Starting for Rays on Monday vs. Red Sox: Brent Honeywell

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Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times
·3 min read
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PORT CHARLOTTE — One-time top Rays pitching prospect Brent Honeywell is expected to start against the Red Sox on Monday in what will be his first game action against another team since September 2017 at Triple A.

Honeywell tore an elbow ligament throwing his first live batting-practice session in spring training 2018, requiring Tommy John surgery. He has had three subsequent procedures, limiting him to intrasquad/simulated games when healthy.

The 25-year-old right-hander has been feeling good, throwing well and working hard in camp, after a cleanup procedure in December.

He said recently that he thought facing another team would be a good next step to channel his competitiveness and hoped he would get the chance. The scheduling didn’t line up before he was optioned to the minors March 16. But the Rays, who generally don’t bring back optioned players to play in exhibitions, made an exception to give Honeywell the opportunity before the end of camp, as minor-league seasons are delayed at least early May.

Honeywell, who threw to Rays hitters as a member of the postseason taxi squad this spring, likely will work only one inning.

Shift work for Ryan Yarbrough

Ryan Yarbrough worked four innings Sunday in what amounted to two shifts and was taken out twice by manager Kevin Cash. Yarbrough started and worked into the third, then was removed with two outs as his pitch count for the inning reached 27. Yacksel Rios got the third out.

With the Rays taking advantage of a spring 2021 rule, Yarbrough was allowed to re-enter, working the fourth inning and getting the first out of the fifth, when Cash came to get him again. For the day, he threw 73 pitches (45 strikes), allowing six runs (five earned) on five hits and a walk. Yarbrough said it was a step forward.

“With all the stuff I was trying to work on (cutters, sequencing), the way the ball was moving, I felt really good about that,’' he said. “Obviously the results aren’t exactly what you’re looking for, although getting a lot of soft contact, seeing some of that (Sunday) was encouraging.

“I don’t think anyone’s really proud or happy about when you have to, in a sense, roll an inning when you have a guy come in, but then you’re still able to go finish. So I don’t think anyone’s really ecstatic about that happening, but it’s one of those necessary things this time of year to be built up.’'

Cash said the rule was appreciated since it allowed Yarbrough to get in all the work they had planned.

Game details: Braves 11, Rays 1

Lefty reliever Cody Reed made his fourth one-inning appearance without allowing a baserunner. “He’s come in throwing strikes,’' Cash said. “He’s gotten a breaking ball (where he is) able to command it. We’ve talked about just the kind of the funkiness to his delivery and his arm slot. Definitely looks like he could help us.’' … A home run by outfield prospect Ryan Boldt was about the only other highlight for the Rays (7-12), although Cash was amused by third-base coach Rodney Linares’ reaction to being hit by a foul ball. “It wasn’t a very good day, to say the least, all around,’' Cash said. “We didn’t pitch very well or hit.’' … Top prospect Wander Franco came off the bench and grounded out. He’s now hitting .222 (6-for-27).

Miscellany

‣ Reliever Chaz Roe has not pitched in a game since March 13 due to what Cash said was “a cranky shoulder” but is feeling better and should be back soon.

‣ Josh Fleming threw 35 pitches over three innings of a “B” game Sunday against the Braves on a back field, striking out four of the first five and six total.

‣ Opening-day starter Tyler Glasnow is scheduled to throw six innings in a backfield game Monday.

‣ Cash said team officials are discussing the timing of the next roster reduction as they still have 53 players in camp.