Archer, who fired two scoreless innings in Sunday's 7-3 Grapefruit League win over the Red Sox, was very pleased with his performance, Bill Chastain and Corey Long of MLB.com report. "I felt good. I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish," Archer said. "Just out there having fun, it was really fun to be out there in the spectrum with the umpire, the fans, the batter. It was fun."
Archer closed out his outing with a 95 mph fastball that disposed of Bryce Bentz, an exclamation point on what was a dominant outing overall. The 28-year-old ace of the Rays staff is looking to bounce back from a career-worst campaign in 2016, and the fact that he was immediately able to build on what have been impressive bullpen and batting practice sessions was certainly an encouraging sign.
Archer, who threw a 30-pitch live batting practice session Tuesday, was very satisfied with the results, Bill Chastain of MLB.com reports. "I was happy overall," Archer said. "First time facing hitters. First time working with Sucre. It was overall a really, really good day."
The Rays' ace took a slightly different approach to his session, sitting halfway through his 30-pitch tally so as to simulate a break between innings and then returning to throw his final 15 pitches. Archer is readying himself for both his first action of the spring and his participation in the first round of the World Baseball Classic as a designated pitcher for Team USA.
Archer, who'll pitch for Team USA in the first round of the World Baseball Classic, states that his spring training regimen won't be affected by his participation, Bill Chastain of MLB.com reports. "I've known I was going to play for six months now. When I initially got asked, I said, 'I'm going to play, but we're going to have to make it work.' Just because the pitch count is 65, I don't have to throw 65 pitches. It's just wherever I'm at. However, I'm feeling, we'll get close to that, maybe not all the way to [that count]."
Archer is slated to throw four innings and a maximum of 60 pitches in the tournament's opening round, but confirms that the advance notice he received helped insure that it wouldn't alter his normal spring preparation for the regular season. The 28-year-old right-hander was honored by his selection to Team USA, but is also heading into a pivotal campaign following a career-high 19 losses in 2016. While he's happy for Archer's opportunity, manager Kevin Cash is realistic about the impact that participation in the high-intensity environment of the WBC can have, especially given the competitive nature of players the caliber of Archer. "You just worry that they're competing against All-Stars all over the country, all over the world. And it's very tough to tell committed pitchers or athletes to control yourself in those settings. Because that [World Baseball Classic] will be talked about. It will probably take away from Spring Training because it's such a hyped event. So you worry about that."
The hard-throwing righty, who logged a team-high 201.1 innings last season, figures to get some extra work in heading into what he and the
The 28-year-old right-hander might be coming off the worst season of his career statistically, but his relative youth and blistering fastball still make him an appealing candidate for teams looking to upgrade their starting rotation. Additionally, although he tallied a career-high 19 losses in 2016, Archer finished the season on a strong note, posting a solid 3.25 ERA and .215 average against while recording 103 whiffs over 91.1 second-half innings. As per Topkin's report, the Astros, Braves and Cubs have been the teams most linked to a possible Archer trade. While it's unclear what he could fetch in a trade, the
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