Friday afternoon report: On depth, lineups, bullpen, etc.
Rays manager Joe Maddon and executive VP Andrew Friedman held their annual spring-opening media session today, expressing the usual optimism over their chances to contend for a playoff spot and going over some of the camp storylines.
Maddon made it clear that one of his themes for this season is that just making the playoffs is not good enough and they need to aim for winning the World Series, using what may become a catchphrase borrowed a book suggested by Evan Longoria, "We want to eat last.''
Will have more later, but here are a few of the more interesting things the Rays top men touched on:
Maddon said he'd like to see Jennings get back to leadoff spot, tho cud share with DeJesus
Friedman said "our rotation has a chance to be really, really good."
Maddon said that w/Molina + Hanigan "this is the best catching we've had here."
Friedman said Bedard will compete for 5th starter spot, and possibly bullpen role
Maddon said he hasn't written out 1 lineup yet, many things to consider, tho expects Longoria + Myers 3 + 4 or 4 + 3.
Maddon said "We definitely can win our division this year."
Maddon said wants focus to be on more than just getting to playoffs but, "we want to eat last."
Also, two veteran relievers may be delayed arriving in camp due to visa issues in their native Dominican Republic, Juan Carlos Oviedo and Juan Sandoval.
Aside from Jeremy Hellickson, none of the pitchers or catchers are expected to be restricted when official workouts start Saturday.