Tom Foley strolled through the clubhouse prior to Sunday morning’s workout proclaiming, “The athletes have arrived.”
The Rays third base coach spoke loud enough for the pitchers to take note. He delivers the message annually once position players begin to trickle in since they are the “athletes” and the pitchers are, well, pitchers.
A good sign for any club is the early arrival of position players. Highlighting the group that arrived Sunday were reigning AL Rookie of the Year, Wil Myers, along with Sean Rodriguez and Matt Joyce.
The Rays’ first full-squad workout takes place Thursday at Charlotte Sports Park.
I’m always amused when somebody asks me, “What’s the mood in the clubhouse?” Nevertheless, I can’t help notice the mood of this year’s squad.
Starting at the top with ace David Price, the Rays come off as an enthusiastic — and confident bunch. While I still believe talent trumps anything where winning baseball teams are concerned, the Rays’ attitude certainly seems like a positive that will enhance their chances of winning given the overall talent of the group.
Obviously, there is a boatload of baseball to be played, but from the outset, this appears to be a championship caliber team.
It’s official, the Rays have signed veteran lefty Erik Bedard to a Minor-League deal with an invite to the Major League camp for Spring Training.
The Rays head into camp looking to fill the No. 5 spot in their rotation, a vacancy created by Jeremy Hellickson’s right-elbow surgery to “remove loose bodies” that will keep the right-hander sidelined until May.
Beddard is expected to report to camp today. The Rays will have 64 in camp.
Rays announced four Minor League signings with invites to Major League camp:
Catcher Ali Solis, right-hander Santiago Garrido, infielder/outfielder James Darnell, and shortstop Ray Olmedo.
Outfielder Desmond Jennings has been activated from the disabled list and reliever Brandon Gomes has been optioned to Triple-A Durham.
The addition of Jennings, who fractured his left-middle finger, should give the Rays’ offense a boost. Meanwhile, Gomes, who joined the team on Saturday, should soon be back with the team, as a September call-up at the latest.
Yunel Escobar, who has missed the last three games with a mild right-hamstring strain, is back in the lineup for tonight’s Rays-Red Sox contest at Fenway Park.
Any suspense regarding the Rays shortstop was ended minutes ago when the Rays posted their lineup inside the visiting clubhouse and Escobar’s name was in the ninth spot. Meanwhile, Wil Myers is not in the starting lineup for a second straight day. The Rays rookie outfielder missed Sunday’s game due to a sore left wrist. Monday afternoon, Myers said his wrist felt fine and that he is definitely available to play. Myers did clarify that he thought he actually did something to his wrist while sleeping and irritated it further by sliding in the Minnesota series.
I’m not an expert on these things, but the rain that had been soaking the inside of Kauffman Stadium now appears to be snow.
No word yet if they’ve banged the game, though.
The tarp is getting placed on the field in Kansas City with the Rays trailing the Royals 1-0 after 3 1/2 innings of play.
The chances of getting this one in don’t look good based on what I’ve seen of the weather forecast, but stranger things have happened. One thing is for certain: They are going to do everything they can to get this one in because the Rays don’t play the Royals in Kansas City again this season.
Early-season weather problems always add complications to Major League schedules. Earlier in the season the Rays had a game rained out in Boston, which will be made up in June.
Luke Scott has been activated and is ready to play after struggling with a strained right calf.
To make room for him on the 25-man roster, Shelley Duncan was designated for assignment.
Tampa Bay just announced that they have acquired Minor League catcher Juan Apodaca from Texas for cash considerations.
Apodaca was in camp with the Rangers during Spring Training, but he incurred a forearm strain that put him on the disabled list to start the season. He will report to Triple-A Durham.