Lefty Shane McClanahan earned rave evaluations for his four-inning outing Thursday in his first start and regular-season look for the Rays. He allowed two runs on 5 hits, putting out 5, throwing 42 of 59 pitches for strikes.
McClanahan figures he must be better when he takes the mound Tuesday in Anaheim.
“I definitely learned from (Thursday),” he stated. “I talked a lot with (pitchers Michael) Wacha (Rich) Hill, (Ryan Yarbrough). I’m in a good spot. I talked with (pitching coach Kyle Snyder) a lot. A lot to work on and a lot of positive things going from that start. So I’m excited to get the ball (Tuesday).”
Rays supervisor Kevin Cash stated there’s no particular changes McClanahan wants to make.
“Not really, and that’s a compliment,” Cash stated. “We want to always find ways to improve and continue to make progress moving forward. And he will over time. I don’t know after four innings if it would be wise of us to really pinpoint anything.
“Not that we have anything, but that’s just not how we operate. We’re going to work really hard to continue to get him acclimated and as comfortable as possible. … But coming off his last start, I don’t think there’s too much that we can say: ‘Just go out there and fill up the strike again, and your stuff is really, really good.’ ”
Cash stated they aren’t planning to push McClanahan, 24, past the four- to five-inning mark for now, although might modify if he has fast and stress-free innings.
Old buddy alert
After Shohei Ohtani was dominated too sore to pitch as deliberate Monday (although okay to DH), the Angels switched to lefty Jose Quintana and moved ex-Ray Alex Cobb up to start Tuesday.
Cobb was not solely a strong and reliable starter throughout his six seasons with the Rays, however he additionally was an asset — earlier than and after his May 2015 Tommy John surgical procedure — to Cash when he took over as a rookie supervisor that 12 months.
“He meant a lot to me,” Cash stated. “There’s a lot of things that are thrown at you your first year, first two years, of managing.
“Having a player like Alex, who just has a really consistent mindset and was able to understand the ups and downs of a season, the challenging decisions, whether they’re in game, or whether they’re working inside a clubhouse, whatever it was, Alex was just very level-headed and just had a really, really good perspective. Somebody that I valued and I know our organization valued. He was great with the younger pitchers and obviously stating that, he had a lot of success here.”
Outfielder Kevin Kiermaier additionally praised Cobb — or “Cobber Dobber” as he known as him — noting how he seems to be out for youthful gamers and “takes a lot of pride in what he does on and off the field.”
The Rays’ 4 full-season minor-league groups start play Tuesday, a welcome return to motion because the 2020 season was canceled. The set-up is completely different, with Bowling Green (Ky.) now the High A crew and the opposite affiliate switched from Port Charlotte to Charleston (S.C.), with the RiverDogs now the Low-A crew. Montgomery (Ala.) remains to be the Double-A crew and Durham (N.C.) the Triple-A squad, with most of their prime prospects there, together with consensus No. 1 Wander Franco.
Here are the scheduled Tuesday starters; Durham, Chris Ellis; Montgomery, Shane Baz; Bowling Green, Peyton Battenfield; Charleston, John Doxakis.
⋅ Cash and former Rays/now Angels supervisor Joe Maddon had form phrases about one another in pre-game Zoom interviews; the Rays went 2-2 towards Maddon when he was with the Cubs.
⋅ Reliever Pete Fairbanks (shoulder) seemed “very, very good” in one other 12-14 pitch simulated inning Monday, Cash saying they’ll test to see how he feels Tuesday and that he’s “very close” to being activated.
⋅ Reliever Collin McHugh (again) will throw one other multi-inning session Wednesday, then be re-evaulated.
⋅ Catcher Kevan Smith is the one participant on the taxi squad, because the crew wished to permit different minor-leaguers to be with their groups for the season openers.
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