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Rays Spring Training is Closing Out and Opening Day Approaches

Spring training is coming to a close and opening day is less than a week away. The Tampa Bay Rays are bringing back a lot of familiar players, but a portion of the roster is still unclear. Between injuries and newly signed free agents the landscape has been changing in the dugout. Here is what you need to know going into the last week of spring training.

Tim Beckham has been highly criticized for his inconsistency, but so far this spring he has been anything but. With 43 at bats he has managed to get 10 hits, 13 runs with an average of .302/.388/.923. Beckham had already solidified a bench position, but with the recent setback to the recovery experienced by shortstop Matt Duffy, he will most likely be the starting at short. What happens after Duffy is off the DL will be highly dependent of how Beckham performs as a starter. Nick Franklin will most likely be the infield bench player.

Late last week the Rays signed free agent Derek Norris after his release from the Washington Nationals. Norris played from 2012 to 2014 in Oakland before being traded to the San Diego Padres. The Rays have struggled to find the right fit for the catcher position since the trade of Jose Lobaton and release of Jose Molina. Norris looks to share the position with Curt Casali, Luke Maile, or Jesus Sucre. Sucre was once thought a longshot for a position, but recently has been gaining ground for the number 2 spot.

The bullpen is looking to be as follows; Alex Colome (closer), Xavier Cedeno, Danny Farquhar, Tommy Hunter, and Erasmo Ramirez (if he is still around). This lineup would leave 2 to 3 spots available. Recently claimed Jumbo Diaz will likely get the call. Jamie Schultz, Austin Pruitt. or Chase Whitley are the most likely to fill out the remaining openings. Brad Boxberger may not return until May.

The speedy, young outfielder Mallex Smith looks to be ready for opening day and will should get to start since veteran Colby Rasmus will start the season the the DL. Smith will join Steven Souza Jr. and 2 time Gold Glove winner Kevin Kiermaier in the outfield. This defensive combo should make for some amazing saves.

For the 3rd season in a row Chris Archer was named opening day starter. Archer is having an average spring with 10.2 innings pitched and a 2.53 ERA, but had an amazing outing as the starter for team USA in the World Baseball Classic. He looked like 2015 Chris Archer. The rest of the rotation will be as follows; Jake Odorizzi, Alex Cobb, Blake Snell, and Matt Andriese.

Other than things with the team, there are a few other things fans should know. The Rays are offering a ton a new ticket specials in 2017. They want butts in seats and these new promos show it.

In a partnership with Suncoast Credit Union the Rays are offering teachers, first responders, and members of the military complimentary tickets and discounts for friends/family for Monday games. See for details on taking advantage of this offer.

The Morgan Auto Group will sponsor $2 Kids Tuesdays where kids 14 and under will get a ticket to the game for $2 with a paid adult. Additionally, there will be $2 hotdogs on these nights.

Ballpark App Wednesday is a new promotion where tickets in the lower corners and upper deck will be half off if purchased through the app. Prices listed in the app will reflect the discount, no promo code needed.

Thursdays are all about seniors and any fan 60 and over will receive a press level seat for $15, presented by Duke Energy.

Fridays are $7.11 days where with a coupon fans can pick up at their local 7-Eleven they can buy up to 4 upper level seats for $7.11 each. These prices can be redeemed online with the promo code on the coupon or at the Rays box office.

The countdown the opening day has officially begun and we can’t wait to bring you all the highlights!

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