ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - The Tampa Bay Rays are back at Tropicana Field ready for a new season. Spring Training gave this team plenty of time to turn the page on what has been the largest roster turnover in franchise history.
"We're not worried about change,” said Rays infielder Daniel Robertson. "We're not worried about who's not here. We are worried about who is here. I know we all believe in each other. If we all come out and take care of what each individual needs to take care of, we'll be successful."
CJ Cron is one of 15 new players that will be making their Rays debut on Opening Day. The new Rays took some extra time during practice getting used to playing under the Trop's white roof.
"The guys say you'll get used to the roof pretty easily so I'm looking forward to it,” said Cron.
The Trop's catwalks can be tricky, especially the unique rules that allow for some balls to be fair and some to be foul.
"Yeah, I'm just going to play everything and see whatever happens, happens,” laughed Cron.
For the last couple of seasons, Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier has taken on a leadership role. Now with Evan Longoria gone, Kiermaier believes he needs to step up his leadership qualities, even if that means being brutally honest.
"It's one of those things if I think someone is out of line or needs something to be said to them, I'm going to say it,” Kiermaier told FOX 13 Sports. "I'm don't care if I hurt someone's feelings, but I'm not happy or satisfied with what has happened in my last four years here. Things have to change."
After six long weeks of Spring Training. The Rays are anxious for the real games to begin. Players admit it's going to be hard sleeping the night before Opening Day.
"I think a lot of baseball fans are going to be in my shoes, not being able to sleep a whole lot,” smiled third-baseman Matt Duffy. "We're excited to get this thing going."