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August 19, 2011; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Wade Davis (40) throws a pitch during the game against the Seattle Mariners at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Seattle Mariners 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Rays News and Notes: Spring Training Begins

Spring Training is finally upon us! Rays pitchers and catchers reported to Port Charlotte today to begin the long 46 days of training. There has been a lot of news and notes today, so here is a recap from the first day of spring practice.

Rays News and Notes

  • ESPN’s Buster Olney(Insider only) is reporting that some scouts think that Wade Davis is better suited to be a reliever. Not many have considered this as an option since the Rays already have a pretty full bullpen, but it could be interesting to see if they try to slide either Davis or Jeff Niemann into the bullpen.
  • Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times has some of the more minor notes from the opening day of spring.
  • Topkin also has an article out on the expectations for 2012. Joe Maddon seems to think that the Rays have a chance to make the World Series again, and I tend to agree. The Rays will be very good in 2012, it’s just a matter of beating their own division.
  • Gary Shelton of the Times has a great article on the Rays two masterminds, Joe Maddon and Andrew Friedman. Maddon and Friedman have become a dominant duo for the Rays since they have came on board, turning the Rays into a winner from the cellar.
  • James Shields joins in with the big expectations, saying that the Rays “have a recipe for success.” It will be interesting to see how the season plays out, as the Rays have never really entered a season with expectations to win.
  • Roger Mooney of TBO.com talked to Jeff Niemann, and Niemann seems to have taken losing his arbitration pretty well. That’s good to hear, as he will not have any lingering bitterness heading into 2012.
  • Finally, on a former-Rays note, Manny Ramirez finally found a home. Ramirez signed with the Oakland A’s for 2012. Ramirez will have to sit out the first 50 games of the season before assuming his DH spot for the A’s. It will be interesting to see how Ramirez does, as he struggled in the few games he played with the Rays.

Tags: James Shields Jeff Niemann Manny Ramirez Rays Wade Davis

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