Tyler Glasnow ready for Rays’ opener, Ryan Yarbrough to follow

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

FORT MYERS — As Tyler Glasnow turned in an impressive tuneup for Thursday’s opening day start, the rest of the Rays rotation, at least to start the season, is taking shape.

Lefty Ryan Yarbrough will start Friday’s second game of the regular season at Miami. Michael Wacha will pitch, though not necessarily start, Game 4 on April 5 in Boston, as the Rays may use an opener.

Manager Kevin Cash said they hadn’t made a decision yet for the third game of the Marlins series. That presumably would be between Rich Hill and Chris Archer. Or maybe both.

Assuming both veteran free-agent additions are healthy, the Rays may plan a tandem start, with each slated to cover three to four innings. Doing so would explain why both threw about four innings this past Wednesday, Archer against the Twins, Hill on a back field. Of the two, Hill likely would start.

Glasnow made it clear he was ready for the season, striking out 10 of 20 Twins hitters — including All-Stars Nelson Cruz and Josh Donaldson twice each — over five scoreless innings.

“I felt really good. Timing was good,” Glasnow said. “The intensity to those guys, you know you kind of have to bring your best stuff, so I think some of my best pitches were definitely to those guys.”

Overall, Glasnow allowed three hits and two walks, throwing 47 of 79 pitches for strikes (15 swinging), using his new slider effectively again and hitting 99 mph a half dozen times. “You’ve got to be happy, really thrilled with Glas,” Cash said. “Stuff looked amazing.”

Back in action

Outfielders Randy Arozarena and Kevin Kiermaier returned to action for the first time since Monday. Arozarena, who was resting a sore left wrist, showed no issues, hitting one ball 107.5 mph and another 109.4 in going 1-for-3. “Randy looked like Randy,” Cash said. The Rays don’t anticipate the wrist being a lingering issue for Arozarena, but will monitor his workload since they think swinging too much led to the problem. Kiermaier, who was attending to the birth of his second son Tuesday, also was 1-for-3 and felt fine. Arozarena will be off Sunday, while Kiermaier is slated to play.

Game details: Rays 2, Twins 0

Glasnow wasn’t the only impressive pitcher for the Rays (10-15), as relievers Diego Castillo and Pete Fairbanks (who are on the team), and Andrew Kittredge and Ryan Thompson (who are among seven competing for four spots) were sharp. " Everybody looked ready today,” said Cash, noting it was especially encouraging as the Rays just lost high-leverage reliever Nick Anderson for at least half the season. … Non-roster infielder Dalton Kelly singled in both runs. … Top prospect Wander Franco hustled to turn a single to right into a double. … Cash praised the play of new catcher Francisco Mejia: “I don’t think we could be any more excited about where Frankie is heading into our regular season.”

Miscellany

⋅ Infield prospect Greg Jones, the Rays’ 2019 top draft pick, sustained a left quad strain running to first and had to be helped off the field.

⋅ Cash expressed condolences to the Twins and the family of bench coach Mike Bell, who died Friday at age 46 from cancer.

⋅ The Red Sox, who had reliever Matt Barnes test positive for COVID-19, played at Port Charlotte on Friday, but Barnes wasn’t there and Rays officials don’t seem concerned about contact with others.

⋅ The Rays will kind of break camp after Sunday’s home finale, taking most of the team to road games in Sarasota on Monday and Lakeland on Tuesday and doing pre-game workouts there before flying to Miami on Wednesday.

• • •

Sign up for the Rays Report weekly newsletter to get fresh perspectives on the Tampa Bay Rays and the rest of the majors from sports columnist John Romano.

Never miss out on the latest with the Bucs, Rays, Lightning, Florida college sports and more. Follow our Tampa Bay Times sports team on Twitter and Facebook.