ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- About a dozen Tampa Bay Rays players took part in a limited workout inside Tropicana Field Monday morning. It was the team’s first workout at a team facility since the coronavirus shutdown on March 17.
“I think they were excited just to get back to something they are used to given that it was very unusual circumstances,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “It’s a step in the right direction and it was good seeing smiling faces.”
The workout was anything but normal with social distancing in full effect.
“Everyone going in wearing masks, they had a station to wash your hands,” Rays outfielder Austin Meadows said.
Stadium staff could be seen thoroughly wiping down equipment before players arrived on staggered schedules in groups of two at a time.
“We kind of went through a back gate and certainly wearing masks and taking every precautionary measure possible.”
The workout was extremely limited. There was no access to the batting cages, bullpen mounds or clubhouse. Players were allowed to run, use free weights and play catch on the turf.
“I think today was very easy and short,” Meadows said. “It’s hard to find motivation to workout in the backyard, throws with our wives or workout with our dogs. It’s hard to do that stuff, find the motivation.”
The Rays will workout three days a week at "The Trop." The hope is that a second “spring training” will resume in June with a season starting in early July.