PORT CHARLOTTE (620 WDAE) -- Three members of the Tampa Bay Rays starting rotation threw live batting practice sessions at the team's Spring Training facility Monday, as Alex Cobb, Jake Odorizzi and Blake Snell all facing hitters for the first time this spring, though manager Kevin cash didn't see much of what took place.
"I didn't see too much pitching," Cash said after practice. "I caught the last tail-end of [Kevin] Gadea. We spent time today, Rocco [Baldelli] talked to the bulk of position players, obviously the catchers weren't in there, about some base running and just some of the things we want to focus on in camp."
For the left-hander Snell, going into a season knowing you have a spot locked up in the rotation brings a different mindset than when you're fighting to stay out of being sent to the minors.
"I know I can work on things," Snell said. "I know I have to get better, focus on what I need to do, and not press myself too much, just know what I'm going for and what I need to do to get there."
LONGORIA MISSES DAY: Third baseman Evan Longoria doesn't miss many days during the year, so it's significant for him to miss a day during the spring.
Longoria did not practice with the team Monday, battling an illness that has been going through the clubhouse.
MALLEX MAY BE READY FOR OPENER: The Rays are taking it cautiously with players who underwent season-ending surgery, but outfielder Mallex Smith got some good news Monday.
Cash said Sunday that Smith would likely miss the start of the Grapefruit League with tightness in his left side that occurred while playing winter ball, but Monday said the outfielder may indeed be ready for the start of spring games.
Listen to comments from Cash, Snell and Alex Cobb below!
Photo credit: Getty Images