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Tampa Bay Rays return to Charlotte County for first full squad workout of the season

Baseball is back! But, it may look a little different his year because of the pandemic, as many things do. But, some things will remain familiar.

Erik Neander is the General Manager of the Tampa Bay Rays. “It’s going to take us a little bit of time to figure out where our players are at physically and how they best fit together,” said Neander.

The Tampa Bay Rays returned to Charlotte Sports Park on Tuesday for the team’s first full-squad Spring Training workout.

Mariner High School graduate Mike Zunino is back for his third season as the Rays’ catcher.

Also in the spotlight, Shane McClanahan from Cape Coral High School, who made history becoming the first pitcher to his big league debut in the postseason.

“It kind of makes me relax a little more knowing that hey, you know. You can do it. You obviously did it and it’s exciting and I want to be able to do more of it now you know,” McClanahan said.

They’re both hometown heroes in Southwest Florida and Manager Kevin Cash is expecting big things from them both.

“Z is really going to help out,” Cash said. “Leading young guys and leading some veterans, Z’s going to play a big role in that.”

“As far as McClanahan, we got in a very interesting look at him last year, he worked really hard at the alternate site, he deserved to be with us, in the postseason and get himself on the roster, we just want to keep him built up,” he said.

The Rays aren’t going to announce spring season ticket plans just yet.

McClanahan is ready to pitch, though. “Whether that’s no fans, or 100,000 fans, I want to be on that mound and I want to take the ball every fifth day and do what I can do,” he said.

They’re hoping you root, root, root for the home team near their hometown.

WINK News expects the Rays to release their season ticket plan Wednesday. The team’s first Spring Training game is set for Sunday in Port Charlotte against the Atlanta Braves.

Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Drew Hill
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