PORT CHARLOTTE (WDAE) -- For the first time in 2020, Tampa Bay Rays pitchers and catchers got out on the fields at Charlotte Sports Park for a scheduled workout, with the first group of pitchers throwing bullpen sessions on the outdoor mounds.
"Good energy, most of the guys have been out here," manager Kevin Cash said after the workout. "Yesterday we didn’t do anything with the physicals, We kind of shut the day down. Leading up to that, I think every pitcher that threw today probably has three or four mounds, bullpen sessions, under their belt. It was exciting to see those guys."
Cash said left-handers Colin Poche, Shane McClanahan, and Ryan Yarbrough stood out to him on the mounds, and one pitcher, right-hander Yonni Chirinos, has stood out for what he's done to get ready for the year.
"He looks awesome," the Rays manager said. "I saw him a week ago and you could tell, whatever he did, he worked really, really hard. You ask the guys to go into the offseason, and you want them to work hard, but you just want them to come in healthy. Yonny went above and beyond on that. It’s good that you notice and other people are noticing because it take a lot of hard work for that to happen."
Chirinos dropped 15 pounds over the off-season, but he isn't the only pitcher to make a drastic change to his routine.
2018 Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell has brought in his own personal chef to prepare his meals. Snell met chef Talon Thomas through his friend, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., and found that he and Thomas had a lot in common, and when it came time to come down to Port Charlotte, the decision was easy.
"Every time I’d hang out with Odell, I’d end up hanging out with chef way more," Snell said. "And then just with conversations and how into it he was, it just kind of made it a no-brainer to have him here. Ever since he’s been here, he’s been amazing. Very smart, he’s been teaching me way more than I ever thought. I think it’s been really good for me."
Thomas lives with Snell in his rental near the facility, and will stay with him through the end of March.
FRIDAY'S SCHEDULE: Blake Snell is among the pitchers scheduled to throw their first bullpen session of the spring Friday at Charlotte Sports Park. Friday's workout begins at 11:00, and is free and open to the public.
Listen to Snell and Charlie Morton speak before Thursday's session, and Tyler Glasnow and Cash from after practice below!