Spring Training Updates: Week One

With one week of Rays Spring Training in the books, we take a look at how the team is doing, and how potential Bulls have been faring over the team’s first eight games.

As a squad the Rays have are off to a rough start, opening the Grapefruit League with a 2-5-1 record through the first week (the team played two games on Tuesday as part of a split-squad). The offense has struggled early, hitting just .207 as a unit and plating only 21 runs, with 19 of those 21 runs coming from the 6th inning or later. On the flip side the pitching has been dominant with an MLB-best 2.15 ERA, while walking just 25 batters in 71.0 innings of work.

Offensively Corey Brown (5-for-11, HR, 2 RBI, 2 2B in 6 G) and Joey Butler (4-for-13, HR, 2 RBI, 2B in 5 G) have been off to strong starts. Each player was signed this offseason as a minor league free agent, and projects to begin the year in Durham.

On the mound Matt Andriese (4.2 IP, 3 R, 1 ER in 2 G, 1 GS), Nathan Karns (5.0 IP, 2 R, 1 ER in 2 GS) and Burch Smith (4.0 IP, 1 R, 1 ER in 2 G, 1 GS) have started the spring strong in the competition for the 5th spot in the Rays rotation until Matt Moore is fully recovered from Tommy John surgery. Alex Colome, who is out of options and is also competing for the final spot in the rotation, reported to Port Charlotte earlier this week after dealing with visa issues through the beginning part of camp.

In relief southpaws CJ Riefenhauser (2.1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER in 2 G) and Mike Montgomery (3.1 IP, 0 R in 2 G) are off to nice starts. Both 40-man players will be competing for a spot in the Rays bullpen, as Tampa Bay is trying out Montgomery in relief this spring. Non-roster invites and Durham probables Brandon Gomes (2.0 IP, 0 R in 2 G) and Andrew Bellatti (2.2 IP, 0 R in 3 G) have each impressed as well.

For a full breakdown of Rays Spring Training statistics, click here.

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