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Tampa Bay Rays

Stadium: Tropicana Field | Manager: Joe Maddon
AL East3rd5th5th2nd
American League 7th14th11th5th


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Rays sign Jim Miller to minor-league deal
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com

The Rays have signed pitcher Jim Miller to a minor-league deal, according to SBNation.

Miller will report to major-league spring training as part of the contract. The 32-year-old tossed just 2 2/3 innings in the majors last season. 

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Rays DH John Jaso doing well in early stages of outfield experiment
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Rays manager Kevin Cash seems pleased with how catcher/DH John Jaso is doing in his transition to the outfield, per The Tampa Tribune

“He was reading balls off the bat and he looked great,” Cash said. “(Monday) the outfielders did their first light throwing. Every ball he threw was right on line. I think from speaking with him, he’s been comfortable with it. We probably didn’t anticipate getting him out there until the end of spring, but I think we have him coming in the third or fourth game of the year and see how it goes. If he’s good we’ll keep working him out there. That’s a great asset for us to have.”

While Jaso's role will primarily be at DH, the Rays want him to learn how to play in the outfield to add versatility to the team's roster.

“I’m enjoying the outfield experience so far,” Jaso said. “I think the challenge is going to be picking up the ball and knowing where to throw, knowing where the cutoff man is going to be, and when there are runners on, knowing which base to throw to to keep the double play in order and catch yourself throwing to third base."

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Rays manager Kevin Cash tabs Alex Cobb as opening day starter
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Rays manager Kevin Cash announced Wednesday starting pitcher Alex Cobb will start the season opener on April 6 against Baltimore.

"There's a lot of things on your short list of career highlights that you can say you've done," Cobb said, per the Tampa Bay Times. "Obvioiusly, with being in the World Series and winning the World Series being at the top. Being an opening day starter falls somewhat shorter than that, but it's right up on that list."

Cash also announced Cobb will be followed in the rotation by Chris Archer, Drew Smyly and Jake Odorizzi. The team will choose a fifth starter this spring.

"He was extremely excited," Cash said of Cobb. "I kind of expected him to say, 'Yeah, OK, whatever,' but he was pumped. And you look back and you're like, 'Man, he's had some good pitchers here that maybe he's had to wait in turn for (James) Shields and (David) Price and those guys. I think he looks at it as being an honor, because there have been some good ones here in the past that have done it."

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Rays' Cash likes Steven Souza's disciplined approach during BP
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Rays manager Kevin Cash likes what he sees early on in camp from outfielder Steven Souza, who was picked up in a December trade from the Nationals. Cash has been particularly impressed with what he has seen during batting practice from the 25-year-old outfielder.

"He's fun to watch," Cash said, per MLB.com. "In batting practice, he's very disciplined with his approach. You can tell he takes his BP rounds with a purpose. And it's kind of impressive, not that he's that young, but it's very easy to get caught up out here when you're hitting on the same field as [Evan] Longoria, [James] Loney and some of the other guys. You can quickly change your approach. He has not done that. He's kind of stuck to it."

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Rays' Franklin confident he'll win competition to be starting shortstop
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Rays infielder Nick Franklin will be battling for the starting job at shortstop this spring, and he has no doubts he can play the position at the major-league level.

"Absolutely," Franklin said, per the Tampa Bay Times. "Absolutely. 100 percent. I've grown up playing shortstop. Even at the big-league level, playing short just seems natural to me. I enjoy it. I'm really comfortable there. … It's been in my blood for a long time.

"I wouldn't say I need any work. Honestly, I think over these past years I've improved a significant amount at shortstop. … I've been practicing all offseason at short. And there's really no weakness."

The Rays plan to take most of the spring to decide who will be the team's starting shortstop, but Franklin seems pretty confident he will emerge as the victor in the competition.

"I'm going to be out there at short," he said. "There's not a doubt in my mind that I'm not."

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2014 Team Leaders
AVGJames Loney , 1B.290
HREvan Longoria , 3B22
RBIEvan Longoria , 3B91
OBPBen Zobrist , 2B.354
SLGEvan Longoria , 3B.404
REvan Longoria , 3B83
SBDesmond Jennings , CF15
WJake Odorizzi , SP11
ERAAlex Cobb , SP2.87
WHIPAlex Cobb , SP1.14
KJake Odorizzi , SP174
SVJake McGee , RP19

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