PORT CHARLOTTE – The Rays made more cuts this morning ahead of their 1 p.m. game with the visiting Twins.
RHP Diego Castillo, RHP Jose Mujica, RHP Hunter Wood and RHP Jaime Schultz were optioned to minor-league camp and RHP Ryan Weber was reassigned to minor league camp.
"It's kind of that time in spring where our pitchers got to get some reps in, lengthen some guys so innings are tough to come by," manager Kevin Cash said.
Cash said he was impressed with Castillo, who appeared in 51 games in relieve last season while splitting time between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham.He did not allow an earned run in five innings across five games this spring. He allowed just one hit, did not walk a batter and struck out five.
"We view him as a special pitcher," Cash said. "He's going to help us here soon at the big league level. I still think with his experiences in Triple A he'll benefit from going down there and finding that consistency. The way he attacked the strike zone in the spring was amazing and the ability to land a slider at any time was impressive."
Schultz appeared in 13 games last year with Durham before a right groin injury derailed his season. He made three appearances each with the GCL Rays and Class A Charlotte after a lengthy rehab. Because of that, Schultz is still a tad behind.
"Schutlz's spring training, we assured him there was no judgement whatsoever," Cash said. "He basically had a year off last year and it was a good thing it was a year off that was not arm injury related. It's going to take some time for him to get back. I saw him in his bullpens and his live BP where he was managing himself. I thought the last time he threw out here he tried to amp it up a little bit more and it just wasn't coming out yet. That's OK. This is going to allow him to get into a little more controlled setting in the minor leagues and get off to a good start."
Schultz appeared in two A games. He allowed four runs, three hits, walked three and struck out one in 1 2/3 combined innings.
As for the game, RHP Jake Faria makes his third start of the spring. He dealt with tempo issues in his first two starts. Faria worked on that March 6 during a simulated game.
"I think the biggest thing we talked to him about is lets control the tempo a little bit, meaning let's pick it up," Cash said. "Not the effort level, but the tempo. Give yourself a chance to get into a pretty good rhythm out there. He did that in the sim game so it's another step today."
On a Twins-related note: Anibal Sanchez, the scheduled starter, was released this morning to clear room on the 40-man roster for Lance Lynn, who was signed Saturday.
Here are the lineups: