Ramirez likely headed for spot in Rays' rotation

Ramirez likely headed for spot in Rays' rotation

ST. PETERSBURG -- Less than 12 hours after acquiring right-hander Erasmo Ramirez from the Mariners, the Rays talked about the merits of the deal that sent left-hander Mike Montgomery west.

"Erasmo, obviously excited," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He's going to help us. ... If you look back at his track record, he put together a really good season, early, a couple of years ago. Maybe a couple of hiccups lately, but I think we take our chances because of the stuff and then getting him with [pitching coach Jim Hickey] and [bullpen coach Stan Boroski], hopefully he can help us out."

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rivera hopes to settle in behind the plate in '15

Catcher carries experience, more offensive pop

Rivera hopes to settle in behind the plate in '15

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Many of the Rays' offseason moves did not play well with the team's fan base. However, bringing in a new catcher wasn't one of those.

The view the Rays had of previous catcher Jose Molina never quite jived with the one in the stands. That's why Rene Rivera's arrival should be a popular one with the team's fans and one that could go a long way toward helping the Rays return to the playoffs.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays acquire righty Ramirez in trade with Mariners

Tampa Bay sends over left-hander Montgomery in exchange

Rays acquire righty Ramirez in trade with Mariners

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Rays addressed their starting pitching depth -- or lack thereof -- Tuesday night when they acquired right-hander Erasmo Ramirez from the Mariners in exchange for left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery.

Starters Alex Colome (pneumonia), Alex Cobb (right-forearm tendinitis) and Drew Smyly (left-shoulder tendinitis) will not be in the rotation for the first few weeks of the season, which prompted the move to find a starter to help bridge the gap.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Season beckons for first-year manager Cash

Rays skipper excited about pitching, versatility, expects to maintain communication

Season beckons for first-year manager Cash

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Kevin Cash is home. And he's in full stride as the new manager of the Rays.

In December, the Rays named the former "Devil Rays" catcher as the fifth manager in team history, succeeding Joe Maddon, who ended his nine-year tenure with the team by exercising an opt-out clause in his contract before agreeing to a five-year, $25 million deal to manage the Cubs.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Robertson has 2 HRs, 5 RBIs in wild Rays loss

Nine-run ninth overshadows prospect's day

Robertson has 2 HRs, 5 RBIs in wild Rays loss

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Red Sox completed a wild, ninth-inning comeback on Tuesday, scoring nine times to pull off an 11-8 victory over the Rays.

Entering their final at-bat with a six-run deficit, the Red Sox stormed back courtesy Blake Swihart's two-run triple and RBI singles from Brock Holt, Daniel Nava, David Chester, Deven Marrero and Swihart. Jemile Weeks and Quintin Berry added RBI groundouts.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Teaford posts zeros, DeJesus homers as Rays hold off O's

Lefty goes 3 2/3, fans two; OF hits first of spring

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Facing each other for the second straight game, the Rays used some early offense to top the Orioles, 4-3, at Ed Smith Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

The two teams played to a 6-6, 10-inning tie on Monday.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cash not ready to commit to rest of rotation

Cash not ready to commit to rest of rotation

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Manager Kevin Cash told reporters on Tuesday that he is not ready to name the starters for the Rays' second and third games of the season against the Orioles.

Furthermore, Tampa Bay's manager isn't ready yet to name the team's No. 4 starter.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays release infielder Casilla

Hit .267 in 17 Grapefruit League games

Rays release infielder Casilla

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Rays have released Alexi Casilla.

Casilla, 30, signed a Minor League contract with the club in February. The veteran infielder hit .267 in 17 Spring Training games.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays' stadium site search hits roadblock

Rays' stadium site search hits roadblock

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- A revised proposal by St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman to allow the Rays to check out potential stadium sites in Hillsborough County came to a halt on Monday.

Kriseman and City Council Chairman Charlie Gerdes decided not to place the memorandum of understanding (addressing the revised proposal) on the agenda for Thursday's council meeting because they felt they had not gained the necessary votes for the proposal to pass.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays' starters aim to reach 200-innings milestone

Archer, Cobb, Odorizzi ready to be team's marathon men

Rays' starters aim to reach 200-innings milestone

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Two hundred innings speaks volumes for a starting pitcher.

David Price and James Shields were the last Rays pitchers to accrue 200 innings in a season when each did so in 2012. Shields turned the trick six consecutive seasons for the Rays and Price accomplished the blue-collar feat three consecutive seasons.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays reassign eight players to Minor League camp

Rays reassign eight players to Minor League camp

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Rays reduced their roster to 36 on Monday when Brandon Gomes, Jhan Marinez, Jim Miller, Jordan Norberto, Everett Teaford, Corey Brown, Joey Butler and Mayo Acosta were reassigned to Minor League camp.

Of that group, Cash allowed that Gomes brought the toughest conversation for him to have because he has pitched so well this spring.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Butler caps Rays' comeback with 3-run shot

Game-tying homer came with two outs in bottom of ninth

Butler caps Rays' comeback with 3-run shot

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Joey Butler smacked a three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning off Orioles reliever Wesley Wright to tie the game at 6-6, capping the Rays' comeback from an early 5-0 deficit Monday afternoon.

The Orioles opened the scoring in the first inning when Delmon Young's one-out single drove home Nolan Reimold. They got busy again in the third when Jonathan Schoop doubled home a run, Ryan Flaherty grounded out to drive in another, and Schoop scored when Rays left-fielder John Jaso dropped a fly ball. Alejandro De Aza tripled with two outs to drive home the Orioles' fourth run of the inning to take a 5-0 lead.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Light at end of tunnel for Rays' injured starters

Cobb, Smyly and Colome progressing towards return

Light at end of tunnel for Rays' injured starters

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- All of the Rays starters continue to make progress toward returning to the team, a fact that pleases manager Kevin Cash.

