Archer won't return to USA for WBC '17 final

Archer won't return to USA for WBC '17 final

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Right-hander Chris Archer will not be returning to Team USA for the World Baseball Classic.

"I received a message this morning that I am no longer needed to pitch in the final round of the WBC. I will not be leaving camp as I thought," Archer posted on his Twitter account.

While Archer was disappointed he wasn't returning to the Classic, Rays manager Kevin Cash was happy to have him back in camp.

"I think he texted me at 5:30 this morning saying that he was not going, so I don't really know any details other than that," Cash said. "But we're excited to have him here and keep him on the schedule that we had initially talked about. Archer's had a really good spring and whether he went and pitched or not, we like where he's at."

Archer is scheduled to pitch in a Grapefruit League game on Wednesday against the Orioles in Sarasota, which will keep him on schedule to start Opening Day on April 2 against the Yankees.

Worth noting 

•Third baseman Evan Longoria was initially in Sunday's starting lineup, an 8-0 win against the Phillies, but was scratched with neck stiffness. Daniel Robertson will take his place at third base, batting eighth.

Colby Rasmus, who has been sidelined by hip and groin ailments, was in the starting lineup Sunday, his first Grapefruit League action this spring. Rasmus served as the designated hitter, batting fifth. His return to the lineup is a good sign he can be ready for Opening Day, Cash said.

"We'll take it day by day," Cash said. "I think the plan is right now DH, DH, and then a couple days off and see how he goes. But he's been progressing really well. Like I said a long time ago, or it feels like a long time ago, if you don't see him on the field, it really doesn't mean much.

Rasmus on his first spring game

"He likes to work in the cage and really [couldn't] care less about taking batting practice on the field. So we might not see him the next few days on the field. He might just hit in the cage and do his thing."

• Several players who had been out of camp playing in WBC '17 are expected back soon, including left-hander Jose Alvarado, and right-handers Jumbo Diaz and Alex Colome. Diaz, who is listed at 6-foot-4 and 280 pounds, was selected off waivers on March 10 from the Reds. He has not been to Rays camp thus far.

"I definitely want to see what he looks like," Cash said. "I'm excited to get him in here and get him on the mound. I actually have not talked to him yet. Figured it would be best to do it when he got back over here rather than interrupt what was going on for him and his team during the WBC."

• Second baseman Brad Miller and president of baseball operations Matthew Silverman were among a group of several Rays players and staff members who had their hair clipped before the game as part of the Rays' fundraiser for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation's "Cut for a Cure" program. This is the sixth straight year the Rays have hosted the event. Last year, 50 players, coaches and staff and fans shaved their heads, raising more than $15,000 to support PCF. 

Rays host Cut for a Cure event

 • Dolphins head coach Adam Gase was a visitor in Rays camp Sunday.

Maureen Mullen is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.