7/1/2014 8:03 P.M. ET
Rays keep close eye on World Cup in clubhouse
By Bill Chastain and Jake Kring-Schreifels / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Rays players are caught up in World Cup action, particularly where the United States team was concerned.
Tuesday afternoon's United States-Belgium game was on in the Rays' clubhouse, and most of the players were in tune to the action. Belgium won the game, 2-1.
Bench coach Davey Martinez was caught up in the fever and managed to get rookies Cole Figueroa, Kirby Yates and Kevin Kiermaier to get more patriotic by having their hair painted red, white, and blue.
None of the three seemed to mind.
Yates noted that everybody in the clubhouse had been watching. When asked if the same thing would have been going on at Triple-A Durham, Yates replied: "I'm pretty sure if I was in the Minors, it would be the same. Obviously, it's the World Cup."
Rays manager Joe Maddon didn't seem as caught up in the buzz.
"From the perspective of pulling for the United States, I'm totally in," Maddon said. "I have noticed a buzz around the clubhouse.
"... I think that's wonderful. I'm so happy that people become soccer fans once every four years. ... Honestly, I understand from the patriotic, nationalistic perspective. But it always amuses me that everyone becomes interested once every four years."
Rays owner Sternberg won't rush any moves
NEW YORK -- Rays principal owner Stu Sternberg attended Tuesday night's Rays-Yankees game at Yankee Stadium. And his message was clear: He hasn't given up on the season.
That sentiment is significant given the fact the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline is looming and Rays left-hander David Price is the most coveted name rumored to be on the trade block.
However, the Rays are playing better lately, giving the impression that their 2014 season still has a pulse. At the very least, Sternberg made it sound like waiting until July 31 to make any drastic moves would be the prudent move.
"My M.O., and this, if nothing else, filters down through the organization, and everybody knows it about us just by our actions, I'll wait as long as I need to make a decision," Sternberg said. "If it will give us a clearer picture on what's ahead of us."
Sternberg brought up the 2011 season, when speculation suggested the Rays would be sellers at the Trade Deadline and they were not.
"People had a full expectation for the month of July that we were going to do some relatively dramatic things at the end of the month with some players, both for money purposes and what not, and none of that happened," Sternberg said. "We made some decisions then.
"A lot will depend on how the team is playing, what's happening around us. What other teams are looking to do to improve or even something we can do to improve. We could go the other way in a couple of weeks and say, 'What are we missing?'"
While Sternberg didn't sound like a seller on Tuesday, he did not sound at a loss for understanding the importance of any decision the Rays make at this point.
"Part of the opportunity we have for success is David's performance," Sternberg said. "He's been doing a great job and getting things done. I think most importantly we all look back to the semi-miracle of what happened in 2011, and time can be made up. But you have to have confidence in your team.
"And I think the players are clearly focused on one game at a time. We really are taking it a day and a week at a time to see where we stand. Obviously we'd have some decisions to make at some point in time, potentially. Make decisions not to do something, make decisions to do something. I want to emphasize when you don't do something, that's a decision in itself. So we're always evaluating and making decisions."
McGee, Price have strong All-Star cases
NEW YORK -- Don't assume that the Rays will have just one All-Star on the American League roster at this year's Midsummer Classic. Two players from the Rays could be suited up for the AL at Target Field.
And Evan Longoria, who was the only Rays player hoping to earn a spot through the fan vote, is likely not one of the two.
Reliever Jake McGee appears to be a lock.
The southpaw certainly has All-Star-caliber stuff, and Rays manager Joe Maddon has been outspoken in support of his candidacy. Adding the curveball back to his repertoire this season has added another dimension to his effectiveness.
"To be able to lace that within the other stuff that he's doing with the fastball," Maddon said, "it makes the fastball closer to 100."
Based on past precedent, David Price will be the second Rays player on this year's team.
In 2011, Price followed a Cy Young-caliber season with a slow start. Nevertheless, manager Ron Washington wanted him on the team for the simple fact he hoped to win the game so the AL could have home-field advantage during the World Series.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15.
Rays add lefty Beliveau to bolster bullpen
NEW YORK -- The Rays called up left-hander Jeff Beliveau on Tuesday to replace shortstop Yunel Escobar, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder soreness late after Monday night's game.
Beliveau made two appearances for the Rays in April, throwing two scoreless innings, but he hasn't been with the club since he was sent down to Triple-A Durham on April 13.
In 26 appearances for the Durham Bulls, the southpaw has a 1.10 ERA with 10 saves and has given up just four runs over 32 2/3 innings.
"Beliveau's been doing really, really well," said manager Joe Maddon. "We've been hearing nothing but good things about him, too. The guys that have come up here have really helped us a lot. Is it going to be short term? I'm not sure exactly. I think once our bullpen gets in order again, if we want to reconsider, we can."
The Rays have been short a bench player for the last week, but Maddon has been happy with the combination of Logan Forsythe and Brandon Guyer in right field helping in matchup situations. Maddon believes Beliveau also aids a tired bullpen.
"We really thought after the bullpen usage the last couple of days we needed to bolster that a bit," said Maddon. "We thought with [Escobar] going on the DL, that for right now especially, we needed to bolster the bullpen."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Jake Kring-Schreifels is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.