Heading into camp, Alex Cobb and Drew Smyly were givens to be in the rotation, and Alex Colome looked like a good bet to be the fifth starter. Then Smyly went down with tendinitis in his left shoulder, Colome had visa problems, then pneumonia, and Cobb encountered tendinitis in his right forearm.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cash set to go forward without naming closer

With a depleted pitching staff, skipper says everyone will need to step up

Cash set to go forward without naming closer

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Rays manager Kevin Cash told reporters on Monday that he will not name a closer.

"There's going to be guys that we'll lean on to pitch in those leveraged situations," Cash explained. "But it just doesn't make sense to come out and name a closer when the game could be on the line in the seventh or eighth inning."

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Bullpen day' works out for Rays until extra frame

Corps of relievers turns in solid effort for nine innings

'Bullpen day' works out for Rays until extra frame

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo had another strong performance in Sunday's 3-2 victory over the Rays in 10 innings.

Playing right field, Castillo ranged in to make a nice running catch in foul ground and fired a strike to the plate to nail Cade Gotta to end the top of the 10th.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays' relievers build up with back-to-back outings

Consecutive days' work allows bullpen to simulate season

Rays' relievers build up with back-to-back outings

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Back-to-back outings are in order for many members of the Rays bullpen this week.

Rays manager Kevin Cash explained that relievers progressing to the point where they can pitch back-to-back outings, like they often do during the season, is a pivotal point of Spring Training.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wilson, Casali in tight race for back-up catcher spot

Rays' Cash needs more time to make decision

Wilson, Casali in tight race for back-up catcher spot

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Rays have a pleasant problem: Two catchers they like competing for the back-up spot.

While Rene Rivera will be the starter, the Rays are confident his backup will be able to give the team some quality play since the choice is between Bobby Wilson and Curt Casali.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays' rotation a work in progress due to injuries

Final two spots open as Cobb, Colome and Smyly rehab

Rays' rotation a work in progress due to injuries

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Putting together the Rays' starting rotation this spring has presented an unexpected challenge.

Heading into camp, the first four spots appeared to be a lock with Alex Cobb, Chris Archer, Drew Smyly, and Jake Odorizzi. Only the fifth slot seemed to be open for competition, and Alex Colome looked like a good bet to grab that one.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Karns struggles as Rays' rally falls short vs. Red Sox

Karns struggles as Rays' rally falls short vs. Red Sox

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Red Sox scored early on Saturday and then added runs late to put a 9-6 win over the Rays on ice at Charlotte Sports Park.
    
The Red Sox jumped to a 6-0 lead, only to see that lead get cut to one run due to a costly error. But they scored once in the sixth and two times in the ninth before dodging a bases-loaded jam in the ninth en route to the win.

Nathan Karns started for the Rays and got into some early trouble after he walked the leadoff batter, Shane Victorino.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cobb moving forward in his recovery

Ace right-hander expects to be back by the end of April

Cobb moving forward in his recovery

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Alex Cobb played catch on Saturday and everything went well.

The right-hander threw 30 pitches and said he expects to be back pitching for the Rays by the end of April.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Archer, Odorizzi look good in Minor League outings

Archer, Odorizzi look good in Minor League outings

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Charlotte Sports Park's back fields saw significant activity on Saturday while the Major League club fell 9-6 to the Red Sox on the main field.

Specifically, Chris Archer pitched in a Triple-A game and Jake Odorizzi in a Double-A game while Nathan Karns pitched in the Major League game.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays still have plenty of roster decisions to make

Spots in the bullpen, starting rotation and bench remain up for grabs

Rays still have plenty of roster decisions to make

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Heading into Saturday, the Rays' roster stood at 44 players. That means 19 players must be trimmed in some fashion before the start of the season.

Rays manager Kevin Cash expects the final decisions about who will be on the team's 25-man roster will go down to the wire. All teams must set their roster by 3 p.m. ET on April 5.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays, Orioles game washed out

Game was postponed in the middle of the fourth inning by rain

Rays, Orioles game washed out

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles and Rays game was called off due to inclement weather in the middle of the fourth inning.

Baltimore was leading the contest, which was not long enough to be an official game, 4-3, with home runs by Adam Jones and Nolan Reimold.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Teaford making a push for spot on Rays pitching staff

Teaford making a push for spot on Rays pitching staff

SARASOTA, Fla. -- With his 31st birthday drawing near, a modest 106 Major League innings under his belt and multiple spots on the Tampa Bay pitching staff up for grabs, Everett Teaford's career has reached a critical stage.

And the Rays' left-hander is pitching accordingly.

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Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Karns uses new mindset to earn spot in Rays rotation

Karns uses new mindset to earn spot in Rays rotation

PORT CHARLOTTE. Fla. -- Along with the standard equipment he typically brings to Spring Training each February, Nathan Karns decided to pack something else this year.

A modified mindset.

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Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cash confirms Odorizzi, Karns will start in opening series

Lefties McGee, Moore will throw bullpen sessions, Cabrera to DH in Minor League game

Cash confirms Odorizzi, Karns will start in opening series

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Rays manager Kevin Cash met with the media in Port Charlotte this morning, and offered several updates before the team boarded the bus for Sarasota, Fla.

Cash confirmed that Nathan Karns and Jake Odorizzi will start the second and third games of the regular season vs. the Orioles. But he has yet to determine the order in which he will use the two right-handers.

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Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Archer named Opening Day starter

Right-hander becomes 11th different pitcher to get call in opener

Archer named Opening Day starter

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Chris Archer will be the Tampa Bay Rays' Opening Day starter.

Rays manager Kevin Cash confirmed what appeared to be the obvious choice prior to Thursday's game against the Yankees.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.