Coronavirus: Tampa Bay Rays open Tropicana Field for limited workouts

May 26 2020 1:15 AM

The Tampa Bay Rays returned to Tropicana Field, where limited workouts were held amid the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc globally and in the United States, with the start of the MLB season delayed since March.

The Rays last completed voluntary workouts on March 17 before opting to leave their Spring Training base in Port Charlotte, Florida due to the crisis.

But the Rays took part in a voluntary and very light workout on Monday as MLB officials look to get the 2020 campaign underway.

"I think they were excited just to get back to something that they're used to, given that it was unusual circumstances," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "It was good to see smiling faces."

Austin Meadows, Willy Adames, Manuel Margot, Diego Castillo, Yonny Chirinos, Jose Alvarado, Michael Perez, Jose Martinez, Ryan Yarbrough, Brendan McKay and Nick Anderson were among the players in attendance on Monday.

Before entering the stadium, players and coaches were asked questions about their movement during the pandemic, while temperatures were also checked.

While the clubhouse, batting cages and gym were off limits, players were able to play catch, run on the field and lift some free weights that were relocated outdoors.

"I think this was a really good start for a first day and a first week," Cash said. "I know [general manager Erik Neander] has been adamant about taking it slow and precautionary. We all agree with that -- maybe take the baby steps and see where we are after the three of these [workouts]."

Rays All-Star Meadows added: "I think today was a step in the right direction, just being able to show up to the field. We want to have something routine-based.

"It's almost June and not being on a routine -- being able to go to the Trop today definitely felt like things were starting to move in the right direction and hopefully we can come up with something soon."

Meanwhile, fellow American League franchise the Houston Astros also opened their facilities for individual workouts at Minute Maid Park on Monday.

"I would never want to speak for the players, but the sentiment from everybody is we all want to be back there safely and find a way to get going," Astros general manager James Click said. "It's a big week."

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