Rays experience delayed return from Cuba

Mechanical issues force players, traveling party to switch planes in Havana

Rays experience delayed return from Cuba

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Rays players fresh from the Cuba trip had a good excuse for sleeping in Wednesday morning.

Rays players and the team's traveling party experienced the bad side of travel on Tuesday night when their flight was delayed due to mechanical issues with the plane. Those mechanical issues forced a change of planes in Havana, which led to a seven-hour stay on the tarmac. That delay translated to wheels down in Tampa at 5 a.m. ET.

"The trip was great," said Rays manager Kevin Cash, who managed to join the team prior to the start of Wednesday afternoon's game in Fort Myers. "...Not to take anything away from the trip, that's what it was all about. A little glitch at the end. That's OK, we'll adjust, and the guys will get some rest."

The other two flights from Havana arrived in Tampa just after 11 p.m.

In response to the delay, the Rays canceled Wednesday's optional workout at Tropicana Field. Players who traveled to Cuba did not make the trip to Fort Myers on Wednesday.

"A lot of guys were coming down to play today," Cash said. "So what we're going to do [Thursday], is we're going to basically have a game or some guys get in the Double-A or Triple-A games at one o'clock, along with [Chris] Archer pitching to [Curt] Casali. And then we'll have a night game in Tampa where most of the guys will stay up there and play."

Cash noted that the team's mood remained upbeat despite the travel difficulties.

"That's because we had such a good time in Cuba," Cash said. "Obviously the players will talk more about it [Thursday]. But I think everybody will say they had a good time."

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