PORT CHARLOTTE – Infielder Yandy Diaz arrived in Rays camp on Sunday, and made an immediate impression with his well-muscled arms.
Diaz, acquired from Cleveland in the Jake Bauers trade, is known as something of a workout fiend, and more than a few players were checking out the product of his work.
“I just talking to (outfielder Avisail Garcia) about that,” shortstop Willy Adames said. “How is he that big?”
Diaz seemed a bit embarrassed at the attention, as well as when an interview shifted from his opportunity for playing time with the Rays to his workout regimen.
“I’m too skinny,” he joked in Spanish, with Manny Navarro translating. “I need a little bit more.”
Diaz said he was excited about coming to the Rays, and getting the chance to play regularly in the majors, at first, third and DH, after going back and forth between minors and majors with the Indians.
“It’s a little frustrating going up and down, that’s pretty obvious,” he said. “But I’ve just got to take advantage of the opportunity to be up here and play well.”
Diaz said he is working on some adjustments to his swing that he expects will lead to more loft and thus more home runs.
And while he said he does spend 4-5 days a week in the weight room working out, he is actually looking to drop a few pounds, reporting to camp at 224 pounds but planning to play at 217-220.
* Top starters Blake Snell and Charlie Morton were among the pitchers throwing bullpen sessions today.
* Sunday was photo day, which brought the standard run through of posed shots, but also a little bit of fun. Lefty Ryan Yarbrough did a shot with the Rays Rookies kids crew where he had to maneuver an Oreo from his forehead to his mouth without using his hands, and managed to do it twice. “Hidden talent I didn’t know I had,’’ Yarbrough said.
* Relief candidate Ian Gibaut said an MRI of his right lat showed “everything was intact,’’ so it will be a matter of rest and healing for him to get back on the mound, with no timetable yet to resume throwing.
* The first full-squad workout starts at 11 a.m. and lasts 2-2 ½ hours at the Charlotte Sports Park (2300 El Jobean Road). There also will be free fan activities. For information: (941) 235-5025.
ys nbut jus got to take adv of the opp to be up here and play wel