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Live from Port Charlotte: Dawn of full-squad workouts



UPDATE, 2:59: Cash set a strong tone in his meeting, telling the team that winning startrs with hard work now and to make every day count.

UPDATE, 2:07: Archer said part of his animated reaction was the product of the back-and-forth he and Beckham have had over the years without ever facing each other. And that Beckham texted him at 5 a.m. to warn him he would be swinging.

Archer and manager Kevin Cash said the exchange was a prime example of the kind of "good teammates" and camaraderie they have made a priority this season and see as a key element to success.

UPDATE, 11:33: There was plenty of onfield action during the session, among the highlughts was Tim Beckham hitting a homer off ace Chris Archer, and Archer reacting with mock anger. A funny moment.

Here are some other:

* For what it's worth in how the Rays are set up a the start of drills, Steve Pearce was doing work at 2B and 3B while Logan Morrison was at 1B with James Loney. Brad Miller and Tim Beckham were at SS, with Evan Longoria at 3B and Logan Forsythe at 2B. Also of note to some degree, Nick Franklin was working at SS on the other field, along with Taylor Motter and Richie Shaffer and other players that seem likely headed to the minors.

* Prized prospect Blake Snell threw his first live BP in big-league camp, with Archer behind the screen at the back of the mound watching closely.

* During the pre-workout meeting, Archer presented CF Kevin Kiermaier with a painting the team had made of his home-run robbing catch in Baltimore.

DEVELOPING: Though players and staff have been around for a week and a half, today is the day the Rays spring training camp really kicks into full gear with the first full-squad workout.

After an introductory meeting, featuring manager Kevin Cash's address to the team, players will go through a 2 1/2 workout featuring drills such as chasing pop-ups and a live batting practice.

Temperatures were in the 40s early this morning but are expected to get into the high 60s.

Among early morning notes:

* OF Steven Souza Jr. said the intercostal strain that has sidelined him since Sunday is much better, though he has not resumed any baseball activity. He is hoping to join the workouts sometime next week.

* Four minor-league catchers, including 2013 first-round pick Nick Ciuffo, will join the workouts today to provide an extra hand.

* The Rays will have their annual meeting with players union officials, including executive director Tony Clark, after today's workout.



[Last modified: Friday, February 26, 2016 2:58pm]


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