3 takeaways from Rays 5-4 loss to Pirates
3 takeaways from Rays 5-4 loss to Pirates:
* CF Kevin Kiermaier isn't going to slow down one bit after getting a big contract. In his first at-bat after the deal was formally announced Monday morning, Kiermaier busted down the line to beat out an infield hit, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch, then scored on a hit. On a day negotiations were coming to a head last week, he made a running and leaping catch in centerfield. "That's him,'' manager Kevin Cash said. "That's probably part of the reason he put himself in those talks to begin with.''
* LHP Blake Snell needs to settle down and sharpen up quickly. Though Cash said Snell was "a little better" on Monday, the second year lefty has not been sharp throughout the spring, and it's getting old to hear him keep saying he knows what he has to do to get better. With just one more long outing on Sunday vs. the Yankees and then a short one before the start of the season, the Rays would feel a lot better to see Snell, their likely No. 4 starter, pitch better.
* Phenom prospect OF/1B Jake Bauers is human after all. Bauers was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts on Monday, his first game without reaching base since March 2. As much excitement and praise as has been heaped upon the 21-year-old, the reality is he has yet to play above the Double-A level and needs to soon head to minor-league camp so he can start getting ready for what could be a challenging season as he positions himself as a big part of the Rays future. It's just not now.