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Rays Spring Training Update

Home stretch of the spring as Opening Day looms.

Opening Day is officially less than two weeks out. We’ll take a look at the latest from spring training with our weekly “Three Up, Three Down” from Port Charlotte.

Three Up:

  1. Kevin Kiermaier’s extension.

CF Kevin Kiermaier signed a six year $53.5 million extension with the Rays. In doing so, the Rays guarantee to have a solid outfielder who can provide excitement in the field, on the bases (career-high 21 SB in 2016), and at the plate as he set career-highs in many offensive categories last season.

  1. Jake Bauers

Bauers has shined for the Rays this spring with a batting average of .444 and an on base percentage of .529. This past week, he added two more home runs and now leads the team with four. As he is a non-roster invitee, he will most likely end up in Triple-A Durham at the start of the season. However, he is proving to be a forced to be reckoned with and may possibly be the surprise bat the Rays need to be successful in the American League East this season.

  1. Rickie Weeks Jr.

The Rays signed Weeks Jr. to a minor league contract in February with an invite to spring training. Weeks Jr. has been showing success at the plate with three home runs so far along with a batting average of .409. His transition to first base has gone well and helped his case to make this team come Opening Day.

Three Down:

  1. SS Matt Duffy hasn’t played a single game in spring training and due to a setback recently from heel surgery – he may not be ready for Opening Day.
  2. Jose De Leon has been with Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic and was not able to have significant time on the spring roster. When he did pitch for the Rays – he struggled. He was optioned to Durham back on March 15th.
  3. RHP Brad Boxberger won’t be ready for the April 2nd Opening Day game against the Yankees recovering from back soreness. He’ll pitch in a minor league game on Tuesday this week and be further evaluated after that.
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