Rays starters becoming pros at 'The Jump'

Rays starters becoming pros at 'The Jump'

Rays starters becoming pros at 'The Jump'

NEW YORK -- "The Jump" is all the rage with the Rays starting pitchers these days.

"The Jump" occurs after one of the team's starters throws a complete game. Upon the completion of that game, the starters congregate in front of the mound with a group leap and bump of their bodies.

"We want to do that starter's jump, every game," David Price said. "It's something that we enjoy. It's extremely tough to go out there and throw nine innings at this level, or at any level. It's tough in college.

"We take pride in that. Every one of our starters take pride in taking that ball every fifth day and going out there and going as deep as possible in the game. Our mindset is to go nine, and when we're able to do that and get a win, we like jumping."

Price allowed that some of the jumps have been a little inconsistent where timing is concerned, but he noted "it's getting better."

"And it will get better with the more practice we get," Price said. "So hopefully we'll have a couple of more this year. You know, everybody's kind of getting used to it."

Rays starters had thrown five complete games in their last 14 outings before Friday' series opener at Yankee Stadium. Prior to that, the Rays had no compete games in their first 88 games of the season.

"I feel like we're jumping every other game," Jeremy Hellickson said. "We should be in top form right now. I'm the one in the middle of it."

The five complete games in the month of July tied the club record for a single month (June 2002) and are the most by any team in any month since the Mets (five) in August 2010.

Each of the pitchers displays a different personality and degree of athleticism in the way they execute the jump.

Chris Archer "wants to jump over everybody," Price said. "[After Matt Moore's complete game Monday night] I think he ran like a 4-second 40 to the mound. And me and Helly were like, 'Arch, slow it down.' Cause we were going to pull a hammy keeping up with Arch. The more practice we get with it, the better we'll all be."

Price said all of the pitchers have to make sure they don't roll an ankle or step on any feet.

"Because the only person that's going to be jumping that has cleats on is the starting pitcher," Price said. "So we have to make sure that we don't have any more [Alex] Cobb occurrences."

Price referenced a jump that occurred that saw a some major mistiming between Moore and Cobb.

"Matt Moore jumped way too late when Cobb's coming down and Moore's going up," Price said. "And they go chest to chest and Cobb winds up on his back with his legs over his head. So we want to make sure that doesn't happen anymore. Because Cobb was a little bit butt hurt about that."

Price was asked if veteran Roberto Hernandez, age 32, needs a little head start when compared to Archer.

"We already talked about it," Price said. "When Roberto throws his first one with us, we're going to kind of just go up on our tippy-toes and not jump. Just want to make sure everything is OK."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.