02/23/2013 1:08 PM ET
Ramos honing arsenal in relief role
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Cesar Ramos has a good chance to make this year's team, most likely in the bullpen.
The left-hander started, for the most part, while in the Padres' organization, but he has spent most of his time with the Rays as a reliever. Many times when a starter becomes a reliever, he will narrow down his repertoire of pitches. Ramos did not. He continued to use all of his options, which includes a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup.
"I kept all of my pitches," Ramos said. "But when I started last year, I was throwing a lot more of everything. Sometimes when you come out of the bullpen for an inning, you really don't have a chance to use all four. It was tough sometimes to know I have the other pitches and what to pick from.
"This last year [I said I was] going to go out there with two or three pitches and see what I can do with it rather than trying to force all four pitches and maybe falling behind trying to throw a pitch I shouldn't throw at that time."
Ramos, 28, could serve as the team's long man in the bullpen. He also could fill the role left behind by left-hander J.P. Howell's departure. In 95 Major League games accrued over parts of three seasons, Ramos is 1-3 with a 3.91 ERA.
Longoria returns to camp a proud papa
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Evan Longoria returned to camp Saturday after the birth of his daughter Wednesday night in Boca Raton, Fla.
Longoria and his girlfriend, Jaime Edmondson, named their baby Elle Leona. Longoria noted that Edmondson requested that he name their daughter. He noted that he has rarely felt such pressure.
The due date had been April 2, but labor was induced due to health concerns about Edmondson's chronic high blood pressure. Elle Leona arrived to the world weighing 4.1 pounds and 18 inches long. Mother and baby are both doing well.
"She's beautiful, she's beautiful," Longoria said. "It was pretty miraculous. It was unlike anything I've ever experienced."
Listening to Longoria discuss the birth, he had a clear understanding of the process, which he gained from attending childbirth classes and reading.
"I probably read more about childbirth and having a baby than I have most things in life," Longoria said. "I wanted to be as prepared as I can. You guys know me, preparation has always been something in this game that I have been good at. I didn't want it to kind of come as a surprise."
Having gone through all the necessary preparation for the big event, Longoria allowed that "you never can be fully prepared."
When asked if Elle Leona looked like her mother, Longoria smiled: "I hope so."
As for baseball, Longoria said he will likely play in his first Spring Training game on Monday against the Red Sox at Charlotte Sports Park. Rays manager Joe Maddon amended that by saying Longoria would play on Tuesday.
Rays join in on latest glove craze
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The receiver logo gloves that have gained instant popularity in NFL and college football now have a home with the Rays as well.
Ryan Roberts ordered up some of the gloves, which form the Rays' team logo when the hands are interlocked. Joe Maddon took an instant liking to them and said he'll be sure to show them off on cold days in the dugout.
"[Bench coach Dave Martinez] will put his left hand up, and I'll put my right hand up [to form the logo]," Maddon joked.
Actually, the gloves could serve some practical purpose. Because of their tacky surface, they assist with grip on cold days. Maddon said he'll use them for pregame fungo drills.
- Kyle Farnsworth threw a bullpen session on Saturday. The veteran right-hander has been taking things a little slower than normal after experiencing some overall soreness. He said everything feels fine and, based on the extended length of this year's Spring Training, he added, "There's no reason to push it."
- Brandon Guyer was not available for Saturday's action. Maddon said they want to ease him into games due to some minor issues with his legs. Guyer allowed that he has some minor soreness in his left hamstring, but said he wanted to play Saturday. He expects to play by Monday.
- In the Rays' 15 seasons of existence, the team has posted a winning record in Spring Training four times (2004, 2008, 2010, and 2011), and in three of the four winning campaigns, the Rays went to the playoffs.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.