PORT CHARLOTTE (WDAE) -- The Tampa Bay Rays will open the 2019 Grapefruit League season at home, as the Philadelphia Phillies come to Charlotte Sports Park for a Spring Training matchup, the first of 33 involving fellow major league clubs and 34 spring games overall. Austin Pruitt will get the start for Tampa Bay, and is expected to throw just a single inning. He'll be opposed by lefty Cole Irvin, with first pitch scheduled for 1:05.
Rays Starting Lineup
Phillies Starting Lineup
DAVE, ANDY, NEIL CALLING GAME ONLINE: The first Rays game on WDAE will be Saturday evening, when Tampa Bay travels to Fort Myers to take on the Minnesota Twins, but the Rays Radio team of Dave Wills, Andy Freed and Neil Solondz will call today's game on RaysBaseball.com. A free MLB.com account is needed to listen.
UPCOMING SPRING SCHEDULE:
Saturday - Rays at Minnesota Twins, 6:05 p.m. first pitch
Sunday - Rays vs New York Tankees, 1:05 p.m. first pitch
Monday - Rays vs Miami Marlins, 1:05 p.m. first pitch
Tuesday - Rays at Baltimore Orioles, 1:05 p.m. first pitch
INSIDE PITCH RADIO SHOW DEBUTS SUNDAY: The spring debut of The Inside Pitch is Sunday, as Steve Carney hosts a one-hour preview of the contest against the New York Yankees, and breaks down the week that was in Port Charlotte beginning at 11:30. The Inside Pitch (spring training edition) will air every Sunday 60 minutes before the start of the Rays Spring Training broadcast.
RAYS WILL "SLOW PLAY" GARCIA: Coming off knee surgery this offseason, the Rays want to make sure that outfielder Avisail Garcia is ready for March 28 against the Houston Astros, and manager Kevin Cash said the plan is to "slow play" the outfielder, waiting until at least Wednesday to get him into a Grapefruit League game.
"He is 100 percent good to go, but we need him ready for opening day," Cash explained. We're not pressing at bats for him right now. We're shooting for midweek at some point for him to get some live action."