Robbie Ray put together his strongest outing of the spring on Friday, striking out six in 3 1⁄3 innings. The left-hander threw 55 pitches in the outing, allowing only one earned run, that on a solo home run in the fourth inning. Nick Ahmed, Christian Walker, and Chris Herrmann all contributed to the offense and continued to make strong cases for being part of the team’s opening day plans.
Archie Bradley understands his role with the team and is thrilled to be a force to be reckoned with out of the bullpen. That doesn’t mean he has given up on his dreams to return to the rotation. Having made only 34 big league starts, Bradley doesn’t feel that anything can be determined yet as to his ability to fill the role.
”I would love to get the opportunity to start again. I still feel the jury’s out. I’ve made 34 big league starts. I don’t think I’ve gotten to show whether I can be a starter or not. A lot of these guys that are called failed starters have had 100-150 starts in their career. I’m not there yet.”
Despite his desire to start again, Bradley is prepared to do whatever it takes to stay on a big league roster.
“I learned looking at [infielder] Daniel Descalso. He’s won a World Series and has been a big-time player his whole career. He wasn’t a starter for us every day, and his attitude was, ‘If I’m a bench player, I want to be the best guy coming off the bench.’ To hear a guy in his ninth year say that, you understand this is what it’s about.”
Two seasons ago, Brito was picked by more than one observer to be a breakout star. Since then, the young Arizona outfield prospect has been plagued by a host of injuries. Now, fully healed from multiple injuries and a surgery, Brito finds himself competing for a chance to play in an outfield suddenly crowded with veteran players. While all expectations are that he will open the 2018 season in Reno, both the possibility of injury, and the impending likely shakeup of the Arizona outfield have a healthy, performing Brito on a very short list of potential replacements.
Taijuan and his wife, Heather, will be handing out free tacos starting at 11:30 a.m. at Salt River Fields on Monday. The tacos will be served on a first-come-first-serve basis near the Home Plate parking lot at Salt River Fields.
Having already decided the team will not compete this season, Tampa Bay’s front office has decided to start the lab experiments early to get as many looks at as many potential pieces of the team’s future as possible. The Rays will employ a four-man rotation on five days rest, filling in the extra day with an assortment of prospect pitchers (including the recently acquired Anthony Banda) and bullpen starts.
Seattle is preparing to start the season with as much as 60% of their regular outfield on the DL. No other player in the system is ready to make the jump to the majors. Few available free agents have experience playing all three outfield positions. Even fewer still are looking specifically for a chance to be a bench contributor. It would seem that Ichiro’s return to Seattle was a bit of serendipity for the Mariners. Not everyone sees it that way though, instead wondering why the team picked up Ichiro for pennies instead of investing in an impact free agent to patrol the outfield.