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Smith Heads For Doctor As Rays Go To Fort Myers

After Thursday’s day off, the Tampa Bay Rays return to Grapefruit League action today, heading back to JetBlue Park in Fort Myers for another Spring Training matchup against the Boston Red Sox.  Rich Hill (0-0, 6.75 ERA) will get the start, taking on Nathan Eovaldi (0-0, 10.13 ERA).  First pitch is scheduled for 1:05.

Rays Starting Lineup

Tsutsugo 1B

Zunino C

B. Lowe 2B

Diaz DH

Kiermaier CF

Adames SS

Wendle 3B

Boldt RF

Lukes LF


Red Sox Starting Lineup

Hernandez 2B

Duran CF

Martinez DH

Bogaerts SS

Devers 3B

Renfroe RF

Gonzalez LF

Vazquez C

Dalbec 1B

Archer Will Come Out Of Bullpen Today

Manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Chris Archer will work three innings out of the bullpen Friday, coming into a clean inning after Hill finishes to simulate bulk work.

“Just want to get a lot of those guys that haven’t done coming in from the bullpen in the past at least kind of check the box that they’ve done it,” Cash said.  “It might happen once, it might happen twenty times.  We’re just not quite sure how it’s all going to shake out during the course of the season, but if we have the capability of doing it in spring, why not go ahead and do it.”

Cash said pitcher Michael Wacha will also work out of the bullpen in a similar fashion in one of his last starts of the Grapefruit League.

Austin meadows gets congratulated by Kevan Smith after a home run

Catcher Kevan Smith has now faced multiple problems with his back during Spring Training (photo: Will Vragovic/Tampa Bay Rays)

Smith’s Back Requires Additional Testing

Catcher Kevan Smith, who was a non-roster invitee to camp this year, has dealt with one issue concerning his back already this spring, and is now dealing with a second that seems to be more serious.

“It just kind of locked up,” Cash said.  “He had a back issue on one side in the beginning of spring that he’s managed through, but this one on the other side is kind of bothering him.  He’s not moving around too good.  He saw the doctor, and then there’s going to be some further testing.”

Smith has been competing as a non-roster invitee with Francisco Mejia for the backup catching role, which he with the Rays during 2020.

Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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