ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Summer camp has been more like a sprint than the marathon that is normal spring training. With one week left to go before the regular season begins, Rays manager Kevin Cash is trying to balance workload with rest.
"If we were in a regular spring we’d sit there and say 'The last three or four days, let’s just make sure we stay healthy on the field. Nothing crazy,'" Cash said, after Friday's simulated game. "But there are guys like today with [Kevin Kiermaier]. He slid three times. And I get why he’s doing it. We gotta probably stay out of their way a little bit and let them pace themselves."
The team had a couple of weeks to absorb and adjust to a long list of safety protocols, that hasn't dulled their work ethic or sense of humor.
"If we could get in the box and see ourselves throw we’d be like 'Oh crap, that’s what it looks like?! Alright I can relax a little bit. I don’t know why I’m stressing,'" pitcher Nick Anderson joked. "We got a great staff. We’re just all looking forward to getting the season underway and start competing."
The Rays open the season Friday, July 24 when they host the Toronto Blue Jays. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m.