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Fri, February 24, 7:05 PM EST
Tampa Bay Rays
Minnesota Twins


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at MIN
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Rays' Evan Longoria: Back at workouts Wednesday
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Longoria (illness) was feeling better and returned to workouts Wednesday, Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

The veteran third baseman had been dealing with a high fever recently, forcing him to miss the past two days of camp. Although he didn't miss much, he missed some conditioning and him and manager Kevin Cash will have to figure out when he's physically ready to make his Grapefruit League debut.

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Rays' Chris Archer: Pleased with Tuesday batting practice session
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Archer, who threw a 30-pitch live batting practice session Tuesday, was very satisfied with the results, Bill Chastain of reports. "I was happy overall," Archer said. "First time facing hitters. First time working with Sucre. It was overall a really, really good day."

The Rays' ace took a slightly different approach to his session, sitting halfway through his 30-pitch tally so as to simulate a break between innings and then returning to throw his final 15 pitches. Archer is readying himself for both his first action of the spring and his participation in the first round of the World Baseball Classic as a designated pitcher for Team USA.

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Rays' Brad Boxberger: Impresses in batting practice session
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Boxberger caught the eye of manager Kevin Cash in Tuesday's batting practice session, Bill Chastain of reports. "You saw the depth on his changeup, which was great to see. The ball's coming out of his hand really well."

The former closer would already be ahead of the game if he escapes spring training with his health intact, considering an abdominal injury during last year's exhibition slate set the stage for a season that would see him pitch just 24.1 innings and lose his ninth-inning role to Alex Colome. Boxberger could reinvent himself as a dominant setup option this season, and will look to significantly improve on the career-high 4.81 ERA and 1.73 WHIP he generated in 2016.

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Rays' Tim Beckham: Working in outfield early in spring
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Beckham, who added first base to his resume last season after having already played at each of the other infield spots, is putting in time as an outfielder this spring, Bill Chastain of reports. "It's just repetition," Beckham said. "The more comfortable I get out there, the more opportunities I'll get. I don't think it's going to be hard at all. It's not going to be tough learning the position."

The addition of a fifth position to Beckham's defensive repertoire had been speculated about shortly before the start of initial workouts and is now officially in process. The 27-year-old utility man has embraced the latest opportunity, remarking that his goal is simply to "play and win games", regardless of where he's deployed on the field. The additional versatility can only help Beckham's cause for a spot on the 25-man roster, although he'll likely need to display improvement in his plate discipline and overall offensive consistency to stick.

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Rays' Austin Pruitt: Starting Grapefuit League opener Friday
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Pruitt will start the Rays' Grapefuit League opener Friday versus the Twins, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

The 27-year-old righty has steadily climbed the organizational ranks with the Rays and posted an 8-11 record in 2016 at Triple-A Durham that belied a slightly better level of performance. Pruitt generated a respectable 3.76 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, along with an 8.24 K/9 that was his best as a pro. He'll get an immediate opportunity to make his case for a spot on the big league roster but won't be in for long, as seven other pitchers are also slated to get work in Friday's contest.

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2016 Team Leaders
AVGEvan Longoria , 3B.273
HREvan Longoria , 3B36
RBIEvan Longoria , 3B98
OBPLogan Forsythe , 2B.333
SLGEvan Longoria , 3B.521
REvan Longoria , 3B81
SBKevin Kiermaier , CF21
WJake Odorizzi , SP10
ERAJake Odorizzi , SP3.69
WHIPJake Odorizzi , SP1.19
KChris Archer , SP233
SVAlex Colome , RP37

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