Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

With hand healed, Arroyo getting back in groove

Rays' No. 4 prospect should be ready for camp, looks forward to playing for hometown team
MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- Count new Rays infielder Christian Arroyo among the group working out together Friday morning at Tropicana Field.

Also working out were Jose De Leon, Jake Odorizzi, Chris Archer, Ryan Weber, Ryan Yarbrough, Brent Honeywell, Nathan Eovaldi, Micah Johnson and Ryne Stanek.

ST. PETERSBURG -- Count new Rays infielder Christian Arroyo among the group working out together Friday morning at Tropicana Field.

Also working out were Jose De Leon, Jake Odorizzi, Chris Archer, Ryan Weber, Ryan Yarbrough, Brent Honeywell, Nathan Eovaldi, Micah Johnson and Ryne Stanek.

Arroyo, who came to Tampa Bay in the trade that sent Evan Longoria to San Francisco, appears to be over the broken left hand that ended his 2017 season, and he'll be good to go at the beginning of Spring Training. After a Jan. 9 visit to surgeon Donald Sheridan in Arizona, Arroyo was cleared for baseball activities.

"The hand is great," Arroyo said. "Right now, it's about getting back into baseball shape. … [Sheridan] was very pleased with my last X-rays, CT scan, the whole nine, and everything looked great. ... The hand's great. And the bone healed, which is great. Now, it's just about getting back in the groove for baseball."

Arroyo, 22, has been hitting off a tee for now. That will advance to hitting tossed balls and will graduate with live batting practice once Spring Training begins in Port Charlotte, Fla. Position players report on Feb. 18, and the team's first full-squad workout will be Feb. 19.

Rays Spring Training: Info | Tickets | Schedule

Arroyo is a strong infield candidate for the Rays this season. MLB Pipeline had him listed as the Giants' top prospect when the trade was made. Since joining Tampa Bay, Arroyo has been ranked as the No. 5 third-base prospect in baseball and the No. 4 prospect in the Rays' farm system. He can play third base, shortstop and second base.

"I have no clue yet," Arroyo said when asked about where the Rays might position him. "Actually, the first thing that happened when I first got traded, everyone in the front office told me that once you got traded, the biggest thing everybody wants to know is where they're going to play. The first thing they said was they don't really want to talk about that. They wanted to make sure I was healthy. I think the biggest thing is getting healthy first and then seeing where I'm going to play. ... I'm comfortable at all three [positions]."

Arroyo began the 2017 season with Triple-A Sacramento, where he hit .439 with seven doubles, three home runs and 12 RBIs in 17 games before earning a call to The Show. In 34 games for the Giants, he hit .192 with three homers and 14 RBIs, and then he was sent back to the Minor Leagues in early June. After eight games, he broke his hand on July 1 to end his season.

Arroyo has tremendous hand-eye coordination, which gives him the ability to frequently barrel balls from the right side of the plate, producing hard contact to all fields.

Arroyo, a Tampa, Fla., native and Hernando High product, grew up a Rays fan, and Rocco Baldelli was his favorite player. He's excited about playing for his hometown team.

"I was a Rays fan, a Bucs fan and a Lightning fan," Arroyo said. "... So getting to play for a local team is awesome."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays, Christian Arroyo