Tampa Bay Rays MLB/MiLB Recap: Matt Andriese Steps Up


Hopefully we’ll soon get back to doing just a game recap at night and then a minor league recap in the morning, but as we combine both into one piece for the Tampa Bay Rays organization, it is cool when a player goes from the Triple-A part of the piece to the major league part. On Friday, it was Matt Andriese delivering a great outing in the spot of Jake Odorizzi while several other recent Durham Bulls–and a player many people thought should go to Durham–got him his run support.

Tampa Bay Rays 7, Chicago White Sox 5

Matt Andriese hadn’t completed even 4 innings in any of his 3 prior MLB starts, but he entered this game coming off strong numbers and higher pitch counts at Durham, and that made all the difference. He went 5.2 innings allowing 2 unearned runs on 6 hits, striking out 5 while walking 1. The Rays would love to see a few more outings like that from Andriese until Odorizzi is ready to return.

Andriese departed with a 3-2 lead after the Rays scored on singles by Brandon Guyer and Joey Butler in the third plus a Logan Forsythe sac fly in the fifth. They then padded their lead just after he departed in the bottom of the sixth, scoring on a great slide by Jake Elmore and RBI base hits from Kevin Kiermaier and Butler. The White Sox rallied for 3 runs in the seventh, including a Jose Abreu 2-run blast, but Nick Franklin added an RBI single in the bottom of the frame before Steve Geltz and Jake McGee were perfect to close out the game.

Butler just keeps hitting, going 3 for 5 with 2 RBI, but Franklin delivering is something new. He went 2 for 3 with a double, a walk, an RBI, and 2 runs scored, even making a nice play a shortstop. Franklin started to look like a major league ballplayer the last few days, and then yesterday saw him finally play up to his talent level. He has a long way to go to erase his struggles to begin his Rays tenure, but this is a great start. Kiermaier (off the bench), Steven Souza Jr., and Elmore also had 2-hit performances in the win.

The Rays will play their second game against the White Sox tomorrow at 4:10 PM EST and it will be quite a pitching matchup–Chris Archer against Jeff Samardzija.

More from Rays Colored Glasses

Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 11, Louisville Bats (CIN) 7

Richie Shaffer struggled in his full-season ball debut at High-A in 2013, was only marginally better last season at Montgomery, and then began 2015 back with the Biscuits. Even his biggest fans had to wonder if he would ever turn into the player the Rays envisioned when they selected him in the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft. Shaffer still has work to do, but he hit his way to Durham and is now playing out of his mind since arriving with the Bulls.

In this game, Shaffer went 3 for 4 with 3 home runs, 4 RBI, and a walk for good measure. He has a .328/.412/.759 line in 17 games since joining the Bulls, and as noted by MiLB.com, he has appeared in less than a third of the Bulls’ games yet already ranks 7th in the International League in home runs. We can still see the warning signs–Shaffer is striking out in over 30% of his plate appearances–but his stock hasn’t been this high in a long time nonetheless.

Beyond Shaffer, Taylor Motter went 2 for 4 with a stolen base, 2 RBI, and a run scored while Corey Brown went 2 for 4 with 2 doubles, a walk, a stolen base, an RBI, and a run scored. Luke Maile and Hak-Ju Lee also delivered multi-hit games even though Maile was taken out early after working hard to get his pitchers through the game. Lee, meanwhile, is hitting .353 in his 4 games since returning from his hand laceration.

Speaking of Maile’s troubles, Dylan Floro somehow got the win in this game despite going 5 innings allowing 7 runs, 6 earned, on 10 hits, striking out 5 while walking 3. He got lit up, although his groundout to flyout ratio was great at 8-1. Robert Zarate and Kyle Winkler came up from Montgomery with so many Durham pitchers heading to the Rays and others in limbo, and they managed to finish the game with 4 shutout innings. Winkler has been excellent since joining the system, and it will be interesting to see if he can stick with the Bulls.

High-A Florida State League: Charlotte Stone Crabs 1, Jupiter Hammerheads (MIA) 0 (10 innings)

Marty Gantt won this game with an RBI bunt since in the 10th as the Stone Crabs emerged victorious despite getting 4-hit. Gantt finished 2 for 4 while Kean Wong and Braxton Lee had the other hits. In any event, let’s move onto the pitching.

Jacob Faria had another nice start for Charlotte, going 7 innings allowing no runs on 6 hits, striking out 3 while walking 1. He was matched up against rehabbing Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, but he certainly held his own. His ERA on the season is now just 1.33 as he is rapidly approaching Blake Snell‘s 1.05 mark. Steve Ascher followed with 2 shutout innings working around 2 hits and walk while striking out 3 before Brad Schreiber forced 2 groundballs in a perfect 10th for the save.

Low-A Midwest League: Beloit Snappers (OAK) 4, Bowling Green Hot Rods 3 (12 innings)

The Hot Rods lost, but more importantly, Brent Honeywell is back. Honeywell entered this game having failed to exceed 5 innings in a start since his 7 no-hit frames on May 17th. That changed in this game as he allowed his 2nd and 3rd homers of the season but was unhittable otherwise. He went 7 innings allowing 3 runs, 1 earned, on 2 hits, striking out 11 while walking 2. Honeywell needs to get back to doing that on a more consistent basis, but we know how talented he is and it is great to see him regain his confidence.

Hunter Wood followed and was also excellent, tossing 4 shutout innings allowing 1 hit and no walks while striking out 8. He also got 3 more outs on the ground. Wood certainly isn’t the prospect that Honeywell is, but he stands out for a solid fastball-curveball combination and has been incredible for the Hot Rods. Now he has a 1.51 ERA, a 12.3 K/9, a 2.3 BB/9, and a 0.4 HR/9 in 15 relief appearances and 47.2 innings pitched. Brian Miller allowed the winning run in the 12th.

On the offensive side, Casey Gillaspie had a huge if not Shaffer-esque game. He went 2 for 4 with a solo homer, 2 walks, and somehow 2 stolen bases. I have no idea how to explain the steals. Jace Conrad and Bralin Jackson also each went 2 for 5, with Jackson stealing a base and driving in a run while Conrad doubled and walked.

Next: Tampa Bay Rays: 23rd Rounder Reign Letkeman Has Big Curveball