Tampa Bay Rays open Tropicana Field for limited workouts

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.Cash said they would also work out on Wednesday and Friday, and then get some guidance from MLB before deciding whether to expand the workouts.

"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. They also had a hand-washing station and sanitizer bottler and spray on hand.

"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."

Cash said the team will continue to take "baby steps" in terms of building a routine, but will likely adopt something more aggressive when they have an official date to restart the season.

The Houston Astrosannounced 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 Angels also announced Monday that Angel Stadium and the Angels' spring training complex, Tempe Diablo Stadium, are open to all 40-man-roster players and a limited number of staff members. Players can lift, hit and get treatment, but everything needs to be scheduled in advance "and there are strict protocols in place," general manager Billy Eppler said.

The team's spring training facility opened for those purposes on Monday, but Angel Stadium has been hosting players in a similar capacity for some time.

Dodger Stadium and Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona, has been hosting injured players for treatment purposes only in recent days. Time slots are spaced out and players are limited to small groups throughout different parts of the facilities.

The Associated Press and ESPN's Alden Gonzalez contributed to this report.

Related Video
Austin Meadows and Kevin Cash are happy to be back on the field
Austin Meadows and Kevin Cash are happy to be back on the field
Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Austin Meadows and manager Kevin Cash express their excitement after being able to return to Tropicana Field for workouts.
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