Countdown to Spring Training

On February 21st, Rays pitchers and catchers report to Port Charlotte, signaling the beginning of Spring Training. Each day leading up to February 21st, we’ll post facts, stats or numbers relating to the number of days left. (more…)

Change is Good, But Shifting Away From the Shift, Not So Good

For many people change can be a good thing, and also can be tough to adjust to.  For fans of the Rays, we know from your tweets and emails that this off-season certainly been an adjustment because of the change on the Rays roster.  Change also has occurred at the top of baseball, with Rob Manfred taking over for Bud Selig this week.   I like that in several interviews this past week (including this one with Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports), that Manfred is willing to change the game to help grow it.  However, one suggestion he made (to Karl Ravech of ESPN) that I’m not in favor of is eliminating the shift. (more…)

With Scherzer in Washington, What Remains to Impact AL East

On first glance, you could be thankful as a Rays fan that you’ll probably see Max Scherzer a maximum of three times in the regular season over the next seven years.  That’s instead of him potentially pitching against the Rays four or five times a year, had he signed with an AL East team.   However, there are still some dominoes to fall that could impact the teams the Rays face more regularly. (more…)

Rays Announce Minor League Managers and Coaches, Sandberg Promoted to Triple-A

The Rays announced their minor league staffs on Wednesday.  The most noticeable change is that former Rays infielder Jared Sandberg will be managing in Triple-A Durham, replacing now third-base coach Charlie Montoyo. (more…)

A Look at the Rays Non-Roster Invites So far

In some of the Rays most successful years, non-roster invites have played an important role.    In 2008, Eric Hinske played a vital part in the Rays World Series run.  In 2010 Joaquin Benoit didn’t make the opening-day roster, but helped the Rays build a dominant bullpen on a division-winning club.   While the 2007 team was sub-.500, Carlos Pena made that club, and played a critical role going forward.   With spring training now four weeks away, let’s look at the minor league free agents the Rays already have announced. (more…)

Rays Come to Terms with All Eight Arbitration Eligible Players: What it Means

When the Rays avoided going to arbitration hearings on Friday, it meant another important area on the checklist with spring training just over a month away.  All eight potential cases were settled with Alex Cobb ($4.0 million), Logan Forsythe ($1.1 million), John Jaso ($3.175 million), Desmond Jennings ($3.1 million), Kevin Jepsen ($3.075 million), Jake McGee ($3.55 million), Rene Rivera ($1.2 million) and Drew Smyly ($2.65 million) just before Friday’s 1 pm deadline. (more…)

Previewing the Podcast

It has been a busy winter, with several new players entering the Rays system.  For an overview of the change and for a look at the Rays and the minor league system, look no further than our latest podcast, which will be released today. (more…)

Re-Stocking The Farm System

For the Rays to be competitive over the long haul, they need to have a productive farm system.  Recognizing that there were certainly some holes to fill, Matt Silverman and Baseball Operations have done a terrific job adding quality and quantity over the past three months, while limiting the losses.   That certainly was apparent at the just completed Rays Winter Development Program, which many of these new players attended. (more…)

Rays Winter Development Program Prospects Meet the Media

Day three of the Rays Winter Development Program on Wednesday gave the 29 players participating a chance to meet the media.  As mentioned earlier in the week, nine of the 29 were not in the organization before July 31st, so it really was a get to know you opportunity. (more…)

Rays Winter Development Program Begins Today

Starting today and running through Thursday, the Rays will host their sixth annual Winter Development Program.  While the format and structure of this year’s program is fairly similar, it will have one substantial twist.   In fact, the four days may seem more like orientation for new students who just moved in from another state. (more…)

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