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Snow in NY comes as surprise to Kiermaier

Rays tweak rotation, with bullpen day set for Thursday in Boston
Special to MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Kevin Kiermaier grew up in Indiana and played college baseball in Illinois. Snow isn't a foreign concept to him.

But snow on a day he was supposed to be playing a Major League game?

View Full Game Coverage

NEW YORK -- Kevin Kiermaier grew up in Indiana and played college baseball in Illinois. Snow isn't a foreign concept to him.

But snow on a day he was supposed to be playing a Major League game?

View Full Game Coverage

Kiermaier planned on covering himself in petroleum gel to battle the cold

"I opened the blinds and I couldn't believe what I was seeing," the Rays' center fielder said. "I should have been playing Christmas music in my room. I never thought we'd have a snow day in the big leagues. Maybe if I played in the AL Central or in Colorado, but not here."

They had a snow day, forcing the postponement of Monday's game against the Yankees. They had another cold, wet day Tuesday, with "feels-like" temperatures in the 30s. Kiermaier and other Rays dressed warm, knowing they'll need to do the same later this week in Boston.

Snow leads to rotation tweak

The snowout Monday allowed the Rays to switch their rotation, scrapping a planned bullpen day and lining up Chris Archer and Blake Snell to face the Yankees. Snell, who had been set to face the Red Sox Thursday at Fenway Park, wasn't bothered by the change.

"This is one of my favorite places to pitch," said Snell, who will be making his sixth career start at Yankee Stadium. "It's a beautiful stadium and I made my debut here, so it's special to me. And I like the mound here."

Snell has a 5.30 career ERA at Yankee Stadium, and the Rays have lost all five of his starts.

Worth noting

Assuming the Rays and Yankees are able to play the two scheduled games in New York (rain was in the forecast both days), the Rays will now use Thursday's game in Boston as a bullpen game. Manager Kevin Cash said he isn't yet sure which of his long relievers will start the game.

"We're not trying to be secretive or play games with anyone," Cash said.

Cash said they'll decide who starts the game once they see which pitchers they use out of the bullpen against the Yankees.

Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com.

Tampa Bay Rays, Kevin Kiermaier