LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Rays officially announced the signing of Carlos Gomez on Saturday afternoon, but their newest outfielder was already in uniform that morning at the Charlotte Sports Park."I saw Gomez this morning," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He looked good. I know that he stood in for somebody's
LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Rays officially announced the signing of Carlos Gomez on Saturday afternoon, but their newest outfielder was already in uniform that morning at the Charlotte Sports Park.
"I saw Gomez this morning," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He looked good. I know that he stood in for somebody's bullpen today, maybe [Jake] Faria's. ... I think we're going to have [bench coach] Charlie [Montoyo] stay back with him Sunday, not come to the game. Just get a full workout in. Then just see where we're at on Monday.
"We have a 10 o'clock sim game on Tuesday where he'll get some at-bats in. He seemed very excited."
Earlier in the spring, Gomez had agreed to an incentive-laden, one-year, $4 million deal with the club. Tampa Bay made the transaction official on Saturday, and designated Ryan Schimpf for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.
The right-handed-hitting Gomez, 32, is earmarked to play right field. He slashed .255/.340/.462 with 17 home runs and 13 stolen bases while manning center field for the Rangers in 2017.
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Cash said Gomez will bring "a lot" to the Rays' lineup.
"He's similar to the player [Steven Souza Jr.] that we lost, and the fact that he plays good defense and brings a lot of energy," Cash said. "Veteran guy who knows the league pretty well. I'm excited -- I mean he's a really good player, but just the energy the guy brings. The guys have all been asking about him. When's he going to get here? What's the holdup? And it was nothing of his doing, just visa stuff. But I think everybody will welcome him real quickly."
And where might Gomez hit?
"You know what, we talked about it briefly today," Cash said. "I asked him if he had a preference, and he said, 'I'll hit wherever.' I said, 'Alright, you might hit first, you might hit third, you might hit fifth, and throughout Spring Training we're just going to put you in different spots. We really don't have a set lineup for anything right now. We'll still work through that once the numbers get cut down."
Cash said Gomez and he agreed there are plenty of games left this spring, so there will be no need to accelerate his pace to make sure he gets enough at-bats before the start of the regular season.
At the game
Chris Archer made his second start of the spring and allowed two runs on two hits and two walks while striking out one in 1 1/3 innings in Saturday's 7-4 win over the Tigers. Of his 41 pitches, 24 went for strikes. Nicholas Castellanos touched Archer for a two-run homer in the first.
"I actually felt better today [than in my first start], but got worse results," Archer said. "That's Spring Training."
Non-roster invitee Adam Moore got the start at catcher and made the most of his opportunity with a solo home run in the second.
Anthony Banda came to the Rays from the Diamondbacks in the three-team deal that sent Souza to Arizona, and also brought infielder Nick Solak to the Rays from the Yankees.
Banda made his first appearance of the spring and looked impressive, striking out one and walking one in one scoreless inning.
"He's got a lot of fastball," Cash said. "The changeup is probably his go-to pitch, but he's working on a breaking ball that ... he's getting the hang of really quick. But the fastball, it's one of those special fastballs that really jumps up on hitters."
When asked about Banda's upside, Cash said, "Starter, powerful left-handed arm."
"The left-handed component is big when you're talking about some of the lineups we're going to be facing a lot," Cash said. "But just get him throwing strikes."
Banda should be considered in competition for a bullpen spot, or the fifth-starter spot once the Rays expand to a five-man rotation in May.
"I'm coming into it to compete," Banda said. "Whether I'm a starter or a reliever."
Injury update: Third baseman Matt Duffy (back spasms), infielder Brad Miller (broken right pinky toe) and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (tightness behind his right knee) remain on the shelf, as does catcher Nick Ciuffo (head laceration).
"I think Duffy and Hech we're going to try and pencil them in for Tuesday," Cash said. "That's not a guarantee. And Miller, maybe gets some ABs in that sim game [Tuesday morning]."
Ciuffo remains day to day as he waits for the cut to his head to heal.
The Rays travel to Tampa on Sunday afternoon to meet the Yankees in a 1:05 p.m. ET contest. Nathan Eovaldi will make his second appearance of the spring. The cast of relievers who will follow him have yet to be announced. The Yankees will start Chad Green in the game, which will be broadcast live on MLB.TV.
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004.