Rays News

Tampa Bay Rays: Jose Martinez could be ready for Opening Day

By Seth Carter
PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Jose Martinez #40 of the Tampa Bay Rays slides safely at third base in the second inning of a Grapefruit League spring training game against the New York Yankees at Charlotte Sports Park on February 23, 2020 in Port Charlotte, Florida. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Jose Martinez #40 of the Tampa Bay Rays slides safely at third base in the second inning of a Grapefruit League spring training game against the New York Yankees at Charlotte Sports Park on February 23, 2020 in Port Charlotte, Florida. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Tampa Bay Rays News: Jose Martinez was present at summer camp for the first time on Saturday after testing positive for COVID-19. He could be ready for Opening Day.

Tampa Bay Rays News: Jose Martinez – acquired in an offseason trade for Matthew Liberatore – made his first appearance at Rays’ summer camp after testing positive for COVID-19.

He says he had mild symptoms during his two-week quarantine. Jose Martinez joins Tyler Glasnow, Yonny Chirinos, and Austin Meadows as confirmed cases of the virus on the team.

Glasnow made his return last week and Meadows’ timetable is still uncertain. Yonny Chirinos also made his return to camp over the weekend and should be ready for the start of the season.

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Randy Arozarena, who came to the Rays in the same trade as Martinez, has still not been seen at camp.

If Martinez is ready to go on Opening Day, there’s a good chance we see him plugged into the lineup somewhere, as the Rays will square off with newly-acquired Blue Jays ace LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu.

A part of the reason Martinez was brought to the team was due to his prowess against southpaws. He has a lifetime triple slash of .331/.405/.570 against them.

If Meadows is unable to play then Martinez seems like a pretty clear option to DH on Opening Day with one of the most dynamic outfield trios you will find in all of Major League Baseball in Kevin Kiermaier, Manuel Margot, and Hunter Renfroe.

At the moment, the team has announced its Opening Day starting pitcher will be Charlie Morton, who already passed five innings pitched in just his second simulated game of summer camp and stated early on he had a goal of at least five innings in his first start.

Manager Kevin Cash also named Ryan Yarbrough as the starter for the second game of the regular season.

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The Tampa Bay Rays will face the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday, July 24 to kick off the season.

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