Marc Topkin

Rays Have Great Expectations For 2012

Marc Topkin -Premium Content

Executive vice president Andrew Friedman passed on opportunities to leave town. Manager Joe Maddon extended his contract. Starters Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann are both—surprisingly—still there, as is center fielder B.J. Upton, along with the rest of the core of their squad. But there is something very new, and very different, in Rays camp this year: Expectations.

Majors | #2012#Season Preview

Rays’ Guerrieri Gets First Taste Of Majors

Marc Topkin -Premium Content

The Rays winter development program, now three years old, has its obvious benefits. More than two dozen prospects come down in January to work out, visit with the trainers, meet some of the major league staff, and get talked to about media relations and community appearances. But there is also an intangible benefit, and one that righthander Taylor Guerrieri, their top 2011 draft pick, was quick to pick up as he walked through the same Tropicana Field clubhouse where the big leaguers will soon take up residence.

Majors | #2012#Organization Reports#Tampa Bay Rays