Rays Spring Training March 21

Kevin Cash told reporters they were not yet ready to make a decision regarding Asdrubal Cabrera’s position. Looking forward, Cash said the decision on whether the veteran will play shortstop or second base could come by Tuesday’s off day.

Grant Balfour will make his first game appearance on Monday against the Pirates.

Nathan Karns, who came to camp earmarked as a possibility for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, is now the leader in the clubhouse to be the team’s No. 3. The right-hander will pitch in a Minor League game on Tuesday afternoon, the team’s final off day of Spring Training.

According to union chief Tony Clark, the union shares Major League Baseball’s “concern” over the Rays’ unsettled stadium issue.

Drew Smyly was scheduled to throw off a mound on Saturday morning, marking his first stint off a mound since experiencing shoulder tendinitis following his March 6 bullpen.

Friday night’s seventh annual BaseBALL Gala, held at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center, raised $55,000 to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Charlotte County. That brings the seven-year total to approximately $380,000. Rays coaches and several players attended.

On March 23 at noon, the Rays and the St. Petersburg Police Department will launch a new partnership–PARK, WALK and CHEER!–to reward good citizenship with a chance to attend a Rays baseball game at Tropicana Field. Rays president Brian Auld and St. Petersburg police chief Anthony Holloway will announce jointly at John Hopkins Middle School.

Steven Souza Jr. left Friday’s game due to right forearm tightness and is listed as day-to-day.

Cash said Rene Rivera — who is day-to-day with left-calf tightness — could have a stint as a DH in the next day or two. Cash does not expect Rivera to be back behind the plate until after Tuesday’s off day.

Jake McGee will throw bullpens on Tuesday and Friday. The left-hander is returning from elbow surgery and continues to make solid progress toward returing to the team by early May.

Alex Colome is expected to play catch Saturday for the first time since returning from a case of pneumonia.

–Bill Chastain

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