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The Rays Tank: Spring training workouts begin, Elliot Johnson a Royal

The Rays descend on Port Charlotte as Spring Training begins in earnest.


Pitchers and catchers reporting is an exciting day on the baseball fans' calender, but it is mostly just a formality. Our timelines and news feeds are littered with player sound bites and twitpics of bright-green grass, reporters gather for any nuggets that may come from Joe Maddon and Andrew Friedman's press conference on the boardwalk and the fan base brims with excitement and optimism. It's great because its baseball, and we've missed it so; but today, the real work gets under way as spring training workouts officially kick off for the 2013 Tampa Bay Rays.

Steve recapped most of Tuesday mornings news yesterday afternoon: Desmond Jennings will hit lead-off; Alex Cobb is 'ensconced' in the rotation; Evan Longoria's surgically-repaired hamstring feels great, he's not sure when he'll see spring action, however. Also, there was a Tim Beckham sighting in the new cap!

The club did make some noise in the afternoon by announcing that recently DFA'd INF Elliot Johnson has been sent to Kansas City as the player to be named later in the James Shields trade. Johnson had the ability to decline an assignment to AAA Durham even if he had cleared waivers, making this move is a win for the Rays as they complete the PTBNL part of the deal with KC with a player that was likely done with the organization regardless. For Johnson, he will get a chance to compete for a utility/bench role. To make room on their 40-man roster, the Royals moved pitcher Felipe Paulino to the 60-day disabled list.

Expect more spring training coverage throughout the day.