Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Posted Feb 20, 2007 by Marc Lancaster
Updated Feb 20, 2007 at 03:08 PM
The most popular new arrival today definitely was Jonny Gomes. He appeared to be in great shape and said he has no restrictions whatsoever with his shoulder. More from him later. Also checking in was Ben Zobrist, apparently the nicest guy on the team.
As for Gomes, Joe Maddon took one look at him and declared the first base experiment over.
“We’re going to have him work out in the outfield, primarily,” said Maddon. “Everybody talks about the first base situation but I want to see him out there [in the outfield] first. Things happen. I know we have a lot of outfielders, but Jon right now with the shape his body’s in and his arm is in that good of a shape … if he’s doing all of that, he’s an outfielder.”
Gomes made it clear that he doesn’t care where he plays. He just wants to be out there after missing more than a month at the end of last season and rehabbing all winter.
“I’m full-go,” he said. “There’s no exercise, no hitting, no throwing that I have to hold back. Right before I left [California] I was throwing the length of a soccer field and hitting live.”
One other note: The Rays have changed their schedule for intrasquad games. The first will be held Feb. 27 at 10:30 a.m. and the second Feb. 28 at 9:30 a.m. Both will take place on Field 1 at the Naimoli Complex, with admission free and open to the public.