The Rays made their first cuts of the spring, optioning infielder Christian Arroyo and outfield prospect Jesus Sanchez to the minors as they reduced ther spring roster by 10 to 57.
Also optioned were pitcher Brent Honeywell, who is continuing his rehab from Tommy John surgery eyeing a late May return to active duty, plus two players slowed this spring by injuries, reliever Ian Gibaut and outfielder Joe McCarthy.
Five players who were invited to big-league camp were reassigned to the minors: infielder Lucius Fox, reliever Matt Krook, pitcher Dalton Moats, catcher David Rodriguez and reliever Curtis Taylor.
The biggest surprised in the moves may have been Arroyo, given that third baseman Matt Duffy remains sidedlined with a hamstring injury and Arroyo would be among the candidates to take his place on the active roster if he is not ready to start the season.
Manager Kevin Cash said the Rays planned to trim the roster this weekend so the players being sent down could get regular work in minor-leagu camp, with exhibitions starting Wednesday, and that the players still in big-league camp would get more opportunity. Also, that some of the younger minor-league prospects could come over to fill in for the big-league games.
The Rays have to get the roster down to 25 in advance of the March 28 opener.