It is Monday, February 11th and that can only mean one thing… Tampa Bay Rays baseball is back in less than 24 hours. Tomorrow the Rays pitchers and catchers will report to Port Charlotte if they haven’t already.
Rogers Hornsby once said, “People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”
Tomorrow, we can stop staring and turn our attention to Blake Snell, Charlie Morton, and Jose Alvarado. Soon thereafter we can focus our energy on Avisail Garcia, Yandy Diaz and Tommy Pham. This Spring Training will be as exciting of a camp as I can remember. Battles will be won and lost and the stage will be set for the 2019 season.
Brent Honeywell will continue marching towards his much anticipated Honey-Day. Blake Snell, Charlie Morton, and Tyler Glasnow will look to solidify themselves as one of the most talented rotations in the league. Jose Alvarado will set his sights on the closer’s role and Ryne Stanek will continue to reinvent baseball with his high octane fastball in the first inning of games.
Battles on the bump will be aplenty this spring as Colin Poche, Ian Gibaut, Oliver Drake and countless others will be vying for a few precious roster spots.
Hopefully, Jacob Faria can find the magic he had when he arrived in 2017 and possibly beat out Yonny Chirinos for a bulk role or even a rotation spot (highly unlikely). Ryan Yarbrough will look to back up his solid rookie campaign with an even stronger sophomore campaign as a bulk guy. Finally, Wilmer Font will look to remind us of the excitement that surrounded his performance on the mound prior to his season ending injury.
The rotation seems to be set barring an injury and most of the pen is set as well but a few precious spots are still up for grabs and the competition will be fierce.
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Baseball is almost here Rays fans and I couldn’t be happier!