Weeks looks comfortable at unfamiliar spot

Weeks looks comfortable at unfamiliar spot

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Rickie Weeks has never played first base. Second base and the outfield have been his Major League ports of call.

But in Saturday afternoon's 7-2 loss to the Pirates, Weeks found himself at first, which is the position the Rays intend to take a good look at the veteran playing this spring.

When asked about his comfort level there, Weeks downplayed the task at hand.

"Playing baseball, like I always said, you just want to go out there and play some baseball the best way possible," Weeks said. "Every time I cross the lines, I'm confident. I've done all the work in practices, ground balls, football, and all of that. So when it comes time for game time, just play. That's what I try to do."

Rays manager Kevin Cash liked what he saw.

"He looked good, he looked comfortable," Cash said.

• Rays right-hander Jose De Leon, when asked if he was any relation to the Jose De Leon who pitched 13 seasons in the Major Leagues for five teams -- the last being the Montreal Expos in 1995 -- the 24-year-old Puerto Rican native smiled.

"He's Dominican," De Leon said. "I still get his baseball cards. People send me baseball cards of him, thinking it's me. He was a long time ago."

• Right-hander Austin Pruitt, who started Friday night's 3-1 win against the Twins, has a similar delivery to that of Alex Cobb as he exercises a pause in his windup. Pruitt did not copy Cobb, though. He said he picked it up during junior college.

Jake Bauers, who is a well-thought-of prospect, should see a lot of action this spring.

"Jake's going to play a bunch," Cash said. "Jake's a little easier to get in the lineup simply because he plays first and outfield."

When asked what he'd heard about Bauers, Cash started by saying, "Very confident."

"Natural swing," Cash said. "Low maintenance swing. I was really impressed at Rookie Development. I hit him ground balls for two days, and same confidence with his swing on defense. ... Just a talented player."

• Cash told reporters there was nothing new to report as far as the progress of shortstop Matt Duffy and outfielders Steven Souza Jr. and Colby Rasmus, who are all returning from surgeries.

"Nothing, other than all's going well," Cash said. "No setbacks."

Cash said Evan Longoria, who missed two days this past week due to a flu bug, won't play until at least Tuesday when the Rays host the Twins in Port Charlotte.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.