Rivera Booted, Loney On Ice

March 31st, 2016
Rays fans will no longer be tortured by Rene Rivera in the batters box.

Rays fans will no longer be tortured by Rene Rivera in the batters box.

Two big dominoes fell Wednesday in the Rays’ scramble to set their roster for Game No. 1.

Catcher Rene Rivera was given his pink slip, and first baseman James Loney relayed to media types in Port Charlotte that he wouldn’t make the team. So Loney, once the toast of the Trop after a stellar 2013 season, will twiddle his thumbs until he’s traded or released.

The writing was on the wall for Loney after the Rays snagged Steve Pearce, Logan Morrison and Corey Dickerson in the offseason. But Rivera’s departure is somewhat of a surprise, even with Curt Casali gaining favor this spring as the top option behind the plate.

That leaves Hank Conger – yes, the same Barney Fife who threw out one potential base stealer in 43 tries last year with the Astros – as the primary backup.

Fasten your seat belts.

The big takeaway: It’s amazing how quickly Rivera fell out of favor. He was gained in the Wil Myers trade with the Padres in December 2014. Then, Rivera was a rising talent with offensive upside, someone who had the potential to make Rays fans forget the misery that was Jose “Molasses” Molina.

Instead, Rivera had one big face plant at the plate last yearm hitting a cringe-worthy .178 with a career-worst 86 strikeouts. The clock ran out on Rivera’s time in Tampa Bay much earlier than anyone could have imagined.

Joe wishes both Loney and Rivera well.

One Response to “Rivera Booted, Loney On Ice”

  1. Ray of Sunshine Says:

    Conger: 1 base stealer caught in 43 tries. He could be the best pitch framer there is, but if every single is now going to be turned into a double, what’s the point ?


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