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Tampa Bay Rays News and Links: It’s practice!

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Spring training games really don’t count

Will Vragovic/Tampa Bay Rays

Rays News:

The Rays lost in walkoff fashion yesterday, 8-7. My usual spring mantra is that any spring game without injury is a win, but by that measure the Rays were losers, as Brett Phillips left with a sore hamstring. (And a reminder of why you really never need to worry about having “too many” guys at any position.)

On the bright side, the pitchers who gave up the runs are not pitchers who are likely to see major league innings this year.

Today’s game will feature Rays vs. Red Sox, and it will be televised.

Speaking of injuries, it’s still unclear whether Choi will be ready for Opening Day.

Hamilton Marx, part of the Rays front office, is profiled in this article in his hometown newspaper.

The Rays don’t have a lot of big-name pitching aces this year, but they have depth and veteran leadership, per Adam Berry.

Public health protocols have an impact on camp, and may make it harder for teammates to get to know eachother. Will that affect clubhouse dynamics moving forward? ($)

A good report on Brent Honeywell, from someone who should know (his catcher):

According to Kevin Cash, Honeywell touched 95mph. Don’t expect to see him in a spring training game just yet, however.

Around the League:

Yu Darvish has like seven plus pitches. You can learn more about how he manages this in this video:

As MLB rolls out some experimental rule changes in the minors, including a ban on the overshift. ESPN writers talk about what they do and don’t like among these changes.

One of the experiments will be banning the shift — or I suppose the “overshift” where the an infielder plays a shallow rightfield (the rule is that all infielders have to play on the dirt or infield grass). ESPN weighs the pros and cons, and Jayson Stark reviews proposed tweaks as well. Rays prospect Taylor Walls, who is a high contact, use the whole field kind of hitter, likes the idea that his skillset plays well against the shift. ($). And John Romano doesn’t think that proposed rule changes will address baseball’s biggest issues, which he thinks are payroll disparity and pace of play ($).

The Cleveland baseball team will be renamed — eventually. Here’s one guy rooting for the Cleveland Spiders. ($)

Eno Sarris: here are potential breakout candidates at each position. ($)

Old friend alert — Blake Snell part of an article about “aces in new places.”