Maddon excited about team's play

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Approaching the halfway point of Spring Training, Rays manager Joe Maddon said he likes what he has seen from his team "a lot."

"A lot of it has to do with the group in general," Maddon said. "Their work has been spectacular. That part's been really fun from a coaching perspective. And the way we're playing, they're playing, the depth of this club, it's a good group to be around. I think if a couple of things were to break down, there are a lot of [other players] who can step in and do the appropriate job. So it's exciting."

The Rays have a winning record, but Maddon noted that's not the main thing shaping his perspective.

"We've played well," Maddon said. "But the way they're going about their business, it's really exciting from a manager's perspective. … Theoretically about as good as it can get at a Spring Training camp."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.