Rays open Spring Training on February 13th
The Tampa Bay Rays will begin their 23rd spring training and 12th in Charlotte County on Thursday, February 13 when Manager Kevin Cash and his staff welcome 32 pitchers and catchers to Charlotte Sports Park. The players will take the field at 11 a.m. The first full-squad workout is scheduled for Tuesday, February 18 when camp expands to 62 players, including 22 non-roster invites. For all spring training workouts, admission and parking are free.
The Rays are scheduled to play 32 official Grapefruit League games this spring, including 16 home games at Charlotte Sports Park. They open the Grapefruit League schedule on Saturday, February 22 against the Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park in Lee County. The home opener at Charlotte Sports Park is the following day, Sunday, February 23 vs. the New York Yankees, the first of six weekend home games. The home schedule features two night games: Saturday, February 29 vs. the Atlanta Braves and Wednesday, March 11 vs. Boston. The Rays will twice play the defending World Champion Washington Nationals, making their first visit to FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach on Friday, February 28 and hosting the Nationals on Friday, March 20. On Tuesday, March 24 at Tropicana Field, the Rays will host an exhibition game against the “Future Rays,” a team comprised of current Rays prospects from their minor league affiliates. The Rays 2020 spring training season is presented by Visit Tampa Bay.
The Rays enter 2020 spring training on the heels of a 96–66 record — their second straight season with 90-plus wins — and a trip to the American League Division Series. They return the same pitching staff that led the American League with a 3.65 ERA, as its only three offseason departures appeared in a total of 21 games. Of the current 40-man roster, only five players are new to the organization since the 2019 season ended. A retooled offense features third baseman/outfielder Yoshi Tsutsugo, signed as a free agent out of Japan, and trade acquisitions first baseman/designated hitter José Martínez and outfielder Randy Arozarena (from the St. Louis Cardinals) and outfielder Hunter Renfroe (from the San Diego Padres). The Rays welcome back all three of their 2019 All-Stars — right-handed pitcher Charlie Morton, outfielder Austin Meadows and second baseman Brandon Lowe — as well as three-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner Kevin Kiermaier and 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell.
The Charlotte Sports Complex will also be home to one of baseball’s best farm systems. Baseball America recently ranked eight Rays prospects among its Top 100 Prospects list, most in the majors for a second straight season. Of that group, five will spend the spring in major league camp: left-handed pitcher/first baseman Brendan McKay, infielder Vidal Bruján, right-handed pitcher Brent Honeywell Jr., left-handed pitcher Shane McClanahan and right-handed pitcher Joe Ryan. The list also includes the consensus top prospect in baseball, switch-hitting shortstop Wander Franco, who turns 19 on March 1. Last December, the Rays were named Baseball America’s 2019 Organization of the Year.
Cash, an AL Manager of the Year finalist each of the past two years, enters his sixth season managing the Rays. He is now the third-longest-tenured manager in baseball with his current team, behind Bob Melvin (Oakland Athletics) and Terry Francona (Cleveland Indians). His major league coaching staff is unchanged.
Since becoming the Rays in 2008, the Rays have seven 90-win seasons, a number matched by only three other teams in baseball: the Los Angeles Dodgers (eight), Red Sox (seven) and Yankees (seven). Since 2008, their five trips to the Division Series have been matched by only five other clubs and their 1,041–904 (.535) record is the fifth-best in baseball.
Last spring, the Rays hit 43 home runs, their most since spring training data is available (2006). Rays pitchers ranked third in the Grapefruit League with 293 strikeouts. The Rays have captured three Grapefruit League titles (2008, 2010, 2014).
