Mike Scioscia gives Ernesto Frieri a vote of confidence

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Ernesto Frieri’s 2014 season continued to be a nightmare with Saturday night’s appearance against the Braves. Staked to a 5-1 lead at the start of the ninth inning, Frieri allowed four runs on three singles, a triple, and a ground-rule double before he was yanked from the ballgame. The outing bumped Frieri’s ERA up to 5.46.

Frieri was demoted from the closer’s role towards the end of April, but returned to closing duty after a successful string of appearances in non-save situations in May. It would seem Frieri is once again in danger of losing his job, but manager Mike Scioscia gave Frieri a vote of confidence, saying is no change in how he’s handling the bullpen, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.

Frieri has allowed runs in two out of his last five appearances. Overall, along with the ugly ERA, Frieri has an 0-3 record with two blown saves and a 36/7 K/BB ratio in 28 innings.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.