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Cash Impressed By Patino’s First Bullpen In Port Charlotte

Rays manager Kevin Cash

For the first time since the team acquired him in the deal that sent former Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell to San Diego, Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash got a chance to see pitcher Luis Patino throw in person.  It’s an event he’s been waiting to witness, and it didn’t disappoint.

“It was a really good impression,”  “I think he threw three or four bullpens [before coming to Port Charlotte,] and then with travel and everything, he probably had a 10 to 15 day shutdown.  So this is kind of his first time getting on the mound in like two weeks.”

Patino threw his first bullpen to a familiar face, Blake Hunt, who was also a part of the trade with San Diego.

“Afterwards, I asked how many times have you done that,” Cash said.  “And they both said, ‘a lot.'”

There have been comparison of Patino’s look physically to a young Pedro Martinez, but Cash says it’s not quite accurate.

“You’re going to see Luis, he’s really put together,” the Rays manager explained.  “He’s just a strong, athletic kid.  Pedro got there a different way.  You can make the argument [he’s] the best of our era, but I look at Luis as a very physical, broad, very lower-half strength.  I can probably think of somebody in time closer as a comp, but we’ll take anything like what Pedro Martinez did.”

 McKay, Honeywell On Different Tracks For Rehab

Two young pitchers looking to work their way back from their particular injuries are right-hander Brent Honeywell and lefty Brendan McKay.  Honeywell has not pitched in a game since 2017 after multiple elbow injuries, and McKay missed 2020 after undergoing left shoulder surgery, and Cash says the two are in camp, but on different paths.

“[Honeywell,] we all know has had a long road,” Cash said.  “He looks to be in a good spot.  The guys were all complimentary after his brief bullpen session [Friday.]”

For McKay, the team’s fourth-overall pick in 2017, this spring is poised to be different than what he’s experienced in years past.

“He’s in camp right now as a hitter,” Cash explained. “We’re going to let him hit.  We’re going to give him the opportunity [to hit.]  He’s going to continue his rehab, but don’t expect really to involve him on the pitching side.  He’s here, but it’s more rehab, and he’s going to get an opportunity to take the next, four, five, six weeks to hit.”

Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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