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.

Longoria, Jennings go deep in win over Yankees

Seven Rays relievers combine for victory

Longoria, Jennings go deep in win over Yankees

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Rays had a "bullpen day" on Thursday as they did not use a starting pitcher, rather a stream of relievers were backed by home runs from Evan Longoria and Desmond Jennings in a 6-5 win over the New York Yankees on Thursday at Charlotte Sports Park.

"You had to be prepared a little earlier," said Grant Balfour, who pitched a scoreless third. "Guys are going six, seven innings now. Today was one of those days where we just threw all the relievers out there."

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Souza focused on making a home with Rays

Tampa Bay acquired reigning International League Player of the Year from Nats in offseason

Souza focused on making a home with Rays

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Steven Souza Jr. might have been an established Major Leaguer sooner had he not come up in the Nationals' organization.

Their outfield is, and has been, strong, to say the least.

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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 four to Minors camp, reduce roster to 44

Rays reassign four to Minors camp, reduce roster to 44

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Rays reduced their roster to 44 following Thursday's 6-5 win over the Yankees.

Reassigned to Minor League camp were right-handers Ronald Belisario, Andrew Belatti, and Bryce Stowell along with infielder Eugenio Velez.

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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.

Manfred discusses stadium in Rays' camp visit

Manfred discusses stadium in Rays' camp visit

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Rob Manfred visited the Rays' camp on Thursday, first meeting with players prior to the media. Fielding questions about the Rays' stadium issue proved to be the order of the day for Major League Baseball's new Commissioner.

Manfred first noted that he talks regularly to Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg.

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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.

Andriese, Rays outduel Gibson, Twins with late rally

Andriese, Rays outduel Gibson, Twins with late rally

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Rays' Matt Andriese and the Twins' Kyle Gibson matched up for a Grapefruit League pitchers' duel on Wednesday afternoon at Hammond Stadium, as the Rays scored late to pick up a 2-1 win.

The Rays scored the go-ahead run in the ninth inning, off Caleb Thielbar. With two outs, Joey Butler walked, advanced to third on Joey Rickard's single and scored when Leonardo Reginatto legged out an infield single to shortstop. 

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jepsen ready for big role in Rays bullpen

Jepsen ready for big role in Rays bullpen

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Kevin Jepsen should be a mainstay in this year's bullpen for Tampa Bay.

The Rays acquired the veteran reliever from the Angels in exchange for outfielder Matt Joyce. Thus far, manager Kevin Cash said he's been "kind of exactly as everybody envisioned."

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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 progressing, Smyly set for another 'pen session

Cobb progressing, Smyly set for another 'pen session

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Rays have experienced their share of injuries this spring, but all seem to be moving in the right direction where recovery is concerned.

Alex Cobb (right-forearm tendinitis) visited team orthopedic Dr. Koco Eaton on Monday and got a good report.

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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.

Forsythe getting chance to start at second base

Forsythe getting chance to start at second base

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Now that Nick Franklin is out with a left-oblique strain, Logan Forsythe should be considered the Rays' starting second baseman.

Rays manager Kevin Cash allowed as much on Wednesday when he noted: "I think Logan will see the bulk of the playing time there until we get our roster back."

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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.