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Saturday, Nov 18, 2017
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Rays notes: Maddon mulls timing of instant replay

PORT CHARLOTTE - One day after hearing Major League Baseball's plans for expanded instant replay, Rays manager Joe Maddon was trying to sort through some of the details, such as how long it will take for someone watching in the clubhouse to get word to the dugout that he needs to challenge a call.

"From a manager's perspective, you have to figure out a way when you're not sure, which is going to be most of the time," Maddon said. "How do you time this whole thing out in regards of getting the information to you?"

Play resumes when the pitcher stands on the rubber and the batter enters the batter's box. A manager's chance of asking for a challenge ends at that point.

But the catcher or an infielder can visit the mound when the Rays are out on the field. When at bat, the batter can have a conference with third base coach Tom Foley to make sure they have the signal right or he can walk to the on-deck circle and put more pine tar on his bat.

But MLB is trying to speed the pace of the game, so the umpires are not going to allow these stall tactics to last too long.

"If you're taking an exorbitant amount of time to do that the crew chief has the power to say that's it, you can no longer challenge. We're moving on," Maddon said.

Price on pace for Opening Day

LHP David Price will not start Friday's Grapefruit League opener against the Orioles at Charlotte Sports Park.

Instead, Price will face the Pirates face on Saturday in Bradenton. That allows Price to be on scheduled to start Opening Day on March 31 against the Blue Jays at Tropicana Field.

LHP Cesar Ramos is scheduled to start Friday.

RHP Alex Cobb is scheduled to pitch Sunday against the visiting Twins.

Daily Zo update

2B Ben Zobrist (lower back strain) played catch this morning with head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield and said his back felt fine.

He later took some dry swings.

Zobrist said he hopes to join his teammates on the field Tuesday morning, though he didn't expect he would be cleared for batting practice until midweek.

Maddon said he doesn't think Zobrist's delayed start to spring training will be too much of an interruption as he prepares for the regular season.

"He wants to push himself," Maddon said, "and we keep telling him the most important day is Opening Day."

Joe Cam

Every morning during the team stretch a jersey number is pulled out of a hat, and that person has to wear the GoPro camera during the workout. Today, the lucky number was 70.

"At least that's what they told me," Maddon said. "I could not back down."

RF Wil Myers wore the camera last Thursday. Rookie OF Mikie Mahtook wore it Sunday, though it was not on the proper setting and the camera took only one still picture.

The Rays PR staff posted Myers's video on their website.

"I don't know where we're going with it, yet. We're just doing it," Maddon said. "Maybe if there's something we can do to splice together that might be somewhat entertaining."

Still waiting

RHPs Juan Carlos Oviedo and Juan Sandoval and INF Wilson Betemit remained in the Dominican as they await their work visas. Maddon said Oviedo, the only one of the three who is on the 25-man roster, can still be ready for Opening Day despite missing more than the first week of camp. As a reliever, Oviedo needs to build enough arm strength to get him through one inning.

"He's not getting stretched out," Maddon said. "We normally like to get relievers out about 10 times during the course of camp. With the minor leagues (games) and all the other things, it's easy to pop his 10 games in there as long as he's been healthy and throwing and everything is shape."

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