Rays Spring Training March 25

Kevin Jepsen will start Thursday’s game against the Yankees. What gives, right?

Seems the Rays wanted to have a “bullpen day” according to manager Kevin Cash.

“We talked about that,” Cash said. “Getting the bullpen guys facing early lineups. Spring Training early lineups. But I don’t know what we’re going to get simply because New York is coming down here. But it was just kind of a thought. We might have another one here, too. Get those guys facing some guys they’re going to face during the season.”

Cash allowed that “ideally” they would like to get their relievers into more game-like situations, though he wasn’t sure they would be able to facilitate said situations.

“…It’s becoming much more difficult now,” Cash said. “There will be a couple of games where we’ll say, ‘Here’s whose on the card, be ready to pitch.'”

First base doesn’t appear to be in the future of Steven Souza Jr. just yet. The Rays have looked at him playing the position some this spring, but for now, Cash maintained he “would look at that more if we were in a pinch.” Logan Forsythe is earmarked as the backup first baseman.

Rene Rivera caught and hit second Wednesday.against the Twins after nursing a tight left calf for the past several days. He homered in his first at-bat against Kyle Gibson.

Rivera will not play Thursday.

“We’re shooting for two days in a row [at some point],” Cash said. “But not right now. He will catch again on Friday. Not sure about Saturday, see how he feels.”

Forsythe and Brandon Guyer each played in a Minor-League game in Port Charlotte on Wednesday. Cash said both hit the ball well.

Alex Colome, who is trying to get back to form after a bout with pneumonia, threw a 25-pitch bullpen on Wednesday. Now he’ll take two days off.

Cash called Matt Andriese “outstanding” for the work he did while starting Wednesday’s game.

“Looks like his pulse is extremely low,” Cash said. “That’s a good thing. Made some good pitches and kept pounding the zone.”

Steve Geltz recorded the final three outs of Wednesday’s 2-1 win over the Twins.  In the process, the right-hander struck out two.

“I thought Geltzsy, that’s the best I’ve seen him all spring,” Cash said.

The Rays manager also lauded the performance of Brandon Gomes, who struck out two and did not allow a run in 1 1/3 innings.

“Gomer’s been outstanding all spring,” Cash said.

–Bill Chastain

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