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Veterans Weeks, Hunter make Rays' roster

March 28, 2017

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Multiple roster moves await the Rays before Opening Day according to manager Kevin Cash. Count Rickie Weeks Jr. and Tommy Hunter as two who are no longer in suspense about their respective fates.Cash told the veteran pair they will be on the team's 25-man active roster

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Multiple roster moves await the Rays before Opening Day according to manager Kevin Cash. Count Rickie Weeks Jr. and Tommy Hunter as two who are no longer in suspense about their respective fates.
Cash told the veteran pair they will be on the team's 25-man active roster when they open the season Sunday afternoon against the Yankees.
Hunter "had a good spring, but really going for him was he competed in this division," Cash said. "He pitched in the backend of ballgames in the AL East. We believe, I believe there's value to that."
Cash said Weeks "came in a little bit of an unknown."
"Our front-office guys liked him a lot just from what he's done especially against left-handed pitching," Cash said. "I think Rickie's put himself in a situation where he's going to play against left-handers all the time, and there will be opportunities for him to get in there against righties."
Cash lauded Weeks' clubhouse presence, which he called "off the charts," and the way he got quickly acclimated to a new position, first base.
Most felt all spring that Weeks would be with the team. However, Weeks wasn't about to rest on his laurels.
"I mean you can't take stuff like that for granted," Weeks said. "This is one of those things where I'm happy and blessed to be in the position I'm in, but the next step is the real world. I want to win games and bring a championship to Tampa."
Weeks signed a Minor League deal with an invite to Spring Training, so he did not arrive figuring he had a job.
"I've never felt that way in my life so why start now?" Weeks said. "I'm just keeping it real with you. It's just one of those things where you come into a situation, there are situations that happen the media doesn't know about, the fans don't know about where it's just business."
Weeks noted that there probably wasn't a guy on the team, aside from maybe Evan Longoria, who was not subject to having their fate decided by different scenarios.
"You just never know," said Weeks, who will be a right-handed option at first base and DH.

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