Roughly 600 fans attended the first full squad work out of the spring on Monday.
CF Kevin Kiermaier and RHP Chris Archer have been vocal following the trade of RHP Jake Odorizzi and the DFA of OF/DH Corey Dickerson over the weekend. Kiermaier, in particular, was not in the best of moods on Monday as the first full squad workouts got underway in Port Charlotte.
“We pride ourselves for a long time allowing players to speak their piece,” Manager Kevin Cash said Monday afternoon. “We don’t always have to agree with it. KK is as good as anyone I’ve ever been around as far as positive energy. He wanted to say something, he said it. I’d be surprised if you hear KK say anything else about it.”
INF Brad Miller is in camp and healthy. A point Cash said was the highlight of the day, in his mind. He also said with confidence that Miller will play first base in 2018. He noted he’ll get plenty of work in at second, as well.
“He’s gonna play first for us,” Cash said. “He’s also gonna play some second to keep him fresh. Versatility is not a bad thing.”
Faria just wants to “stay healthy”
RHP Jake Faria is set to make his Opening Day debut with the Rays. With the decision by Cash to go with a four-man rotation for the first six weeks, the 24-year old is trying to keep his feet firmly planted on the ground.
“I personally try to look at it as I still have to make the team,” he said Monday afternoon. “I don’t look at it as I already have a spot.”
After a stint on the DL last season, his main goal in 2018 is to just stay healthy.
“Just make every scheduled start or appearance whether it’s in the big leagues or the minors. I like to be healthy. Last year was a big hit to me to miss time on the DL.”
Grapefruit Leauge opener
The first game of the exhibition season takes place this Friday in a split-squad day for the Rays.
Port Charlotte will host the Pirates at 1:05 and the other squad will head up to Sarasota to play the Orioles, also a 1:05 first pitch.
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