1. Rays

Live from Port Charlotte: Longo looking to put less pressure on himself

Evan Longoria, left, and Logan Forsythe, right, get ready to take some batting practice swings Tuesday in Port Charlotte.
Evan Longoria, left, and Logan Forsythe, right, get ready to take some batting practice swings Tuesday in Port Charlotte.
Published Feb. 23, 2016

UPDATE, 11:50: The Rays got in their third workout of the spring dodging a few rain drops, with a continued focus on pitcher fielding practice, which is an area targeted for improvement.

Among the post-workout notes:

* Manager Kevin Cash was impressed after seeing top prospect LHP Blake Snell throw for 1st time today, saying the 23-year-old was pretty much "as advertised,'' with 4 impressive pitches.

* Cash said "highlight" of the day was seeing LHP Enny Romero throw, specifically the way he was "pumping strikes.''

* Romero said he dropped about 15 pounds, and was working out 3 days a week at the team academy in the Dominican Republic after pitching for a month and a half in winter balls. He also said he got some tips during winter ball from Rafael Soriano and Jose Veras about making his s delivery more consistent to avoid tipping his pitches.

* 1B/DH/OF Logan Morrison and C Mayo Acosta were sent home sick today, both had a fever, Cash said.

* OF Steven Souza Jr. said the intercostal muscle he strained on Sunday is feeling better but he has no date yet to return to action.

DEVELOPING: Third baseman Evan Longoria made a couple clear points during a camp opening media session today, primarily that he is trying to "trick" his mind into putting less pressure on himself this season in hopes that he ends up with a better performance.

Longoria said he feels there are other leaders on the team now - citing RHP Chris Archer scolding a couple of pitching prospects about not arriving early enough Sunday - that he doesn't have to do as much. He mentioned that he is reading a book that may help him apply less pressure - Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body, by Jo Marchant.

Longoria said he was confident he can improve his performance - joking that at age 30 he should be in his prime - but is more concerned with helping the team win than his indivudal numbers.

Longoria also said he changed his off-season training program, adding weight - he's about 212 now - and going back to doing yoga in hopes of regaining flexibility and flexibility to add "whip" to his swing. He took a class this morning in Punta Gorda.

Longoria also said he liked the improvements the Rays made to the lineup and thinks the additional "protection" provided will help him and others. And he had a great wedding in Los Angeles and eight-night honeymoon in Paris with Jaime Edmondson, and that their two kids keep him young.

Among other early notes:

* OF Desmond Jennings and non-roster INF Juniel Querecuto are the only two players who have not reported early; the first full-squad workout is Friday.

* OF Steven Souza Jr. said his intercostal muscle strain is feeling better but had no timetable to return to action.


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