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Luis Patiño refining pitches in second season with Rays

Luis Patiño refining pitches in second season with Rays

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — The way Luis Patiño put it, this might have been the hardest he’s worked in the offseason. He changed his routine to involve more weightlifting, focusing on building muscle in his core and especially in his lower body. He came into Rays camp stronger and more mobile on the mound than he was last season.

After an up-and-down first season with the Rays, Patiño sees the opportunity in front of him.

“Definitely, I think this is going to be a big year for me. That’s why I worked so hard this offseason,” Patiño said through interpreter Manny Navarro. “I knew this would be a good year with the experience that I have and everything that I’ve learned. I think it’s just going to lead into a good year, and as long as I keep on working hard, I think it’s going to turn out well.”

The Rays are equally excited about the potential they see in the 22-year-old right-hander. This time a year ago, Patiño was in his first Spring Training with Tampa Bay as…

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