ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays' clubhouse was eerily quiet when it opened before Friday's game against Boston, with just a few pitchers sitting by their lockers.
That's because manager Joe Maddon and hitting coach Derek Shelton held a meeting with Rays hitters to discuss "hitting theory" in an attempt to get the team refocused after limping out to a .232 average in the first half of the season.
"We're always in search of making things better somehow," Maddon said. "We just tried to pinpoint some of the items we think we need to get better with through some ideas and thoughts with the players."
Maddon said the team's goal is to still win the American League East, not just a Wild Card spot.
He added that in order to get better at the plate, his players have to have a strong mindset.
"I want them to come to their own conclusions, their own answers regarding what's not going right for them individually or us as a team," Maddon said. "By giving them different things to think about, hopefully the answers are gonna come from within. ... That's the purpose of these conversations, to motivate hitting."
Maddon said he will meet with his pitchers on Saturday.