Rays open Tropicana Field for limited workouts

MLB

The Tampa Bay Rays opened Tropicana Field to limited workouts on Monday, with 14 players, including outfielder Austin Meadows and shortstop Willy Adames, taking part.

“It was good to see some smiling faces,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said on a video conference call with reporters after the workouts.

Those in attendance played catch, took part in conditioning exercises and worked out in a makeshift weight room on the field, Cash said. He said everyone at the facility was wearing a mask, but the players were allowed to take them off while they were working out.

Among other players in attendance were first baseman Jose Martinez, catcher Michael Perez center fielder Manuel Margot and pitchers Diego Castillo and Yonny Chirinos.

“It was good to see new faces,” Meadows told reporters on the call. “It’s been a while since we’ve got to see each other and hang out and be on a routine. So today was good to have that little change of scenery.”

Cash said everyone taking part — players and staff — had their temperatures taken and were asked medical questions before being approved to enter the facility.

“Obviously the main priority is being safe and stuff like that,” Meadows said. “We’ll take anything that we need to do, any precaution we need to take just to get out there and play again. I think a lot of guys can say the same thing. … I trust MLB, I trust the union just to gather a plan together to keep us safe.”

The Houston Astros also announced that they would allow players access to Minute Maid Park and their spring training facility in West Palm Beach, Florida, beginning Monday.

“Our top priority remains the safety of our players, staff, and their families. That will never change,” Astros general manager James Click said in a statement. “It’s exciting and a very positive step for our players to return to our facilities, even on a limited basis. This will give our players the benefit of receiving individual attention from our staff, who can provide professionalism and expertise. That is significant.”

The Astros said in their announcement that all personnel entering the facilities would be screened and cleared by medical professionals and that no more than four players could be in the facility at one time.

Additionally, each pitcher will be provided with his own set of baseballs for bullpen sessions. Players must wear masks when not working out, and coaches and staff must wear personal protective equipment at all times.

Neither the Rays nor the Astros will open the workouts to the media or to spectators.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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