Rays Spring Training March 26

On Opening Day the Rays will retire No. 66 , the last number worn by long-time senior advisor Don Zimmer. Zimmer died on June 4. Joe Maddon had this to say about Don Zimmer after hearing the news about his number being retired:
“Zim was unique. Zim was unique in the sense he could evaluate players, talk about strategy and still be 80 years old. That doesn’t happen very often. He was invaluable personally. He was a great asset for me. All those players and coaches benefitted from his presence.”

Saturday’s game against the Red Sox is Community Day at Charlotte Sports Park, where the Rays will recognize the team’s community partners in Charlotte County and the important work they do locally. Recognized will be Charlotte County Family YMCA and Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity. Employees and volunteers from each organization will attend as special guests. During the pregame on-field presentation, each group will receive a $5,000 donation from the Rays Baseball Foundation and deliver a ceremonial first pitch.

Drew Smyly’s (left-shoulder tendinitis) bullpen went well on Thursday according to Rays manager Kevin Cash, who added: “Smyly was all good,”

Rene Rivera, who had been nursing a tight left calf, caught on Wednesday and will DH on Friday. If all goes well, he’ll catch back-to-back games over the weekend.

Nathan Karns will start in the Rays’ game against the Red Sox on Saturday and will pitch to Rivera. Meanwhile, Jake Odorizzi and Chris Archer will each pitch in a Minor League game. Bobby Wilson and Curt Casali will catch Odorizzi and Archer.

–Bill Chastain

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