PORT CHARLOTTE (620 WDAE) -- The Tampa Bay Rays will look for another Grapefruit League victory Thursday, as the Minnesota Twins come to Charlotte Sports Park to begin a home-and-home series. Nathan Eovaldi will get the start for the Rays with first pitch scheduled for 1:05.
ROTATION EXPECTED TO BE ANNOUNCED TODAY -- The pitching rotation is expected to be announced after today's game, with Chris Archer a virtual certainty to be on the mound March 29 against Boston at Tropicana Field. The two questions remaining are how the other scheduled starters -- Blake Snell, Nathan Eovaldi and Jake Faria -- will slot behind him and when manager Kevin Cash will use his bellpen day to start the season with Tampa Bay playing five straight days to start the year.
MALLEX DEALING WITH HAMMY ISSUE -- Outfielder Mallex Smith has missed the last five games due to some hamstring tightness, but Cash says the next day or two will determine if he will need to miss much more time. Smith is scheduled to take batting practice on the field and shag fly balls, but is not expected to run the gaps with other outfielders today.
"Yesterday he had a really good day," Cash said. "If he bounces back after today, I think he';s getting closer."
Listen to pregame comments from Cash below!