Practice Wraps, Lineup Released For Spring Opener

PORT CHARLOTTE (620 WDAE) --The Tampa Bay Rays held their final full-squad workout of the spring Thursday at Charlotte Sports Park, with the team working on cut-off and relays and another set of pitchers throwing live batting practice sessions, including starters Alex Cobb, Jake Odorizzi, and Blake Snell as well as Rule 5 pickup Kevin Gadea.

Manager Kevin Cash watched Gadea throw again, and once again came away impressed with the younster's makeup.

"He's very confident with what he's doing," Cash remarked.  "I don't think he feels the need that he's gotta reach for more.  I'm sure [during] games we'll allow that to happen, but watching him, he's very much under control and today in his live BP it was the same thing.  He worked all his pitches in.  He got a bunch of swings and misses on change-ups.  He looks very polished for such a young pitcher who hasn't pitched at a very high level."

MILLER POISED FOR BREAKOUT YEAR AT 2B: Brad Miller has made the change from being a shortstop to being a first baseman, and now is moving back into the middle infield at second base, which Cash feels could catapult him into the upper echelon of players at the position.

"He could have a really elite season at that spot," the Rays manager said.  "And I know we've got some really good second basemen in this league, but I think if you shift Brad from first base or short, wherever he was, put him at second, you stick that bat there, you have a really talented player.

But for Miller, it's just another opportunity to play defense behind a quality pitcher.

"I like playing defense," Miller said.  "I formly believe when you're a defender, you're out there for your pitcher.  He's the guy that has the win and loss next to his name.  One of my coaches growing up always told me that.  Our job as defenders is to go out there and leave it all on the line for them.  That's my focus no matter where I'm at."

LINEUP OUT FOR FRIDAY'S OPENER: The team also announced the startling up for Friday evening's Grapefruit League opener against the Minnesota Twins.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:05, with coverage beginning at 7:00 on 620 WDAE.

Rays Starting Lineup

Beckham SS

Robertson 3B

Miller 2B

Dickerson LF

Gillaspie 1B

Casali DH

Maile C

Peterson CF

Field RF

Listen to comments from Cash and Miller below!

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