Roster for Cuba trip to be announced Tuesday

Roster for Cuba trip to be announced Tuesday

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Manager Kevin Cash told reporters the Rays will announce on Tuesday the players who will be going on next week's Cuba trip.

"We're still learning from Major League Baseball how the actual game roster is going to be, the numbers and all of that," Cash said.

Cash said any inconveniences from making the trip are outweighed by the cultural benefits of getting to experience the island nation.

"There's been a lot of people, [vice president of communications] Rick Vaughn, [traveling secretary] Chris Westmoreland, this has been a grind for them," Cash said. "Not just this Spring Training, you're talking about January on once we started talking about this.

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"I think we're really going to appreciate it and enjoy it. It's going to be a lot of fun for us. It kind of stinks it's only going to be a 2 1/2-day stint, but we'll make the most of it."

Cash noted that he's most excited to see the fans. He recalled being in Boston when they showed Cuban-born Luis Tiant's trip there on the scoreboard.

"It was awesome, so I'm excited to see how that plays out," Cash said.

Cash said the trip comes at a good time during Spring Training as it breaks up some of the monotony.

"About the 18th to 20th Spring Training turns into a drag," Cash said. "This will definitely recharge some guys and get them excited to go somewhere, and we'll be ready to get back home and kind of get rolling those last 10 games heading into the season. I think it's actually perfect timing. Had [the trip taken place] where it was talked about before, the 27th, 28th, 29th, that would have been much more difficult."

Worth noting

• After Cash delivered the news that Chris Archer would be his Opening Day starter, he was asked about what constitutes an ace, a topic that varies greatly among baseball heads.

"Everybody has a different thought on an ace," Cash said. "When you're talking about an ace, you're talking about a guy who has done it over and over. He's well on his way. I think Alex Cobb was the guy who said it last year. He talked about an ace being a guy who has put three or four consecutive years together. Now, you can't punish a guy just because he hasn't had the opportunity to do it, so I would say [Archer is] well on his way."

Steve Pearce (strained right calf) was "good" on Monday according to Cash, who reported that Pearce took ground balls during batting practice in Port Charlotte.

• Cash said Matt Andriese (abdominal tightness) "had a good day" and is supposed to throw off the mound on Tuesday.

• Jaff Decker continues to impress in camp. The free-agent signing has hit well, and during Monday's 5-0 loss to the Braves, he robbed a home run from former Rays shortstop Reid Brignac.

"He's a gamer," said Cash, who noted that every time Decker hits he seems to "square one up."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.