Advertisement
  1. Rays

Rays — including Matt Duffy — set to start spring training this week

Infielder missed all of last season due to lingering injuries
Matt Duffy - finally healthy - takes swings Monday at Rays camp in Port Charlotte. [MARC TOPKIN | Times]
Matt Duffy - finally healthy - takes swings Monday at Rays camp in Port Charlotte. [MARC TOPKIN | Times]
Published Feb. 12, 2018
Updated Feb. 12, 2018

PORT CHARLOTTE — The Rays' first official spring training workout for pitchers and catchers isn't until Wednesday, but 40-some players were on the field — and the mounds — Monday.

Probably the most important appearance was by Matt Duffy, the infielder acquired in August 2016 from the Giants who missed all of last season due to complications from a left foot injury.

After an extensive winter workout regimen, Duffy said he has passed every test and hurdle and is fully ready to go for the season with "zero" worries.

"I feel outstanding," he said.

The Rays will be counting heavily on Duffy this year, planning for him to replace traded Evan Longoria at third base and probably hit at or near the top of the order.

Duffy is one of those guys who gets it and understands fans may be both tired of hearing he is supposedly feeling better and skeptical.

"If they roll their eyes when they hear my name, I don't blame them," he said. "I'd do the same thing."

Other quick impressions:

* C Wilson Ramos looked really good, thinner and stronger than last spring, when he was rehabbing from knee surgery, having lost about 15 pounds. Ramos is heading into the second year of his two-year deal and making a team-high $10.5-million.

* RHP Chris Archer was already working on specific pitches and situations during his bullpen session. Archer continues to emerge as a team leader, having started a group text among other starters to encourage them during the winter to keep working hard.

* INF Daniel Robertson has a new locker  — the one used the previous nine years by Longoria — and a new number, switching from 29 to the 28 worn by his father, who died of lung cancer in September 2013.

* INF prospect Willy Adames said his fitter look was the result of training this winter in Orlando, working out with other major-leaguers such as Francisco Lindor and Billy Hamilton and under the direction of longtime star Barry Larkin. Adames was also sporting extremely curly hair.

* OF/DH Corey Dickerson said he was aware of trade talk throughout the winter — hearing mostly from family members . But now that he was in camp, he planned to relax, enjoy being with his teammates and not worry about being dealt.

* The Rays have to drop someone from their 40-man roster to make room for the addition of RHP Sergio Romo, who re-signed a one-year deal on Friday. That move could come today.

RELATED: Rays re-sign Romo to add experience to bullpen

* Amid trade rumors, RHP Jake Odorizzi was scheduled to have his arbitration hearing today in Arizona, with the three-person panel picking between the $6.05-million the team offered and the $6.35-million he requested.

RELATED: Odorizzi surprised to still be with Rays

* Tuesday is the team's official reporting and administrative day.  Manager Kevin Cash, GM Erik Neander and senior VP Chaim Bloom will hold their annual pre-spring media session at 12:30.