NEW FACES ON THE 40-MAN ROSTER (9)
Signed as Free Agent (1): 3B/OF Yoshi Tsutsugo
Acquired in Trades (4): OF Randy Arozarena, 1B/DH José Martínez, 1B/OF Brian O’Grady, OF Hunter Renfroe
Selected from Minor League System (4): INF Vidal Bruján, INF Lucius Fox, C Ronaldo Hernández, INF Kevin Padlo
GONE FROM THE 40-MAN ROSTER (11)
Free Agent (6): C Travis d’Arnaud, OF Johnny Davis, OF Avisaíl García, OF Guillermo Heredia, LH Hoby Milner, INF Eric Sogard
Traded (3): RH José De León, OF Tommy Pham, RH Austin Pruitt
Waived (2): 1B Jesús Aguilar, INF Matt Duffy
- Saturday, February 8, 11 a.m. — 2020 Rays Fan Fest at Tropicana Field. Nearly 30 Rays players and coaches are scheduled to attend.
- Wednesday, February 12, 12:30 p.m. — Pre-spring training press conference at Charlotte Sports Park with Rays Manager Kevin Cash and Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations/General Manager Erik Neander.
- Thursday, February 13, 11 a.m. — First workout, pitchers and catchers.
- Monday, February 17, 7:30 a.m. — Photo Day for media only.
- Tuesday, February 18, 11 a.m. — First full-squad workout.
- Saturday, February 22, 1:05 p.m. — Rays Grapefruit League opener. Rays play the Red Sox at JetBlue Park in Lee County.
- Sunday, February 23, 1:05 p.m. — Rays Grapefruit League home opener. Rays host the Yankees at Charlotte Sports Park.
- Saturday, February 29, 6:05 p.m. — Rays Under the lights. Rays host the Braves for the first game at night in 2020 at Charlotte Sports Park
Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Rd., Port Charlotte, FL 33948
DIRECTIONS TO CHARLOTTE SPORTS PARK — From I-75, exit the interstate at Toledo Blade Road (Exit 179) and turn right (west). Proceed for approximately 6½ miles to El Jobean Road (SR 776) and turn right. Charlotte Sports Park will be on the left in approximately two miles. Driving time from the Tampa/St. Petersburg area is 1½ to two hours.
TICKET INFORMATION — Fans can purchase 2020 spring training season tickets, mini packs and group tickets through RaysBaseball.com/spring or by calling 888-FAN-RAYS. Spring training season tickets provide access to the best seat locations at the largest discount. Spring training season ticket holders receive additional benefits, including merchandise discounts at the team store, a season ticket holder gift, an invitation to an exclusive event and the opportunity to purchase preferred parking. Season tickets for the 16-game home schedule start at just $295. Single-game spring training tickets can be purchased online at RaysBaseball.com/spring, by phone at 888-FAN-RAYS or at Charlotte Sports Park. The Charlotte Sports Park Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
RAYS PARTNER WITH CHARLOTTE COUNTY BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS FOR 12TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR — The 12th Annual BaseBALL Dinner & Auction benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Charlotte County will be held on Saturday, February 15 at 6 p.m. at Charlotte Sports Park. To purchase tickets, fans can visit bgcofcc.org. Expected this year are Rays Manager Kevin Cash and several players.
FAN DAY — On Monday, February 17, in addition to fans being able to attend the workout at Charlotte Sports Park, there will also be inflatable games, face painting and other complimentary activities for fans starting at 10:30 a.m. Special appearances will be made by Rays mascot Raymond and the Rays Street Team.
RAYS WIVES CHARITY SOFTBALL GAME — Following the spring training game against the Minnesota Twins on Sunday, March 1 at Charlotte Sports Park, the Rays Wives will participate in their third annual charity softball game against the Twins Wives. Fans must have a ticket for that day’s game in order to attend the Wives softball game. This year’s game benefits Girls on the Run Greater Tampa Bay. The game has raised over $31,500 combined the last two seasons.
MINOR LEAGUE CAMP — The first workout for minor league pitchers and catchers is March 4. The first workout for position players is March 7. At that time, there will be approximately 150 players in minor league camp.
BE SURE TO TUNE IN — FOX Sports Sun will be televising 11 Rays spring training games, including nine at Charlotte Sports Park and one exhibition against the Future Rays at Tropicana Field. The first televised game is February 23 vs. the Yankees. 11 games will be broadcast on the Rays Radio Network and an additional 10 games will be available on MLB.com.