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Pirates come to Port Charlotte to kick off exhibition baseball

Split-squad will begin spring baseball with Pirates in Charlotte County and Orioles in Sarasota.

As has been the case too often this spring, the Rays woke up with some bad news Friday morning. Top prospect, RHP Brent Honeywell, will miss a lot of baseball over the next 16 or so months. It was announced the 22-year old will need Tommy John surgery to repair a torn UCL.

“It’s very unfortunate,” Manager, Kevin Cash, said this morning ahead of the 1:05 first pitch. “You feel for him more than anything. It is a loss. A guy we all had high hopes for and will continue to have high hopes for.”

Honeywell injured his arm throwing live batting practice on Thursday.

Tampa Bay Rays players warm up before their game agaisnt the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Satdium in Sarasota on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (J. Scott Butherus)

Caps for Stoneman

The Rays will be wearing the baseball caps worn by the Stoneman Douglas High baseball team today. The caps will be signed and auctioned off after the game with funds going to assist victims of the tragic shooting on Valentine’s Day.

“I think it’s good for us to honor the victims and obviously the families,” Cash said as he sported the cap this morning. “I can’t imagine what they’re going through. We’re glad to do it.”

The starting lineups

In Port Charlotte, Cash will run out a lineup with mostly guys who will see the majority of the playing time come the regular season:

LF Denard Span
3B Matt Duffy
CF Kevin Kiermaier
C Wilson Ramos
1B Brad Miller
SS Adeiny Hechavarria
RF Mallex Smith
DH Jason Coats
2B Daniel Robertson
RHP Vidal Nuno

Nuno will be on the bump to start today’s game against the Pirates. Other arms slated to get work in today are Austin Pruitt, Ryne Stanek, Dan Runzler, Diego Castillo, Colton Murray, Cody Hall, and Edwin Fierro.

The Rays lineup is heavy on younger prospects with Jake Bauers and Willy Adames in the middle against the Orioles. RHP Yonny Chirinos will take the mound to start things off with righties Andrew Kittredge, Ryan Weber, Hunter Wood and Forrest Snow, and lefties Adam Kolarek and Kyle Bird expected to get some work.

Starting lineup vs. Baltimore:
LF Micah Johnson
2B Joey Wendle
SS Willy Adames
1B Jake Bauers
3B Ryan Schimpf
CF Johnny Field
RF Justin Williams
DH John Monell
C Adam Moore

SP Yonny Chirinos

Both split-squad games will begin at 1:05 PM EST.

Tampa Bay Rays gear at

J. Scott Butherus contributed to this report.

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