rays 40-man roster

UPDATE, 8:11: RHP Jose Mujica was an additional addition to the roster, beyond the six previously reported. Mujica, 21, was 14-8, 3.04 ERA in 27 starts between Class-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery.So among those left unprotected and potentially ...
Published: 11/20/17
Former Devil Ray Aubrey Huff among newcomers to Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Former Devil Ray Aubrey Huff among newcomers to Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Aubrey Huff isn't going to make the Baseball Hall of Fame.But at least the former Devil Rays standout has the satisfaction of making the cut to get onto the ballot, one of 19 first-timers up for election this year.Other newcomers with Rays ties are O...
Published: 11/20/17
Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

After collecting intelligence at last week’s GM meetings, the Rays soon will launch their offseason mission of trading at least a couple of veterans to reduce payroll.The question is how far they will go — how many players they deal, and how big of n...
Published: 11/18/17
Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

The Rays completed the reorganization of their coaching staff by giving Rocco Baldelli the title of major league field coordinator.In being promoted from first-base coach, Baldelli will implement ideas and information from the staff, while assisting ...
Published: 11/17/17
Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays were banking on pitcher Alex Cobb declining their one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer based on the lure of a longer-term and more lucrative deal elsewhere as a free agent.With that decision official Thursday, now the ...
Published: 11/16/17
Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

LAKE BUENA VISTA — MLB commissioner Rob Manfred didn’t want to talk Thursday about what might happen if the current effort to build the Rays a new stadium at the Ybor City site falls through."I’m more focused on working with the community to figure o...
Published: 11/16/17
A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

Here is a message from RHP Alex Cobb after he officially left the Rays Thursday in declining their one-year, $17.4-milllion qualifying offer to seek a bigger and longer pact elsewhere:"Getting to this point in my career is truly bittersweet."Twelve y...
Published: 11/16/17
UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE, 5:01: Cobb did not accept the offer by the deadline, as expected.DEVELOPING: Sometime before today's 5 p.m. deadline, the Rays will get official word that their $17.4-million slight gamble on Alex Cobb paid off.The Rays made the free-agent ri...
Published: 11/16/17