Rays Open Full Squad Workouts With Live BP

PORT CHARLOTTE (WDAE) -- With every player in camp, the Tampa Bay Rays started their sessions of full-squad workouts, complete with live batting practice from pitchers Ryne Stanek, Austin Pruitt and Oliver Drake.

Third baseman Matt Duffy was one of a handful of players that got to stand in against Stanek, and he called it eye-opening.

"I figured I'd be facing him, or Diego [Castillo], or some other random guy we have that throws 100 miles an hour," Duffy joked. "So I faced the machine [this offseason] as much as possible. But that first pitch comes in and it's just like 'we'll get there eventually.'"

Manager Kevin Cash made a short speech before the workout, telling the players that while they're talented, talent alone won't get them back to the 90-win plateau they reached in 2018.

"We've got work to do," Cash said about his message to the team. "We've got to get better. We are a good team, but there's work to be done."

Duffy says his takeaway is making sure that he and his teammates differentiate what they can't control from what they can.

"There's a lot of expectations externally," Duffy said, "but the only expectation is to work hard, play hard, run hard, and take care of each other."

GIBAUT WILL SEE SPECIALIST: Cash said Monday that reliever Ian Gibaut will fly to New York to see a specialists about his strained right lat. Gibaut had an MRI Saturday on the injury, but scheduling prevented the specialist from seeing the image and making a diagnosis.

KROOK MAKES IT 67: The Rays added one more player to big-league camp Monday, inviting LHP Matt Krook. Krook, who was acquired from the San Francisco Giants in the trade of Evan Longoria, spent 2018 pitching for Double-A Montgomery, then pitched in the Arizona Fall League and being named to the Rising Stars Game after the season ended.

TUESDAY'S SCHEDULE: The second of four full-squad workouts will take place at Charlotte Sports Park, with another round of live batting practice. The workout is scheduled to begin at 11:00 and last approximately two hours.

Listen to comments from Cash, Duffy, pitcher Ryne Stanek and catcher Mike Zunino below!

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