With the first full-squad workout scheduled less than 24-hours from now, all of the position players are now in camp with Randy Arozarena, Ji-Man Choi, Yandy Diaz, Lucius Fox, and Nate Lowe being the last to arrive.
Lowe reported to camp nearly 20 pounds lighter after changing his diet over the offseason. The reasoning for Lowe’s weight loss was simple: he wants to stay versatile and cement his role in the big-leagues.
Getting a taste of the big leagues and being around a winning club was fantastic and it was really cool to play my part with what the team needed last year. But there were definitely times where getting optioned, you feel left out and you feel like you’re not able to help, and my body was definitely something that was in the way of me being able to help out.— Nate Lowe
Lowe cut out processed foods and sugar, while also focusing on healthy snacks as opposed to candy and chips.
In 2019 his primary position was first base, although Lowe got limited reps at third base. Entering camp, he is expected to work out at both first and third base as he competes for one of the last roster spots. At 245 pounds last season, Lowe felt that he wasn’t able to provide good defense at the hot corner. Yet he now feels more confident in his ability to offer the team solid defense at both corner positions, which could improve his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster.
It’s great to get a taste and to kind of get a sense that I belong with this team or belong on a Major League team. But it’s just fuel to the fire, man.— Nate Lowe
You can listen to Lowe’s full interview with the media below, courtesy of Rays Radio.
Yoshitomo “Yoshi” Tsutsugo reported to camp on Saturday and began to get acclimated to his new, and different, environment — from everyday cultural differences to the increased velocity and movement from big-league pitching.
I’m very excited to be in this facility right now. I met a lot of good people today, and I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone and be a good teammate. …There are a lot of main differences. I think the main difference is the way the pitcher throws a lot of different actions, but I just want to get used to things one at a time.— Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, through a translator
Tsutsugo was immediately greeted by some of his new teammates, namely Blake Snell, Willy Adames, and Kevin Kiermaier.
Tsutsugo hit the field where he had conversations with Kevin Cash and hitting coach Chad Mottola.
I thought he was really received well. His teammates, from what we know, are really going to enjoy him. He carries a presence. He’s carried a presence in Japan, and I think he’ll do the same here once he gets acclimated. We just have to afford him the ability to get acclimated.— Kevin Cash
The Rays plan to use Tsutsugo primarily as a left fielder and designated hitter, although Cash and Co. will also see how comfortable he looks at first base.
Rays pitchers had an active day with Blake Snell, Charlie Morton, José Alvarado, Nick Anderson, Chaz Roe, Brendan McKay, and Anthony Banda all throwing bullpen sessions on Monday.
After entering camp last season hampered by illness, Roe is feeling much better here and now. The right-hander said that he utilized the Driveline throwing program and added 12 pounds in the offseason. He also noted that he had a meniscus issue that bothered him across the last two and a half months of the 2019 campaign, but he is at full health now.
Cash was impressed with Alvarado’s bullpen session — indicating that the southpaw continues to pump strikes early in camp — and Aaron Loup, who is competing for a bullpen spot.
I still don’t see how a lefty gets in there and feels comfortable in the box with that delivery. It literally looks like the ball is coming behind you. … He can really cut some angles.— Kevin Cash
Full squad workouts, including live batting practice, will begin on Tuesday. Since it is scheduled to be a lighter day, with only a handful of pitchers slated to throw, Wednesday and Thursday should be more active.
— Momentum just released another Reel Talks video, and this time it is of a conversation between Tyler Glasnow and Mike Clevinger on the role that confidence plays when they take the mound. As with every Momentum video, it is well done, interesting, and worth the 3:53 running time.
— Oh stadium saga/stalemate, I can’t quit you…although I probably should.
Late last week, rumors of a sale of a minority share of the team (to Stephen Bronfman’s “group” of investors) was imminent; anywhere from three-to-four weeks to 10-months away. Reactionary Twitter followers fell hook, line, and sinker for the rumored transaction, yet the rumors turned out to be, well…just rumors.
At the end of the day, there still isn’t any money to build a stadium in Montreal, so it’s just Talk Talk Talk. Calm down, people.
Noah Pransky/Shadow of the Stadium was quick to remind everyone of the long line of leverage building ploys that have been employed previously by other owners wrapped up in their own stadium stalemate, which happens to be a blueprint utilized by Rays principal owner, Stu Sternberg.
Seriously, this thread is worth your while.
— Concerned that your thoughts and feelings on the sister city proposal, among other Rays-centric issues, are being ignored by the local media? Here’s your opportunity to air your grievances.