RAYS: Boxberger, Ramos ready to move to Durham in rehab stints

By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports

Tampa Bay Rays catcher Wilson Ramos and pitcher Brad Boxberger walk to the dugout while on rehab assignment for the Charlotte Stone Crabs against the Florida Fire Frogs Sunday at Charlotte Sports Park (Sun Photo by Tom O’Neill)

BOXBERGER

PORT CHARLOTTE — It was all business for Tampa Bay Rays reliever Brad Boxberger (flexor strain) in his final rehab outing with the Charlotte Stone Crabs.

Boxberger’s quick 13-pitch first inning Sunday was aided by a double play to limit any further potential damage.

“It’s 13 pitches. It’s another outing down. That’s all it is,” Boxberger said. “Everything feels good and healthy. That’s all I can ask for.”

The 29-year-old hit the first batter he faced, allowed him to steal two bases, and then finally surrendered a run on a wild pitch. Boxberger also walked a batter, and got an out on a hard-hit ball to third base, before inducing an inning-ending double play.

It was the third time the right-hander pitched with the Stone Crabs this week. In the three innings combined, he allowed four runs, five hits, struck out four batters and issued one walk.

Boxberger said  his next rehab outing will come with the Durham Bulls in Triple-A, and he hopes to rejoin the Rays by their next homestand.

He’s been on the disabled list since the start of the season as he continues to work his way back from right arm issues.

RAMOS

PORT CHARLOTTE — The Florida Fire Frogs had a clear game plan against rehabbing Tampa Bay Rays catcher Wilson Ramos on Sunday.

Ramos, working his way back from offseason ACL surgery with the Charlotte Stone Crabs, faced four would-be base stealers in his third game behind the plate.

“That helped me to be ready to throw to bases,” Ramos said. “I feel good. My arm feels good. It helped me to be consistent.”

As his five-inning outing went on, he improved with each attempt. Ramos had trouble transferring the ball from glove to hand on the first attempt. The next two throws were too late before he gunned down the fourth baserunner  for an out at second base.

“The knee feels good today. It feels fresh,” Ramos said. “Moving behind the plate, I feel great.”

Ramos finished the day on a positive note at the plate with a hard-hit single to go 1-for-3 and moved to 2-for-14 for the week. He said his next rehab outing will come at the Triple-A level with the Durham Bulls.

The 29-year-old has yet to make an appearance with the Rays, who signed him to a two-year deal on Dec. 12.

Ramos was an all-star last season with the Washington Nationals, batting .307 with 25 doubles, 22 homers and 80 runs batted in over 131 games. It was his best season in the majors and earned him a Silver Slugger Award.

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