ARLINGTON -- Despite making a rare short relief appearance in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday, Rays left-hander Ryan Yarbrough will start Game 4 against the Dodgers on Saturday.
“I don’t think it’ll affect me at all, especially because it was a shorter workload,” Yarbrough said. “I feel like I responded well the next day. I feel good. I’m going to literally throw until they take the ball out of my hands.”
Yarbrough believes he can give the Rays 100 pitches, if needed. Yarbrough has mastered the opener role over the last three seasons. This season, he made 11 appearances (nine starts), posting a 3.56 ERA.
“Yarbs has shown the ability to bounce back really, really well,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash. “He’s been used in a role where you’re trying to get his pitch count in. I think tomorrow’s approach -- we’ve got to see how we get through tonight -- but we will look for a pretty heavy chunk of the game to go to him.”
Cash said players like shortstop Willy Adames, first baseman Ji-Man Choi, third baseman Joey Wendle and catcher Mike Zunino deserved more recognition for their efforts. Then there’s center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, who was the most notable omission, and someone Cash called “the best defensive player on whatever field he’s on.”
Kiermaier, a three-time Gold Glove Award winner and the 2015 American League Platinum Glove Award recipient as the best defender at any position, said Friday that he was “surprised and disappointed” about not being a finalist this season.
Due to the shortened 2020 season, this is the first time Rawlings has named finalists solely on multiple advanced metrics and not based on votes by managers and coaches across the league.
“I feel like what I did out there defensively was underappreciated this year,” Kiermaier said. “I wasn’t flawless by any means, but I think I was darn good out there. And to not even be considered top three, I don’t know. … It’s going to motivate me and make me work harder this offseason. It’s an award that means a lot to me, and I’ve been fortunate to win it. But this year wasn’t my year. It’s OK.”
First pitch by Upton
With the Rays serving as the “home” team in Game 3 of the World Series on Friday, B.J. Upton threw out the ceremonial first pitch via a pre-recorded video. Upton was the center fielder for Tampa Bay’s 2008 AL pennant-winning team. He hit seven home runs during that postseason, including four in the AL Championship Series.