Live from Port Charlotte: Odorizzi, Erasmo, Archer for starters
UPDATE, 12:53: The Rays held RHP Ryan Webb (hamstring tightness) back again today but Cash expects him to pitch in Thursday's game. ... Colome and Cedeno threw bullpens today, are slated for 1st of 2 live batting practice sessions Thurs. Targeting mid-next week for games.
UPDATE, 11:50: Smyly looked sharp in his throwing session, Archer a bit inconsistent. A couple of young pitchers who made good impressions were RHP Jake Faria and RHP Jamie Schultz.
While the Rays are doing the usual amount of mundane work on fundamentals, there is some strategy work too. For example, today the infields walked through, and talked through, their positioning on shifts.
UPDATE, 9:59: They will have more chances during the season, but Archer and mentor David Price won't match-up to start the spring as Price is slated to make his Red Sox debut on Sunday.
UPDATE, 9:27: OF Steven Souza Jr. said the intercostal strain that has sidelined him since Feb. 21 is feeling better and he has started swinging on a limited basis, but he won't start playing games until next week.
Souza said he views it as more of a slowdown than a setback and expects no issues being ready for the April 3 opener.
UPDATE, 8:41: The Rays set the rotation for the first 3 exhibitions, and it will be Odorizzi on Wednesday, followed by RHP Erasmo Ramirez on Thursday against the Oroles and ace RHP Chris Archer on Friday against the Red Sox in Fort Myers. They are slated to work 1-2 innings.
DEVELOPING: The Rays are nearing the end of the workouts-only portion of the spring, with a full day today and an abbreviated session on Tuesday before Wednesday's exhibition opener against the Nationals.
Today's session starts around 9:30, with ace RHP Chris Archer, closer RHP Brad Boxberger and LHP Drew Smyly among the pitchers scheduled to throw.
Manager Kevin Cash confirmed Sunday that RHP Jake Odorizzi is in line to start the exhibition opener, but said that could change as they work through scheduling issues related to the planned-but-not-official March 20-22 trip to Cuba.