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Tampa Bay News and Links: New looks, new diets for returning Rays

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Picture day, Nate Lowe is trim, Yandy Diaz is a redhead, and Mike Trout is irritated

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays-Media Day Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Rays News

All Rays players are now in camp. And it was picture day! Always fun to see which players manage to look most uncomfortable.

Brendan McKay looks like he’s posing for a mugshot:

Tampa Bay Rays Photo Day Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

But Ji-Man Choi looks like he’s having fun no matter what he’s doing.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays-Media Day Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

MLB.com’s Juan Toribio has been hanging out with the team all week, and he’s already got some observations, including some strong Best Shape of His Life Candidates. Mostly notably, 1B/DH Nate Lowe has made changes in his diet and exercise routine ($) and is reporting to camp much trimmer than he was when he ended the season (which makes the resemblance to his younger brother Josh that much more striking).

If I told you that one Rays player had shown up with a modified mullet hair style and I asked you to guess which one, I’ll bet a lot of you would have guessed correctly:

Yandy Diaz, in contrast, will see whether there are any homerun advantages as a red head:

Other News

Fangraphs has released ZiPS top 100 prospects. The number 1 prospect choice will shock you! (No, it won’t)

The trade that sent Emilio Pagan to the Padres for Manuel Margot is likely to benefit both teams.

Many of you may have heard all you’d like to hear about the Astros cheating scandal, but when Mike Trout is irritated enough to speak out against the commissioner and Astro’s players, it’s worth taking note ($).

Dave Schoenfield at ESPN considers the likely impact of the 26th man on the roster, with special note of how two-way players like Brendan McKay could be affected.

Old friend alert: Nick Solak’s path to a starting role with the Rangers will depend on his ability to show some defensive skill and versatility.

And to get ready for opening day, here’s a primer on the 2020 rule changes.