Ray’s Ramblings: March 27 Pitcher Notes Cover Image
Ray’s Ramblings: March 27 Pitcher Notes
Ray Flowers

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Rickie Weeks Headshot

Weeks was informed Tuesday that he had won an Opening Day roster spot with the Rays, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Since Weeks was attending camp as a non-roster invitee, the Rays will need to clear a spot for him on the 40-man roster. The 34-year-old earned his way onto the roster by displaying impressive pop during the spring, and is expected to serve on the smaller side of a platoon at first base with Logan Morrison. Weeks may also occasionally see at-bats at DH when Corey Dickerson is out of the lineup.
9:50 am (EST)
Derek Norris Headshot

Norris will make his first appearance for the Rays in Grapefruit League play Tuesday against the Twins, Steve Carney of 620 WDAE AM reports. He'll catch and bat third in the order.

After he was released by the Nationals shortly after the club signed Matt Wieters, Norris latched on with the Rays and projects to serve as their primary catcher until Wilson Ramos (knee) is cleared to return behind the plate, perhaps at some point in May. The Rays will throw Norris into the fire right away in his team debut, as the backstop will serve as the battery mate for ace Chris Archer, who is making his final start of the spring. Norris offers more offensive upside than the catchers the Rays have relied on in recent years, but his impressive pop comes with the drawback of poor contact rates. He struck out in a career-worst 30.3 percent of his plate appearances last season with the Padres, which contributed heavily in limiting his batting average to an awful .186.
9:46 am (EST)
Buddy Boshers Headshot

Boshers was optioned to Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

The lefty was in contention for a bullpen gig with the big club, but an awful spring (10.61 ERA, 1.93 WHIP in 9.1 innings) effectively undermined his chances. He'll look to find success at Rochester before potentially receiving a promotion when the Twins are in need of another lefty reliever at some point later in the season.
9:35 am (EST)
Ehire Adrianza Headshot

Adrianza (oblique) is expected to open the season on the disabled list, MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger reports.

Adrianza has yet to resume baseball activities after straining his right oblique Saturday, and it looks like the injury will cost him a spot on the Opening Day roster. The versatile infield had been enjoying a strong camp prior to suffering the oblique strain, but his likely DL stint should bolster Eduardo Escobar and Danny Santana's chances of winning utility roles.
9:19 am (EST)
Scott Darling Headshot

Darling saved just 25 of 30 shots during Monday's overtime loss to Tampa Bay.

With a .780 save percentage through his past three appearances, Darling's been shaky. However, Monday was his only start during that span, and he had won six straight games with a .951 save percentage and 1.51 GAA prior to the recent funk. Darling is a strong bet to bounce back in his next outing, but Chicago doesn't have another back-to-back set this season, so he might not receive the chance. It isn't out of the question to move on from Darling in all settings.
9:02 am (EST)
Nick Schmaltz Headshot

Schmaltz recorded two assists during Monday's overtime loss to Tampa Bay.

Schmaltz is up to six helpers through his past five outings and has three goals, 19 points and a plus-12 rating through his last 20 games. It's been an impressive run for the rookie, and there is no reason to expect the offensive to dry up with Schmaltz locked into a scoring role. He's worth a roster spot in the majority of seasonal leagues, but you'll want to remember that he's a low-volume shooter that isn't going to pad the goals column.
8:57 am (EST)
Joe Kelly Headshot

Kelly is expected to be Boston's set up man after it was learned Tyler Thornburg (shoulder) will "most likely" begin the season on the disabled list, Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports.

Kelly flourished as a full-time reliever last season, particularly his finish to the 2016 season in Boston, but has had an uneven spring, with seven strikeouts and seven walks over eight innings. Manager John Farrell feels Kelly is trying to be too perfect on every pitch and wants the right-hander to trust his stuff and get ahead of batters. As the eighth-inning reliever, Kelly is in position for save opportunities when closer Craig Kimbrel is not available.
8:54 am (EST)
Andrei Vasilevskiy Headshot

Vasilevskiy saved 25 of 29 shots during Monday's overtime win against Chicago, but he was pulled during the first period before returning to start the second frame.

Vasilevskiy allowed three goals on eight shots in the opening period, but he turned away 20 of 21 shots after returning to the game. While it was an impressive rebound, it was also the fourth time in five games that the 22-year-old Russian allowed four goals. Still, his active 8-3-1 run with a .929 save percentage and 2.32 GAA is impressive, and Vasilevskiy remains a solid start against the majority of opponents.
8:53 am (EST)
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