PORT CHARLOTTE, FL – It’s been a solid first couple weeks of spring training down in Charlotte County. Now it’s time to get the boys on the diamond and see what they can produce. Friday opens the Grapefruit League slate for the Rays and they’ll travel just a short bus ride south to Fort Myers to face the Minnesota Twins in a night cap with the first pitch set for 7:05 PM from CenturyLink Sports Complex.
As of Thursday morning, here is the lineup Kevin Cash will send out:
SS Tim Beckham
3B Daniel Robertson
2B Brad Miller
LF Corey Dickerson
1B Casey Gillaspie
DH Curt Casali
C Luke Maile
CF Shane Peterson
RF Johnny Field
RHP Austin Pruitt v RHP Kyle Gibson
Other pitchers expected to appear in the game Friday night are RHP Ryan Garton, RHP Jacob Faria, RHP Diego Moreno, RHP Ryne Stanek, RHP Hunter Wood, LHP Jose Alvarado, and RHP Jeff Walters.
The rest of the weekend pitching matchups are set:
Saturday 2/25: RHP David Carpenter v RHP Josh Lindblom (PIT) with first pitch at 1:05 from Charlotte Sports Park.
Sunday 2/26: RHP Chris Archer v TBA (BOS) with first pitch at 1:05 from Charlotte Sports Park.
The Rays have won three Grapefruit League titles, the last coming in 2014 when they finished 16-7-4. The other two were in 2010 (20-8-2) and 2008 (18-8-2). Since they dropped the “Devil” from their name, the Rays have won 15 games or more in seven of their nine exhibition seasons. In 10 years as the Devil Rays, they didn’t accomplish that once.
Rays third baseman, Evan Longoria, missed a couple days of work this week fighting an illness. Cash says he will see when Longo feels he’s ready to make his spring debut.
“He hasn’t missed anything other than his body getting out on the field and running around and stuff like that.” Cash said of Longo’s work load this week.
Before Saturday’s Grapefruit League home opener, there will be a Fan Fest in the stadium concourse with autograph sessions with pitchers Matt Andriese, Brad Boxberger, Nathan Eovaldi, Jose De Leon, and Ryan Garton.
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