ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (FOX 13) - Spring training is less than a month away, but for Brent Honeywell - the Rays' top pitching prospect - the work continues.
"The main thing is I can't look too far ahead is the main thing," said Honeywell. "I don't want to get slowed down, but then again, I don't want to do anything to kind of counter product what I've done the past 11 months."
Honeywell suffered a season-ending injury in spring training last year. He later would have Tommy John surgery.
"I would love to be in the big leagues yesterday," said Honeywell. "Then again, I gotta look 10 years from now. That's the hardest part for me. All I want to do is help somebody win."
The 23-year-old righty has spent the last few weeks working on his fastball, changeup, and screwball. It'll still be four or so months before he's pitching in rehab games.
"You know with Brent, obviously with the prospect status and everything that he's done in the minor leagues for the Rays to this point, he's a special case and we're going to do everything we can to make sure to temper some of those expectations early," said manager Kevin Cash.
Honeywell said one of the worst parts of last season was not being in the clubhouse with his teammates, and what could have been had he been a part of the Rays rotation. This season, he is much more optimistic and looking forward to what the rotation with him in it.
"Everybody that we got -- everybody -- when this team clicks, it's going to be scary," he said.
Honeywell says the rotation of Blake Snell, Charlie Morton, Tyler Glasnow and himself could lead the Rays to be strong contenders in the ultra-competitive American League East division.
With or without him, Honeywell believes in this team. The 90-win season was just the beginning. Now, he's chomping at the bit to be a part of the next one.
"I want to win games as soon as possible," said Honeywell. "I'm going to do everything in my power to win games as soon as possible. I would say we're contending."