PORT CHARLOTTE (WDAE) -- The Tampa Bay Rays saw the first bullpen sessions of the spring thrown by reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell and new free agent acquisition Charlie Morton Thursday, and not surprisingly, both were caught by Mike Zunino. For the staff, it's about trying to develop chemistry prior to the start of Grapefruit League games that you can build on during the exhibition games.
For Snell and Zunino, it appears to be growing quickly.
"We just kind of started to understand each other," Snell said after Thursday's workout. "What I like to do and what he saw, so it's cool to just go back-and-forth on me helping him and him helping me."
"He's energetic. He's full of life," manager Kevin Cash said. "You already see why he's made so many good relationships over the course of his career with just outgoing his personality is."
For Cash, the relationship between Zunino and the pitching staff will likely extend beyond the playing field.
"I'm looking forward to taking some time for picking his brain and getting him under the hood on some of our thoughts."
SEVEN YET TO REPORT: 59 of 66 players invited to big-league camp have reported to Port Charlotte, with all 41 pitchers and catchers reporting on time. Infielder Daniel Robertson is the latest position player to report early, arriving at Charlotte Sports Park Thursday. The seven players yet to make it to camp are 1B Ji-Man Choi, INF Yandy Diaz, INF Lucius Fox, CF Kevin Kiermaier, INF/OF Brandon Lowe, OF Tommy Pham, and OF Jesus Sanchez. Kiermaier has already said he will report Friday.
FRIDAY'S SCHEDULE: The Rays will have the third workout of pitchers and catchers, with more pitchers throwing their first bullpen sessions of the spring. Friday's workout will begin at 11:00 and last around 90 minutes.
Listen to comments from Kevin Cash and Blake Snell below!