UPDATE, 10:59: More from Rays Cash:
On Tsutsugo, who starts at 3B today: He has looked “really good” in drills. That they’re “very encouraged” with the work he has put in and consistency in catching the ball. "He makes the play.''
On Alvarado, who make spring debut: All they want to see from Alvarado today in his 1st spring game is strikes, they feel he’s healthy and aren’t concerned with what hitters do.
On Snell, who makes first start: It’s a routine first outing, " Just to check the box"
UPDATE, 10:41: Cash said weather forecast has improved to the point they are now confident game vs. Twins will be played today, with heavy rains later this afternoon and tonight.
Also, Cash on getting to see former coach and now Twins manager Rocco Baldelli, who was named Most Handsome manager in an annual article by Craig Calcaterra on NBCSports.com: "Yhat is comical. I don’t know who is, but I know who ain’t. And he ain’t.''
And Cash on getting to see Franco play with big-league team next couple days: "We talk about him a lot for good reason. He’s put himself in that position where we’re going to hopefully continue talking about him. ... This will be our first look at getting him over and just letting him play.''
DEVELOPING: The Rays are back in Port Charlotte today, with plans for Blake Snell to make his spring debut, though rain may be an issue.
The forecast has been improving, and team officials seem optimistic this morning that the game will at least get started, though they may be dodging showers throughout the day.
Snell is hoping to get on the mound, as he would prefer to stick to a normal spring routine, which was a bit of a challenge last year between weather and scheduling. If Wednesday’s game is cancelled, he will instead have to throw in the batting cage.
Lineups are always subject to change, but as of now it looks like top prospect Wander Franco will make his debut in a major-league exhibition on Thursday, where he is listed as a reserve for the split-squad game in Tampa. He is expected to also play, and potentially start, on Friday when the Rays make the cross-state trip to face the Nationals in West Palm Beach.
Here is the Rays planned lineup for Wednesday, with Yoshi Tsutsugo playing his first game at third base:
Others scheduled to throw for the Rays today include: Jose Alvarado, Diego Castillo, Andrew Kittredge, Colin Poche, Shane McClanahan, Anthony Banda, Joe Ryan, Ryan Sherriff, Sean Gilmartin, Deck McGuire.
And here is the lineup for Twins, who also are playing a split-squad game against the Phillies: