The Tampa Bay Rays will begin their 20th spring training and ninth in Charlotte County on Tuesday, February 14 when Manager Kevin Cash and his staff welcome 32 pitchers and catchers to Charlotte Sports Park. The players will take the field at 10:30 a.m. The first full-squad workout is scheduled for Sunday, February 19 when camp expands to 59 players, including 19 non-roster invites. For all spring training workouts, admission and parking are free.
Last spring, the Rays led the Grapefruit League with 68 doubles while the pitching staff ranked fourth in the majors with a 3.78 ERA (238-IP, 100-ER). Over the last three springs the Rays pitching staff leads the majors with a 3.33 ERA, followed by the New York Yankees (3.61). Since becoming the "Rays" in 2008, the club has captured three Grapefruit League titles (2008, 2010, 2014) and has collected at least 15 wins in seven of nine years-something they were unable to do in all 10 springs as the Devil Rays. During this span, they hold the majors' fifth-best spring record (see chart) and third best in the Grapefruit League behind the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays.
Only three players on the current 40-man roster made their Rays debut prior to 2013: Evan Longoria (2008), Alex Cobb (2011) and Chris Archer (2012). Entering camp, only four players on the Rays 40-man roster are age 30 or older: Eddie Gamboa (32), Longoria (31), Colby Rasmus (30) and Xavier Cedeño (30). The Rays have started a pitcher under the age of 30 in 398 consecutive games, the longest streak in the majors, and have started an under-30 pitcher for 96 pct. (1,633 of 1,707) of their games since June 26, 2006.
Since the end of the 2016 season, the Rays have added 14 players to the 40-man roster including six from outside the organization. Among them are free agent signings Wilson Ramos, a 2016 National League All-Star who ranked second among NL catchers with 22 home runs; Colby Rasmus, whose accomplishments include four 20-homer seasons; and Shawn Tolleson, who converted 35 of 37 save opportunities for the Texas Rangers in 2015.
NEW FACES ON THE 40-MAN ROSTER (14)
Signed as Free Agents (3): C Wilson Ramos, OF Colby Rasmus, RHP Shawn Tolleson
Acquired in Trades (2): RHP Jose De León, OF Mallex Smith
Rule 5 Draft (1): RHP Kevin Gadea
Selected from Minor League System (8): INF Willy Adames, LHP Jose Alvarado, RHP Chih-Wei Hu, RHP Austin Pruitt, INF Daniel Robertson, RHP Jaime Schultz, RHP Ryne Stanek, RHP Hunter Wood
GONE FROM THE 40-MAN ROSTER (17)
Free Agent (4): 1B Logan Morrison, RHP Kevin Jepsen, INF Alexei Ramirez, C Bobby Wilson
Traded (5): 2B Logan Forsythe, OF Mikie Mahtook, UTL Taylor Motter, INF/OF Richie Shaffer, LHP Drew Smyly
Waived (4): OF Jaff Decker, RHP Dylan Floro, RHP Steve Geltz, INF Juniel Querecuto
Re-signed to Minor League Contracts (4): INF Ryan Brett, LHP Dana Eveland, LHP Justin Marks, C Justin O'Conner
- Saturday, February 4, 11 a.m.-2017 Rays Fan Fest at Tropicana Field. Many Rays players and coaches are expected to attend.
- Monday, February 6, 9:30 a.m.-At Tropicana Field, the Rays moving trucks will be loaded up for spring training and head to Port Charlotte.
- Monday, February 13, 12:30 p.m.-Pre-spring training press conference at Charlotte Sports Park with Rays Manager Kevin Cash, Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations/General Manager Erik Neander and Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations Chaim Bloom. Lunch will be provided by the Charlotte Harbor Visitor and Convention Bureau following the press conference.
- Tuesday, February 14, 10:30 a.m.-First workout, pitchers and catchers.
- Saturday, February 18, 8:30 a.m.-Photo Day for media only. All players and coaches will be available for head-and-shoulders photos.
- Sunday, February 19, 10:30 a.m.-First full-squad workout.
- Friday, February 24, 7:05 p.m.-Rays Grapefruit League opener at Minnesota Twins, Hammond Stadium in Lee County.
- Saturday, February 25, 1:05 p.m.-Rays Grapefruit League home opener vs. Pittsburgh Pirates at Charlotte Sports Park.
- Wednesday, March 8, 6:35 p.m.-The Rays will host the Colombia World Baseball Classic team at Charlotte Sports Park.
- Sunday, March 19 (pregame)-For the sixth consecutive year, the Rays will shave their heads in support of the Pediatric Cancer Foundation's "Cut for a Cure" program to pay tribute to children fighting cancer. Details will be announced at a later date.
TICKET INFORMATION-Spring training single-game tickets are available via phone at (888) 652-7223 and online at raysbaseball.com/spring, or at the Charlotte Sports Park box office, Rays Tampa Store (400 N. Tampa St.) or the Tropicana Field box office. Spring Training Season Tickets continue to offer the best seats with the greatest benefits and start at only $325 for the Rays 18-game home schedule at Charlotte Sports Park. Spring Three-Game Packs and group ticket opportunities are also available at discounted pricing. Single-game tickets will once again range in price from $10 to $32. For more information, visit raysbaseball.com/spring or contact 888-FAN-RAYS.
VIDEO ON A SILVER PLATTER-The Rays provide a daily postgame video feed of all non-televised spring training games. This will include about two minutes of highlights plus two short interviews. For day games, video should be uploaded by 5:15 p.m. To receive email updates or for more information, contact Chris Tilley (firstname.lastname@example.org or 727-434-0497).
RAYS PARTNER WITH CHARLOTTE BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS FOR EIGHTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR-The Eighth Annual BaseBALL Dinner & Auction benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Charlotte County will be held on Thursday, February 23 at 6 p.m., at Charlotte Sports Park. To purchase tickets, fans should call (941) 235-2472. For the eighth consecutive year, the Rays will be featured at the event. Expected this year are Rays Manager Kevin Cash, his coaching staff and several players.
WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC-The 2017 World Baseball Classic, which is the fourth edition of the tournament, will feature the world's best players representing their countries and territories. While Chris Archer (United States) was among the initial list of confirmed players, each Federation is required to submit a proposed final roster to WBCI on or before February 6. On March 8 at 6:35 p.m., the Rays will host the Colombia World Baseball Classic team at Charlotte Sports Park. A minimum of 39 games will be played at six venues across four nations from March 6-22. The four Round One pools are scheduled to be played in Seoul, Korea; Tokyo; Jalisco, Mexico; and Miami, Florida. Round Two will feature two pools of four teams each and is scheduled to be played in Tokyo and San Diego, California. The Semi-Finals and Final will be played at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.
MINOR LEAGUE CAMP-Minor league pitchers, catchers and position players are reporting together this year. The first workout at Charlotte Sports Park is March 4. At that time there will be approximately 150 players in minor league camp.
LOOKING AHEAD: RAYS HOST MLB'S LID-LIFTER-The Rays will host the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field on Sunday, April 2 at 1:10 p.m., marking the first game of the 2017 Major League Baseball regular season. This will be the second time the Rays have played in Major League Baseball's regular season opener, following 2004 when they played the Yankees in Tokyo, and first time they have hosted such a game. The contest will air on Fox Sports Sun as well as ESPN.
2017 TAMPA BAY RAYS SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE
DAY, DATE, OPPONENT, SITE, Radio/TV, TIME
Friday, Feb. 24, @Minnesota, Lee County, W, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 25, Pittsburgh, Charlotte County, W, 1:05 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 26, Boston, Charlotte County, W, 1:05 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 27, @Philadelphia, Clearwater, 1:05 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 28, Minnesota, Charlotte County, M, 1:05 p.m.
Wednesday, March 1, Philadelphia, Charlotte County, M, 1:05 p.m.
Thursday, March 2, @Boston, Fort Myers, 1:05 p.m.
Friday, March 3, Detroit, Charlotte County, M, 1:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 4, Baltimore, Charlotte County, W, 1:05 p.m.
Sunday, March 5, @Toronto, Dunedin, W, 1:07 p.m.
Tuesday, March 7, @New York-AL, Tampa, 1:05 p.m.
Wednesday, March 8, Colombia, Charlotte County, W, 6:35 p.m.
Thursday, March 9, Pittsburgh, Charlotte County, M, 1:05 p.m.
Friday, March 10, @Pittsburgh, Bradenton, 1:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 11, @Boston, Fort Myers, W, 1:05 p.m.
Sunday, March 12, Toronto, Charlotte County, W/F, 1:05 p.m.
Monday, March 13, @Minnesota, Lee County, 1:05 p.m.
Tuedsay, March 14, New York-AL, Charlotte County, M, 1:05 p.m.
@Baltimore, Sarasota, 1:05 p.m.
Wednesday, March 15, Boston, Charlotte County, M, 1:05 p.m.
Friday, March 17, Minnesota, Charlotte County, M, 1:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 18, @Toronto, Dunedin, W, 1:07 p.m.
Sunday, March 19, Philadelphia, Charlotte County, W/F, 1:05 p.m.
Monday, March 20, Pittsburgh, Charlotte County, M, 1:05 p.m.
Tuesday, March 21, @Pittsburgh, Bradenton, 1:05 p.m.
Wednesday, March 22, @Baltimore, Sarasota, W, 6:05 p.m.
Thursday, March 23, New York-AL, Charlotte County, M/E, 1:05 p.m.
Friday, March 24, @Pittsburgh, Bradenton, 1:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 25, Boston, Charlotte County, W/F, 1:05 p.m.
Sunday, March 26, @New York-AL, Tampa, W, 1:05 p.m.
Tuesday, March 28, @Minnesota, Lee County, 1:05 p.m.
Wednesday, March 29, Baltimore, Charlotte County, M, 1:05 p.m.
Thursday, March 30, Minnesota, Charlotte County, M, 1:05 p.m.
Friday, March 31, @Philadelphia, Clearwater, 1:05 p.m.
Home Games in bold
RADIO: WDAE 620 AM/95.3 FM (W), MLB.com RADIO (M)
TELEVISION: Fox Sports SUN (F), ESPN (E)