Tampa Bay Rays: Week 1 – Spring Training News & Notes
By Seth Carter
The Tampa Bay Rays are in Port Charlotte preparing for the upcoming season. We run down a few of the highlights so far.
The Tampa Bay Rays are in the full swing of things in the spring. Here are some key notes thus far.
Brenda McKay’s Schedule
Kevin Cash said Brendan McKay is converting to a five-day schedule from a six-day schedule. The Rays want to get him some work hitting, but the priority is pitching. The team is already overloaded with hitting depth. McKay is going to make his living with his arm. Whether he forces his way into the rotation out of the spring or his services are needed later in the season, he’s a prime candidate for the AL Rookie of the Year.
McClanahan and Poche Stand Out
Kevin Cash mentioned Shane McClanahan and Colin Poche as standouts yesterday. McClanahan was recently rated as Baseball America’s 83rd ranked prospect. Last season was his first full season with the organization and McClanahan was promoted all the way up to AA-Montgomery. He’s on a quick ascent toward the major leagues. With talents like McClanahan and Poche (and all the other relievers), it surely made it easier for the Rays to trade Emilio Pagan.
Yoshi Has Arrived!
Yoshitomo Tsutsugo arrived in Florida today and is expected to report to camp on Saturday. After dominating Japan’s NPB and the World Baseball Classic, Rays’ fans anxiously await seeing the first videos surfacing of Tsutsugo taking batting practice.
Stepping on the Scale
Josh Tolentino went Biggest Loser on the Rays and posted a list of the significant weight changes.
The Rays have signed the following players:
- Signed LHP Sean Gilmartin to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
- Signed RHP Brooks Pounders to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
- Signed RHP Deck McGuire to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Alvarado All Smiles
Alvarado entered last year’s camp as the probable closer for the Rays. Alvarado struggled in 2019 with health issues, command issues, and some family issues. He has recovered from his injuries and his parents have left Venezuela and are now in Florida with the 24-year-old lefty. Hopefully, now he can relax and focus on regaining his 2018 form, in which he was one of the most dominant left-handed relievers in all of baseball.
By all accounts, his first bullpen session of the spring was a success.
Happy first week of spring training!