Thursday, February 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria set to play Monday after being hit by pitch

Spring schedule

Tickets: $9/$12-$27, available at box office, via raysbaseball.com and Ticketmaster.

Info: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297

(All games 1:05 unless noted)

March

Today: at Twins

Sunday: vs. Twins

Monday: vs. Orioles *

Tuesday: vs. Twins

Wednesday: at Yankees

Thursday: Tigers (ss), at Twins (ss)

Friday: Orioles

10: at Red Sox (7:05)

11: Pirates

12: Twins

13: at Orioles

14: Marlins

15: Phillies

16: at Jays

17: at Pirates

18: Red Sox

19: Off

20: at Marlins

21: Yankees

22: at Pirates

23: Jays (7:05)

24: at Twins (3:05)

25: Marlins

26: at Twins

27: at Red Sox (1:35)

28: Pirates (7:05)

29: at Phillies

30: at Pirates

31: Red Sox

APRIL

1: at Orioles

2: Twins *

3: at Twins

4: Future Rays, (1:40, at Tropicana Field)

* Value game, $2 off

PORT CHARLOTTE — 3B Evan Longoria is scheduled to make his exhibition debut Monday after the scare of being hit on the right hand in Thursday's intrasquad game.

Longoria admitted he was "a little concerned" when his hand got black and blue and increasingly sore after being hit by the Matt Bush pitch, then greatly relieved to learn nothing was broken.

"Obviously, the X-rays tell the truth, and there were no breaks," he said Friday. "Once that worry's out of your head, you just let the swelling go down and go from there."

Longoria is receiving extensive treatment, including compression, ice, manipulation and lymphatic massage: "It's a day-to-day thing, and as soon as I can pick up a bat and hold it in my hand, I'll be back out there," he said.

More injuries: LHP Matt Moore, limited to playing catch for the past week due to a mild lower abdominal strain, is feeling better and set to get back on the mound Sunday or Monday, manager Joe Maddon said.

Moore needs to throw two bullpen sessions and one batting practice before his first game, which could be next weekend. Maddon said the delay won't impact Moore's chances to be in the rotation to start the season.

DH Luke Scott (recovering from shoulder surgery) and OF Sam Fuld (wrist issues last season) likely won't play until the middle of next week. Similarly, Maddon wants to take it slow with 1B Carlos Peña in general, though Peña said he felt good and was hoping to play Sunday.

GAME BOYS: Maddon would like the Rays to win often. But his primary goal for the 33-game exhibition season that starts today against the Twins in Fort Myers is to play well.

"My goal is the maintenance of momentum," he said. "You'll know if it's there or if it's not based on the attitude and the energy every day."

Maddon's mantra is to play the same way now as during the season: "We're going to come out revved up. I don't want anybody going through the motions even though it's a spring training game. We're still going to be aggressive in everything we do."

The Rays have had winning spring records in each of the three seasons they made the playoffs.

"There's no on-and-off switch," Maddon said. "I think there's a dimmer switch some times but never an on-and-off switch for us."

CONTRACT ISSUES: The Rays appear to have signed all of their pre-arbitration eligible players except RHP Jeremy Hellickson, a Scott Boras client who might reject their offer by today's team-set deadline and instead have his contract renewed — and lose potential bonus clauses.

"I'm still undecided," he said.

The Rays, like other teams, have a fairly rigid pay scale for players with less than three years of service time, ranging from the major-league minimum of $480,000 to about $505,000. INF Sean Rodriguez, who was six days short of being Super Two arbitration-eligible, got about $500,000 and OF Matt Joyce $499,400.

MISCELLANY: Today's lineup will include regulars Desmond Jennings, B.J. Upton, Ben Zobrist, Matt Joyce and Jose Molina. … The Rays say "plenty" of seats remain for Sunday's home spring opener. … Minor-league camp opens today for 69 pitchers and 16 catchers. … Today is the first of nine games against the Twins, the most against one opponent in any spring.

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