by Steve Carney / 620 WDAE
The Tampa Bay Rays continued full-squad workout at their Spring Training complex in Port Charlotte Sunday, with a second session of live batting practice thrown by pitchers including Chris Archer and Matt Moore. Moore, who went 17-4 in 2013 despite a drop in velocity, believes he has rebounded physically.
"Thinking back to where I was last year on the mound in that first live batting practice, I was a lot more encouraged walking off the hill today with the hitters’ feedback, where the ball was winding up, where my effort level was," Moore said. "I think all those things are ahead of where we were at this time 12 months ago."
Manager Joe Maddon has also noticed how well his young left-hander looks and feels.
"There’s definitely a lot on the ball. He worked out of the windup and the stretch, threw some really good curveballs, definitely a lot of hop on the ball," Maddon admitted. "I’d say for the first day that I saw him pitch to live hitters, the velocity looked pretty impressive. I don’t know what it was, but there was a lot of jump on the ball and some pretty good break."
ZOBRIST STAYS OFF FIELD: As reported earlier, 2B Ben Zobrist (back) did not participate in the full-squad workout for the fourth straight day. He did say that he expects to be back on the field "soon," but did not get into specifics. Zobrist injured his back in the team's weight room on Wednesday.
FOR MONDAY: Another round of live batting practice will take place at Charlotte Sports Park, with David Price, Alex Cobb and Grant Balfour among the pitchers scheduled to throw. Practice will begin at 9:30 on the back fields, and last about two and a half hours.
Listen below to Sunday's interviews with Joe Maddon, Matt Moore and Ryan Hanigan below!