Live from Port Charlotte: Afternoon update
Joe Maddon entered his 1972 Chevy Malibu in a car show at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds Sunday afternoon. Photo by James Borchuck
The Rays wrapped up the pitchers-and-catchers portion of the spring with a relatively quick and quiet workout Sunday, and the full squad will take the field together for the first time one Monday.
The main news from Sunday was a further update on the status of RHP Jeremy Hellickson, who continues to show improvement with his strained right hamstring. Hellickson did some activity in the trainers room today, and could be back on the field at least to play catch on Monday. He has been sidelined since feeling tightness in his hamstring on Thursday.
RHP Juan Cruz reported and worked out for the first time, and said he signed a minor-league deal with the Rays because of the opportunity to win a job and because he liked the way they played. Manager Joe Maddon said Cruz would have a good chance to win a job based on his past experience.
Maddon plans to address the full squad on Monday, and said his speech will have a slightly different theme than when he addressed the pitchers (and catchers) last week and stressed the opportunity they had.
Maddon drove his 1972 Chevelle convertible down from Tampa this morning and, noticing there was a car show at the county fairgrounds across the street, had it driven over and entered in the competition. "I'm hoping it wins best of show,'' he joked./
He also said he'd be busy reading this spring, finishing up My Reading Life by Pat Conroy, his favorite author, with Peachtree Corvette Club, by raysbaseball.com writer Bill Chastain, and The Bullpen Gospels, by reliever Dirk Hayhurst, lined up on his desk.