Motter's hot spring no surprise to Cash

Super utility player is batting .368 after 2-RBI day vs. Pirates

Motter's hot spring no surprise to Cash

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Taylor Motter continues to swing a hot bat for the Rays, collecting his first home run and second double of the spring in Friday's 4-3 loss to the Pirates at McKechnie Field.

The 26-year-old super utility man, who hit .292 with 14 home runs and 72 RBIs at Triple-A Durham last season, is trying to make his first Major League roster and an impossible-to-ignore impression on manager Kevin Cash.

So far, so good.

"The big day was Taylor Motter," beamed Cash moments after Friday's ballgame. "He squared up a bunch of balls, it was good to see."

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While Motter -- perhaps generously listed at 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds -- surprises some observers with his slugging prowess, the Rays' second-year skipper isn't among them.

"He can hit, man," said Cash, who reminded reporters of Motter's 2015 offensive production. "He creates some bat speed and he's got great timing."

Motter's RBI double

Motter, whom the Rays selected in the 17th round of the 2011 Draft out of Coastal Carolina Community College, has now gone four for his last six to raise his Spring Training average to .368. While Logan Forsythe figures to have the Rays' second-base job sewn up for 2016, this still might be the year that Motter finally gets to don a big league uniform.

"Mott's right in the thick of things for us. We knew that coming in, and he's shown pretty well," said Cash.

"He's a baseball player."

Michael Kolligian is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.