Rays "obviously disappointed" in suspensions, and notes on adding a bat, arbitration, WBC, more
There was baseball on the turf at Tropicana Field on Tuesday as around 30 Rays prospects - including newly acquired OF Wil Myers - went through a workout as part of the winter development program.
Executive VP Andrew Friedman also addressed several subjects:
+ On the suspension of a 7th minor-league player for drug-related issues in the last year: "Obviously we're disappointed in the number of suspensions.'' Friedman also said "we have to remember that these are young kids and as much as you try to educate them, mistakes will happen. The important part is that they learn from them. We will tolerate guys making mistakes, we'll talk through it again, and it's incumbent upon them to learn from their mistakes and make sure it doesn't happen again.''
+ The team is still looking for another bat, more likely through free agency than trade, either as a primary DH (which sounds like the preference) or with some positional flexibility allowing them to rotate the DH role.
+ Of the remaining players in the arbitration process, Friedman said it was possible they could settle some of the cases before Friday's deadline. Still eligible are RHP Jeff Niemann, OF Matt Joyce, INF Ryan Roberts, OF Sam Fuld.
+ Though the Rays have some concerns about pitchers participating in the World Baseball Classic, they are okay with closer Fernando Rodney - who typically wouldn't get much work in the spring - playing, as he said he plans to do for the Dominican Republic team. Final rosters are announced Thursday.
+ On the assembled group of players at the Trop: "It's a great collection of talent ... I think it's the most talented group that we've had out here.''
+ On seeing Myers in person: "His body looks good, he really swung the bat well in the cage ... he really got the bat through the zone well.''
+ RHP Jeff Niemann, who missed most of last season with leg and shoulder injuries, was at the Trop working out and should have no restrictions during spring training. "He looks good, and he said he feels really good,'' Friedman said.