Plenty of new faces to mix in with the old as the first official day of spring training begins in Port Charlotte for the Tampa Bay Rays.
PORT CHARLOTTE – The rain and chilly winds didn’t stop spring training from kicking off in Port Charlotte today. There were plenty of smiling faces as pitchers and catchers (and a few position players spotted) were ready to get in their first official workouts.
“You’d rather a day like this when we’re really not doing too much,” manager Kevin Cash said about the weather conditions today. “You don’t want the rain to come when a full squad gets out here needing all the fields.”
“The Opener” Ryne Stanek was one of the first onto the soggy fields of Charlotte Sports Complex today. Newer faces making their Port Charlotte debuts were Tyler Glasnow, Charlie Morton, and catchers Mike Zunino and Michael Perez to name a few.
“We’re in the process of trying to introduce Erik and Chaim and myself to a lot of the new faces,” Cash said. “Everybody, for the most part, has come in healthy. Guys that were banged up in the off-season did a nice job of rehabbing.”
Zunino, Morton already making an impact on youth
Mike Zunino, acquired from the Mariners this off-season, has already been mentoring and impacting the young guys in camp. The two in particular who will be battling for the backup role, Michael Perez and Nick Ciuffo.
Charlie Morton enters his first camp in Port Charlotte fully convinced this Rays team is ready for October.
“The talent in here is great,” Morton said. “The team is only going to get better with experience and maturity.”
He went on to express how impressed he was with what the Rays did a season ago. “For this team to have won 90 games last year, you shouldn’t have to convince people that this team is good.”
Rain may have thrown a wrench into some of the plans today, but everyone got in the workout needed for the first day of camp.
“It is the first official day. We’ve had 40 to 50 guys here for the last week so it’s just excitement.” Cash said in his daily scrum with the media after workouts today. “I think the guys were chomping at the bit to get on the mound.”
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