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Saturday, Nov 22, 2014
Rays

New starter Smyly gets the formal introduction

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— LHP Drew Smyly finally arrived in the Rays clubhouse Saturday at 4 p.m. while his new teammates were on the field posing for the team photo. That’s OK. Smyly had more pressing matters to attend to. He had to get fitted for a tuxedo.

“I wasn’t expecting that,” Smyly said.

Welcome to the Rays.

The theme for tonight’s charter flight to Oakland is formal, which means Smyly needed a tux. A tailor was waiting for him in the clubhouse.

“I already heard about their flight theme parties. Everyone knows it’s an exciting, kind of laid-back place to play,” Smyly said. “I’m excited to be in that locker room.”

Smyly said he wasn’t expecting Thursday’s trade that sent him to the Rays. But he said he’s happy to be part of a young and promising rotation, and he’s glad for the chance to work with pitching coach Jim Hickey.

Smyly will make his Rays debut Tuesday against the A’s in Oakland. That would be David Price’s turn in the rotation had he not been traded. So, not only is Smyly replacing Price on the roster, he’s replacing Price in the order.

“It’s very big shoes (to fill),” Smyly said. “He’s David Price. He’s outstanding. He’s awesome to watch. The Rays made the move, so they obviously see something in me.

“I’m really excited to be playing for them, for a team that wants you.”

Hanigan update

C Ryan Hanigan (left oblique strain) began his minor-league rehab Saturday with Class-A Charlotte, going 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs in a 10-0 victory against Daytona.

Hanigan is expected to catch Monday for the Stone Crabs and catch Wednesday for the Gulf Coast League Rays.

Hanigan could rejoin the Rays on Friday when they begin a three-game series in Chicago against the Cubs. Manager Joe Maddon said head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield does not want to rush Hanigan back and risk a setback.

“It’s getting closer, but Ronnie really, really wants to see how he feels (today), and then we’ll accept the next moment,” Maddon said.

Myers update

RF Wil Myers (right wrist fracture) will take on-field batting practice Monday in Port Charlotte. He said he plans to travel to Durham on Wednesday and start his 20-day rehab Saturday with the Triple-A Bulls.

That could be the plan if all goes well this week.

“I’m ready to just hit the ball on the field to see where the balls are going,” Myers said.

Myers took more swings in the cage Saturday — 15 off a tee, 20 at balls flipped to him and 20 at batting practice pitches.

“When he talks about how it feels when he swings, he’s very positive,” Maddon said.

Half day for Longoria

3B Evan Longoria said his right thigh was sore Saturday from his collision Friday night with first-base umpire Larry Vanover. But that’s not why Longoria served as the DH.

“We had talked about this being a DH day before (Friday) night,” Longoria said.

Maddon said he wanted to give Longoria a day off his feet, and with fly ball pitcher Chris Archer starting, Saturday was the day.

Longoria has played in all 110 games this season, and Maddon said he doesn’t see why Longoria can’t play in the remaining 52.

Maddon said Longoria’s legs look healthy when he’s playing the field and when he’s hitting.

“I don’t see any kind of hindrance regarding legs, which has always been the big concern,” Maddon said.

Mashed potato head

Maddon sent a box of Joe Maddon Potato Heads, Saturday’s giveaway, to Angels manager Mike Scioscia before Friday’s game. Maddon received a video of the toys being smacked around the visiting manager’s office by Scioscia.

“He was playing soft toss with them,” Maddon said. “So it’s mashed potato head night.”

Noteworthy

The Rays took their annual team photo before Saturday’s game. The seat between bench coach Dave Martinez and Maddon was left empty to honor the late Don Zimmer. ... FSU coach Bobby Bowden will throw out the first pitch before today’s game as part of the FSU Day festivities. ... Blake Snell threw a rain-shortened 51⁄3-inning no-hitter Saturday for Class A Charlotte. He struck out nine in the 10-0 victory against Daytona.

Roger Mooney

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