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Top prospects highlight first cuts of spring for Rays

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Spring Training cuts aren’t easy for a manager. Whether they’re the first cuts or the last, dashing a player’s hopes of making the Opening Day roster is tough. For Tampa Bay Rays Manager, Kevin Cash, some of the first cuts of 2016 were guys who will most likely be back in the Majors sooner than later and will absolutely represent the bright future for the Rays.

MLB.com’s, Bill Chastain, wrote a piece on raysbaseball.com about the “Fab Four” that were sent to the minors on Tuesday as the minor league season begins on Wednesday, March 16th. Cash wanted them to be optioned in time to get started.

Here are the first major cuts of 2016 and how they fared in Spring Training:

LHP Blake Snell: The reigning Minor League Player of the Year made three appearances and pitched 4.2 innings with a 0-1 record and 5.79 ERA. Control was a bit of a problem but there is no doubt this guy will be a big leaguer in 2016. I see him making his Major League debut around July/August.

RHP Jacob Faria: Three appearances pitching in 5.1 innings with a 0-1 record and 1.69 ERA. Faria didn’t walk a single hitter in his limited work this spring. He also notched seven K’s and dominated for most of his time in Port Charlotte. Faria, like Snell, should be back with the big league club before the end of 2016.

RHP Jaime Schultz: In his three games during spring, Schultz was impressive. Command was a bit shaky at times but he didn’t allow a run in 3.2 innings while striking out four hitters. Schultz might be the third man of the two before him to get a call up but if he has an impressive season at Durham, don’t be surprised if you see him again soon.

RHP Taylor Guerrieri: In line to possibly be a spot starter if the Rays need him at some point this season, Taylor struggled this spring in his three appearances, getting one start. He pitched 5.2 innings while giving up 10 hits and seven earned runs. No doubt about this former 1st round draft pick’s skill set so we’ll most likely see him again soon, as well.

INF Ryan Brett: Before being injured after his call-up in 2015, Brett showed some signs he might just be on his way to the big leagues. No doubt a frustrating 0 for 11 spring wasn’t what the infield prospect wanted, we may still see him back with the Rays if an injury to one of their infielders rears it’s ugly head.

Some other notable cuts are players who will be sent to multiple levels of the Rays organization but have the ability to make their way through the system very quickly and could see time in the Majors within the next year or two: INF Daniel Robertson, 1B Patrick Leonard, pitchers Eddie Gamboa, Justin Marks, Adam Reifer, and Adam Wilk, catcher Jake DePew, outfielders Johnny Field and Dayron Varona.

Varona, a native of Cuba, is actually set to make the trip with the Rays to Cuba from March 20-22.

As more cuts come down, we’ll have you covered!

Stay tuned!

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