Rays' pitchers get ready for NL in batting cages

Rays' pitchers get ready for NL in batting cages

BALTIMORE -- Interleague Play is less than a month away, which means the Rays' pitchers have begun to prepare for using their long-dormant offensive skills to hit in National League parks, where the DH is not used.

Rays manager Joe Maddon leaves the prepping of the pitchers up to pitching coach Jim Hickey.

"Hick does a great job," Maddon said. "[Hitting coach Derek Shelton] has nothing to do with it. None of the coaches do. Having been a National League pitching coach, [Hickey] does a great job of getting the pitchers ready to play offensively. Not only that, also running the bases.

"We haven't run the bases yet with the pitchers. That will start happening soon also. I'm telling you, man, he does a great job. I've always been impressed with his program. We've talked about it. So he looks at the schedule and knows when he has to start it up."

The Rays' first Interleague game at a National League park is June 8 against the Marlins in Miami.