Denard Span on new Ray Anthony Banda: ‘Guy is pretty legit’

New Ray Anthony Banda pitched in eight games last season with the Diamondbacks.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
New Ray Anthony Banda pitched in eight games last season with the Diamondbacks. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Published February 21

PORT CHARLOTTE — 2B Nick Solak reported to camp Wednesday, while LHP Anthony Banda, the other player acquired in the Steven Souza Jr. trade, is on his way.

Banda, whose fastball hits the mid-90s, pitched in eight games last season with the Diamondbacks.

OF Denard Span, who played last season with the Giants, had six plate appearances against Banda, going 0-for-5 with a strikeout and a walk.

"This guy is pretty legit," Span said. "He's definitely a guy who stood out to me."

Manager Kevin Cash said Banda will probably be on the Durham-Tampa Bay shuttle this season. Solak likely will open the season at Double A Montgomery.

Rays minor-league field coordinator Michael Johns, who managed against Solak during the past two seasons while Solak played for the Tampa Yankees, offered this scouting report: "The first thing that jumps out is his bat. He can really swing it. He's got a good approach at the plate. He's got gap-to-gap power. Against us, he really used the whole field."

Quote of the day

"He was cutting the wind like crazy in batting practice." — Cash on the swing of new 1B C.J. Cron

Miscellany

• The Rays will know by Thursday afternoon if they have any takers on a trade with LF/DH Corey Dickerson, who was designated for assignment Saturday. If not, Dickerson will be placed on waivers. If he clears, he will be released over the weekend and become a free agent. The Rays will then owe Dickerson $1 million of the $5.95 million he accepted to avoid arbitration.

• All MLB teams will wear Marjory Stoneman Douglas High baseball caps Friday to honor the victims in the mass shooting. The Rays caps will be autographed and auctioned with the proceeds going to the Broward Education Foundation.

• The Rays have not made a decision on what they will do with the hugging Souza doll giveaway scheduled for June 30. They could cancel it or replace it with new giveaway item

• LHP Vidal Nuño will start Friday against the Pirates while RHP Yonny Chirinos will start in Sarasota against the Orioles as the Rays open the Grapefruit League schedule with a pair of split-squad games.

Contact Roger Mooney at [email protected] Follow @rogermooney50.

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