Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Rays

Rays’ Randy Arozarena joined on field by brother Raiko

Batting practice was “a lot harder” than expected, the Rowdies goalkeeper said, but hitting two home runs made it a success.
Rowdies goalkeeper Raiko Arozarena takes batting practice Wednesday at Tropicana Field as his brother, Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena, watches at right.
Rowdies goalkeeper Raiko Arozarena takes batting practice Wednesday at Tropicana Field as his brother, Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena, watches at right. [ MARC TOPKIN | Times ]
Published May 26

ST. PETERSBURG — Before they switched sports, fled Cuba and became professionals in the United States, Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena was the soccer player in the family while Raiko preferred the diamond.

So it wasn’t that big of a reach for Raiko, now a goalkeeper for the Rowdies, to put on (bright yellow) cleats, step up to the plate and join his older brother in taking batting practice for about 15 minutes Wednesday afternoon at Tropicana Field. After some adjustments, he hit two balls over the fence.

“It was definitely a lot harder than I thought,” Raiko Arozarena said via Rays interpreter and batting practice pitcher Manny Navarro. “(Randy) kept telling me that, ‘You won’t be able to take one out.’ I kept saying that, “I could, I could.’ In all reality, it was a little tougher.”

Raiko, 25, attends Rays games when his schedule allows and said he has an even greater appreciation for how skilled his brother and other big-leaguers are. “I learn a lot,” he said.

Randy, 27, said having Raiko alongside him at the Trop “makes me very happy. It’s something very special being able to share a major-league baseball field. Growing up, we played all the games together.”

Will Randy now slip over to Al Lang Stadium one day and take some shots at Raiko? Turns out, he already did, before spring training started.

“I made some penalty kicks,” Randy said, “but once I got a little further out I wasn’t able to score of him.”

Bally Sports Sun's Tricia Whitaker and other reporters talk with brothers Raiko, left, and Randy Arozarena, right, after they took batting practice Wednesday at Tropicana Field.
Bally Sports Sun's Tricia Whitaker and other reporters talk with brothers Raiko, left, and Randy Arozarena, right, after they took batting practice Wednesday at Tropicana Field. [ GREG MCKENNA | Times ]

• • •

Sign up for the Rays Report weekly newsletter to get fresh perspectives on the Tampa Bay Rays and the rest of the majors from sports columnist John Romano.

Never miss out on the latest with the Bucs, Rays, Lightning, Florida college sports and more. Follow our Tampa Bay Times sports team on Twitter and Facebook.

Advertisement

This site no longer supports your current browser. Please use a modern and up-to-date browser version for the best experience.

Chrome Firefox Safari Edge