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February 21th Tampa Bay Rays Camp Notes

General Statistics:

Updated numbers

There are now 63 players on the Rays spring roster: 32 pitchers, 7 catchers, 14 infielders, 10 outfielders.

All 39 pitchers and catchers worked out again marking a full week of activity.

Carlos Hernandez was named the Grapefruit league opening day starter.

Hernandez, 28, signed a minor league contract with the Rays on July 28, 2008 following a series of left shoulder injuries...he pitched parts of 2001, 2002 and 2004 in the majors with the Astros.

The Rays open up play on Wednesday against Jonny Gomes and the Cincinnati Reds at Charlotte Sports Park.

Maddon Quotes:

On first day of live batting practice:

"It’s one of those things you have to do.  It helps the pitchers see hitter at the plate, get a better feel for the strike zone.  It makes the hitters see velocity maybe a little bit of a breaking ball.  I don’t really read too deeply into it either way.  It’s just one of those things that you’ve got to do." 

On pitchers being ahead of the hitters:

"No.  It just depends.  What happens in spring training a lot of times is early in the camp pitchers will just throw fastballs and some hitters do a better job of hitting because they’re not seeing breaking balls.  Some guys start working out in December, some guys start working out the middle of January.  That’s always been like a conventional wisdom thought.  I really don’t put a whole lot of base into that."

Tomorrow's Schedule:

  • Parking lot opens at 8 a.m.
  • Gates open at 9 a.m.
  • Players take the field at 9:30 am
  • Workout will include "Live BP," where pitchers throw to hitters for the first time of the spring...among those expected on the mound on Sunday include Jason Cromer, Dewon Day, Neal Frontz, Jason Hammel, Carlos Hernandez, James Houser, J.P. Howell, Jeff Niemann Derek Rodriguez and Brian Shouse.

Note on Monday's Workout:

Monday, Feb. 23, Rays will be hosting an open house at the new Charlotte Sports Park at 10 a.m.  Admission and parking are free to all fans.  Parking in the main lot will begin at 9:30 a.m.  Fans will have the opportunity to tour the renovated ballpark, watch the team work out on field and view a special batting practice session.  Concession stands and the unique ballpark boardwalk will be open for the first time and the club will hold a special ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new team store located on the ballpark’s main concourse behind home plate.  Select Rays players will sign autographs during the ceremony. 

Notes from St. Petersburg Times:

RHP Wade Davis is one of several pitchers scheduled to throw live batting practice today (with more live batting practice Sunday). Fans might notice a few changes in his repertoire. Davis said he added a slider during a stint at Triple A last season and has made significant strides on his changeup.

Davis, 23, the pitcher of the year for Double-A Montgomery last season, said he's a lot more relaxed and confident for this camp.

"I'm definitely a little different in a lot of ways," he said. "Last year, fastball-curveball was my only thing. Now I've got a little more to work with."

And good news on Jake McGee

LHP Jake McGee, one of the Rays' top pitching prospects, plans to throw off the mound Monday for the first time since Tommy John surgery in July. Though he'll throw just 20 pitches, all fastballs, it will be a big step.

McGee, 22, made 15 starts for Montgomery last season before tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow.

"I was kind of crushed because I knew I would have had a chance to be in Triple A and maybe up (in the majors) in September," he said. "Now I never know what would have happened."

McGee said his early goal is to be back in July and eventually join Class A Charlotte.