The Tampa Bay Rays brought competitive baseball back to Tropicana Field yesterday.
The Tampa Bay Rays held their first simulated game of summer camp yesterday with Charlie Morton and Ryan Yarbrough working as the starters with Trevor Richards and Blake Snell also getting some work in.
Blake Snell pitched to eight hitters and was hit 96 mph on the radar gun. Charlie Morton threw 47 pitches and threw 79% of his pitches for strikes. While Snell said he was unsure of how stretched out he’ll be at the start of the regular season, Charlie Morton thinks he’ll be ready to go four or five innings on day one.
Ryan Yarbrough allowed just one hit through his first three innings and reportedly had good movement on his fastball. Trevor Richards got in the act, showing proficiency in the art of inducing swings and misses with his changeup.
Tampa Bay Rays – The Trevor Richards Show
Richards faced Willy Adames, Mike Zunino, and Ji-Man Choi twice each. The first three struck out in their six combined at-bats with Choi striking out once giving Richards seven strikeouts over 2.2 IP. Seven of his eight outs were via the strikeout.
In Charlie Morton’s fourth inning of simulated work, he asked for one more batter. That man was Michael Perez, who is battling for a backup catching spot. Perez ended Morton’s day with a home run.
All of the pitchers looked good yesterday and said they felt good about the work they put in. Richards’ changeup was electric and Morton’s curveball was in knee-buckling form, as seen in the video below.
Juan Toribio of MLB.com noted that Tyler Glasnow, Randy Arozarena, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose Martinez have not yet been seen at camp.
It’s great to see Richards have a solid outing. Depth is always important, but even more so in this hurried season. While it is believed that starting pitchers will only pitch about three innings to start the season, it’s good to see Charlie Morton was able to go 47 pitches right out of the gate. His confidence that he could go five innings at the start of the regular season was a very positive note for the veteran.
The Rays have another simulated game scheduled for Thursday.