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What have we learned after a week of spring training

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Yada, yada, yada

MLB: Spring Training-Philadelphia Phillies at Tampa Bay Rays
Tommy Pham still hits the ball really, really hard
Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

It has been one week since baseball games have started back and the six games the Rays have played thus far, have been very informative.

Here some takeaways:

Tommy Pham still hits the ball very hard

Tommy Pham has seemingly picked up right where he left off in the 2018 season, as he has been crushing the ball in almost every plate appearance this spring. The results are there too, with a .417 average and a .583 slug.

Nate Lowe can also a hit ball very hard

Lowe entered camp with a very outside chance of making the Opening Day roster, competing for the first base job that was opened up after the trade of Jake Bauers in December.

Not currently on the 40-man roster, Lowe was given a spring training invite and thus far with the opportunity, he has certainly impressed.

“He might be ready now,” manager Kevin Cash said. “I’m not one to hold anybody back. I think he needs to keep doing what he’s doing. He’s definitely making a good impression.”

Lowe is competing for the first base gig, along with Yandy Diaz, Ji-Man Choi, and Brandon Lowe.

Spring injuries are annoying

The injury bug has reared it’s annoying, ugly parasitic head early on this spring as several Rays have been dealing with nagging issues. Kevin Kiermaier missed a few game with a foot injury, Matt Duffy had a tight hamstring, and Ji-Man Choi also has a tight back. Chaz Roe, who has been sidelined with a back issue as well, is expected to make his spring debut, sometime over the next few days.

We have no idea where anyone is going to play, really

We can pencil in Mike Zunino and Michael Perez to be behind the plate. Willy Adames figures to be the starting shortstop and Joey Wendle will be up the middle. Tommy Pham is in left and Kevin Kiermaier will be in center.

Will Austin Meadows actually break camp with the team be the starting right fielder, or will the role be given to Avisail Garcia as he shares the DH duties with a rotation of Yandy Diaz, Ji-Man Choi, and potentially Brandon Lowe?

How about the third baseman?

Daniel Robertson was excellent for the Rays last year, until he suffered a season ending injury in August. However, Matt Duffy was also a very solid player for the Rays in 2018 and the Rays now face the problem of not having enough places to stash these guys.


TLDR; We’re just a week into spring training, we don’t know much. But it sure is nice to have baseball back in our lives.