The last day of pitcher-catcher workouts is in the books. With the arrivals of outfielders Tommy Pham and Jesus Sanchez, shortstop Jesus Sanchez and Yandy Diaz, the Tampa Bay Rays have all 66 players in camp before the first full-squad workout Monday morning. All of the players participated in administrative activities, including photo day on Sunday.
Photo day included some fun and posed shots. Left-hander Ryan Yarbrough reportedly did a bit where he maneuvered an Oreo from his forehead to his mouth without using his hands.
Hidden talent I didn’t know I had.— Ryan Yarbrough
Diaz, who was acquired from Cleveland in the Jake Bauers trade, made the biggest splash along with, in Marc Topkin’s (Tampa Bay Times) words, his well-muscled arms.
Wow! I was just talking to a couple guys about that. How is he that big?— Willy Adames
Diaz said through team translator Manny Navarro that he is excited to be in Tampa Bay after being traded from Cleveland.
I feel happy since I’m going to have more opportunities here to showcase my talent and I’m happy to be here and help the team in whatever way I can.— Yandy Diaz
Diaz is slated to platoon first base with either Brandon Lowe or Ji-Man Choi, although he can also
Last year I played a good amount of first base and I felt comfortable. This year, I’m going to focus more on my defense and play the entire time at first base.— Yandy Diaz
Several pitchers did throw bullpens, including Blake Snell, Charlie Morton, and relief pitcher Emilio Pagan.
Rays manager Kevin Cash was again impressed with Pagan’s bullpen session, as well as those by side-arming southpaws Adam Kolarek and Hoby Milner.
Reliever Ian Gibaut said an MRI exam on a right lat strain showed “everything was intact.” Gibaut is not expected to throw for the next few days, and there is no timetable yet. Cash said they will know more after a specialist looks at the results.
The New What Next
The first full-squad workout starts on Monday morning at 11:00 a.m. and lasts 2-2½ hours at the Charlotte Sports Park. The day starts with the first live batting practice sessions of camp.