PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Spring Training is here!Wednesday marks the beginning of the Rays' 21st Spring Training campaign and the 10th in Charlotte County. Plenty of roster shuffling will take place between now and the beginning of the season, giving the team a distinctly different composition.• Rays Spring Training: Info |
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Spring Training is here!
Wednesday marks the beginning of the Rays' 21st Spring Training campaign and the 10th in Charlotte County. Plenty of roster shuffling will take place between now and the beginning of the season, giving the team a distinctly different composition.
• Rays Spring Training: Info | Tickets | Schedule
Youth will be well served with this year's squad as a host of highly touted youngsters will likely make the roster, including shortstop Willy Adames, first baseman/outfielder Jake Bauers, infielder Christian Arroyo and right-handers Brent Honeywell and Jaime Schultz.
Only four players on the current 40-man roster are 30: outfielder Denard Span, right-hander Chaz Roe, left-hander Dan Jennings and catcher Wilson Ramos. Nowhere is that youth more apparent than in the rotation. The club will enter the season with a streak of 560 games started by a pitcher under 30.
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Even manager Kevin Cash's staff will have a different look. Only hitting coach Chad Mottola and bullpen coach Stan Boroski return to their posts. New to the staff are third-base coach Matt Quatraro, pitching coach Kyle Snyder and first-base coach Ozzie Timmons. Charlie Montoyo has assumed the role of bench coach after serving as third-base coach, and Rocco Baldelli moves from first-base coach to the newly created role of Major League field coordinator.
New faces include Arroyo, infielders Ryan Schimpf and Joe Wendle, and Span, all of whom were acquired in trades. Infielder Micah Johnson was claimed off waivers. Bauers, outfielder Justin Williams, right-handers Diego Castillo, Yonny Chirinos, Honeywell and Jose Mujica and left-hander Ryan Yarbrough were all selected from the Minor League system.
Wednesday's first workout for pitchers and catchers begins at 10:30 a.m. ET. The team's first full-squad workout will be held Feb. 19 at 10:30 a.m. All workouts are open to the public. On Feb. 23, the Rays open their Grapefruit League schedule with split-squad contests -- they host the Pirates at Charlotte Sports Park and visit the Orioles in Sarasota, Fla. Both games are at 1:05 p.m.
Minor League pitchers, catchers and position players will all report together this year. The first workout at the back fields of the Charlotte Sports Complex will be March 4. At that time, there will be approximately 150 players in Minor League camp.
Fans can purchase 2018 Spring Training season tickets, three-game packs and combo packs at raysbaseball.com/spring.
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004.