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Notes: Renfroe, Yoshi, Pounders, McGuire report

@juanctoribio
February 15, 2020

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- After undergoing three procedures to clean up right foot and ankle issues, Hunter Renfroe arrived to his first Rays camp on Saturday and said he feels “100 percent.” “Everything is good, everything is fixed,” Renfroe said. “I was going to the physical therapist and stuff like

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- After undergoing three procedures to clean up right foot and ankle issues, Hunter Renfroe arrived to his first Rays camp on Saturday and said he feels “100 percent.”

“Everything is good, everything is fixed,” Renfroe said. “I was going to the physical therapist and stuff like that and strengthening the ankle and getting it back to 100 percent, and now it feels like I never even had surgery, so that’s great. The ankle feels great, the foot feels great, so I’m ready to go.”

Renfroe had a breakout first half of the season with the Padres in 2019, launching 27 home runs and posting a .921 OPS in 81 games. However, as a high ankle sprain and foot issues plagued him throughout the season, Renfroe saw his production decrease.

“It didn’t really bother me too much in the first half,” Renfroe said. “It was really the second half, with a lot of beating and [putting] all that pressure upon it.”

As the pain increased in the second half, his production at the plate decreased. Renfroe hit just six home runs and struck out 75 times in 59 games, as opposed to punching out 79 times in his first 81 games. The decline in production forced Renfroe to undergo minor right foot surgery just a few days after the end of the regular season.

Renfroe said doctors also cleaned up scar tissue, fixed a bone spur in his foot that had “been bothering me for years” and repaired an old break in his foot that had built-up calcium on top of the bone, which was causing pain to the nerve.

“I had a lot of issues down there,” Renfroe joked.

But now that Renfroe appears to be healthy, the Rays are excited about the possibility of adding his power in the middle of the lineup and seeing him be a plus-rated defender at the corner outfield positions. His average exit velocity was 89.9 mph last season, which would’ve ranked fifth on the Rays in 2019 behind Yandy Díaz, Ji-Man Choi, Austin Meadows, Tommy Pham and Travis d’Arnaud.

“I really look forward to the season as far as having a healthy foot, a healthy ankle and to be able to perform out there the best I can,” Renfroe said. “I look forward to seeing what happens.”

Inside Rays camp
• Saturday was a short day for the Rays, with Oliver Drake and Pete Fairbanks being the most notable pitchers to throw a bullpen session.

• Renfroe, Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, Brooks Pounders and Deck McGuire reported to camp on Saturday, pushing the number of players in attendance to 58. The nine players yet to reeport are Austin Meadows, Brandon Lowe, Nate Lowe, Lucius Fox, Ryan Lamarre, Randy Arozarena, Joey Wendle, Díaz and Choi. Meadows is expected to arrive at camp Sunday.

Juan Toribio covers the Rays for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @juanctoribio.