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Tampa Bay Rays News and Links: Stuart Sternberg “I’m a high man”

Sternberg says the Rays will win more than most people think

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The past two weeks have been among the most eventful in franchise history as the Rays traded away three core players, added a significant free agent, news broke of a huge TV deal, and now the MLBPA has filed a grievance against the Rays and a couple of other teams for how they have spent their revenue sharing funds.

The move by the MLBPA continues an off-season of tension between the players and teams in which several high end free agents are still jobless and many others have struggled to find homes on the market.

Rays principal owner, Stuart Sternberg, was in camp yesterday and addressed the media prior to the game on a myriad of the team issues, with the MLBPA grievance being the primary topic of discussion.

When asked about how many games the he thought the team would win this season, Sternberg replied “More than you think”

“Whatever it is anybody here in this group is thinking, I think it’s more. I’m a high man”

As for the, on the field Rays, the team lost to Baltimore Orioles, 2-1, in Port Charlotte.

Nate Eovladi made his first spring appearance since 2016 as he is nearing his return from Tommy John surgery. His appearance was flawless as he threw 14 pitches (11 strikes), recording four outs (two strikeouts). His fastball was registering in the high 90’s, topping out at 98.

It was a quiet day offensively for the Rays, with their lone run coming in the first inning, thanks to back-to-back hits from Denard Span and Kevin Kiermaier, the latter of whom would come around to score on a double play ball from Christian Arroyo. Matt Duffy was originally slated to start, but was scratched due to back tightness.

Today the Rays will take on the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers at 1:05 with Ryan Yarbrough starting. He’ll be followed by Yonny Chirinos, Vidal Nuno, Chaz Roe, and Jose Mujica.

The game won’t be televised, but can be listened to on MLB.com as the Minnesota Twins radio team will carry the game

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Rays Frivolous Tidbits

  • Former Ray, Jeff Niemann, turns 35 years old today. The team’s 1st round selection in the 2004 draft, pitched in the majors from 2008 to 2012. When he was healthy, he could be a very solid, middle of the rotation starter, but injuries took their tolls on the tall RHP and ultimately ended his career following the 2012 season.