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Tampa Bay Rays news and links: It’s Raining Baseball!

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Hallelujah!

Screenshot from mlb.com video

Day 2 of camp saw catchers and pitchers throwing, although on this particular day it had to be in the batting cages due to rain.

The result was this phenomenal video from the Rays crew:

For the fan, rain is also a benefit, because the beat writers were able to get up close and personal behind the netting and provide some excellent footage.

My favorite of the day is this video, with Glasnow possibly working on pitching from the stretch in the background:

Rays News

Blake Snell wants to bring everyone together. Are you ready to join him? - Check out this in-depth player profile on the Rays ace. The Cut4 blog at mlb.com was able to dispatch a writer to cover Blake Snell’s day when he won the Cy Young award, and has provided a long look into the everyday life of Snell, including an extraordinary fish tank.

2019 ZiPS Projections – Tampa Bay Rays - The projection system from Dan Szymborski is live for the Rays, with high marks for Yandy Diaz and Daniel Robertson, but low marks for Ji-Man Choi and Avisail Garcia. As for prospects that jump off the page, ZiPS is quite font of LHP Colin Poche and 2B Michael Brosseau (!), as well as minor league free agent starter LHP Ryan Merritt.

New Rays catcher Mike Zunino hopes to become a quick study - How the newly-acquired catcher will spend his time learning a new pitching staff and a new philosophy with the opener system.

Baseball America’s 2019 MLB Organization Talent Rankings - At No. 2, “Tampa Bay’s system is stacked from top to bottom, with impact bats around the diamond and strong pitching...”They expect a certain SS to be No. 1 on next year’s list.

Rays’ Blake Snell excited for season but frustrated by collapse of Ybor stadium talks - “You feel like the fans feel,” the Cy Young winner said. “You’re upset. You want the new stadium.”

Of the remaining MLB free agents, which one best fits on the Rays roster? - The Tampa Bay Times has added a paywall and IDK my login, so I’m not sure what this one says yet.

Getting to Know: Oliver Drake - Neil Solondz introduces the journeyman reliever who the Rays acquired twice this off-season, but who is currently stashed on the minor league roster.

Quote of the Day - Poche impresses

A little rain can’t keep eager Rays from field - Juan Toribio

One of the storylines of the spring will be how Poche, the team’s No. 24 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, performs during camp and games.

Poche, who had 110 strikeouts in just 66 Minor League innings last season, is looking to show enough to make the Opening Day roster out of the bullpen. Wednesday was the first time Cash was able to watch Poche throw a bullpen session, and he came away very impressed.

”Today I sat behind him, and you see that something is different,” Cash said. “He really hides the ball really well, and when it comes out, he has a lot of that elite pitch action to the fastball.”

Cash said that Poche and Snyder have talked about introducing a split finger this spring, and possibly a forkball. The most important aspect, however, is to keep Poche comfortable and allow him to continue to improve on what has made him successful.

”I was going to joke around with him that he needed to do ‘this’ better, and I was like, ‘Forget it, man,’” Cash said. “‘Whatever you did [last year], I can’t wait to see it.’”

Other Rays Media

Here’s the end-of-day scrum from Kevin Cash:

Blake Snell discussed winning the Cy Young and his 2019 expectations with members of the media, and here’s the audio courtesy of Neil Solondz:

Neil Solondz also shared audio from Rays starter Tyler Glasnow after his first bullpen of the spring:

Brian Kenny sat down with Rays opener Ryne Stanek:

MLB Network ranks Blake Snell the No 26 best player in baseball right now...

...and Tommy Pham at No 45 overall.

Daniel Robertson is not due in camp until next week, but it looks like he’s ready:

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Was a good offseason ✌ @sterls_mc

A post shared by Daniel Robertson (@d_robertson28) on

The Atheltic’s new Rays beat writer is still on his way...

And one more beat writer video, this time of Ryan Yarbrough:

Other Links

Picks to Click: Who We Expect to Make the 2020 Top 100 - Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel use a crystal ball to see who will make their list next year

Rocco Baldelli Extols Charlie Montoyo’s Leadership Skills - David Laurila has the best interviews as usual, here’s him talking with old friends

PECOTA Solves Logjams Rob Manfred Won’t - BPro is looking to help teams who cannot use the DH pick their starters

Jim Bowden is ranking his top 200 prospects for The Athletic, and it’s not clear whose list is definitive for the site when compared to John Sickles who recently joined. Part 2 has a few Rays names ranked surprisingly low.

And finally, the profile you didn’t know you needed on the history of Sports-Reference: