PORT CHARLOTTE - No. 3 starter Tyler Glasnow was sharp over 2 1/3 innings, pleased with his fastball and in-season mentality, in the otherwise ugly 11-2 loss to Toronto that was devoid of much else good.
"He was probably the highlight,'' manager Kevin Cash. "Obviously not our best performance. We didn’t catch the ball, we didn’t hit the ball, we didn’t pitch it. I did think Tyler did a good job coming out, he looked really good. I didn’t see his last outing, but talking to (pitching coach Kyle Snyder) it was very encouraging. Also Jalen Beeks looked good. ... Other than that, get ready to play tomorrow.''
Also for the 6-8 Rays:
* Rookie relief candidate Colin Poche struggled again, allowing three walks and two hits and getting none out, with a 12.27 spring ERA. “I don’t have a good answer other than obviously he’s not commanding the baseball, and that’s not him,’’ Cash said. “I’m confident that he’ll get back into a groove it’s just taking a little more time than maybe we’d all like to see.’’
* David Meter, the agent for free-agent closer Craig Kimbrel, was in Port Charlotte Thursday talking with team officials. But … don’t get too excited, as he also reps the Lowe brothers, Nate and Josh. Plus, the Rays remain adamant they don’t plan to add an experienced closer, much less and expensive one.
* The Rays showed off their dramatic four-man outfield shift (with second baseman Joey Wendle going to rightfield, and shortstop Andrew Velaquez in shallow right) against Justin Smoak; Cash said there are 15-20 batters they could use it against.
* Third baseman Matt Duffy (hamstring) has run the bases with no issues and is targeting a return to the lineup Saturday.
* Lefty Ryan Yarbrough (groin) gave a big thumbs-up after the test of a full bullpen session and should be back in a game shortly.
* The Lowes had the fun experience of playing together for the first time in a big-league exhibition (and appearing in the box score) for the first time when Josh was among the minor-leaguers filling in. “That was pretty nice,’’ said Nate.