It’s September and the Tampa Bay Rays are playing better baseball every day. The Rays are currently in the middle of an 8 game road trip and they have just played 2 of the best teams in baseball going 3-2 against the Atlanta Braves and the Cleveland Indians.
The Rays are coming off a series win against the central division leading Indians in Cleveland winning 2 out 3.
The Rays continue to get solid pitching and timely hitting as they are now 73-63. This is the best record the Rays have had since 2015 and to think no one gave this team much of a chance to do anything back in April.
Tyler Glasnow the rookie acquired in the Chris Archer deal with Pittsburgh continues to get better every outing. Although he lost to the Indians on Friday night 3-0, Glasnow had one of his best outings of the season as he held the Tribe lineup in check for much of the game and in the process lowered his ERA to 3.23.
With Durham the Rays minor league affiliate making the playoffs, the Rays will not be doing a lot of call-ups to the big league club. The Rays would rather let them play as much as they can at Durham and then when the playoffs are over possibly summon a few of the guys to Tampa.
One player I would Like to see is OF Austin Meadows. he was another of the players acquired in the Archer deal and has been on fire since his arrival in Durham, hitting over .300 with 10 HR’s and driving in 30 runs.
Meadows is definitely a candidate to make this team next season as the Rays will part ways with Carlos Gomez.
The Rays have been on stretch of playing good baseball without one of their best hitters on the team in Mallex Smith and he has been out the past two weeks with a viral infection.
I am not concerned about the slump of Jake Bauers. Bauers was in an 0-15 slump before getting a hit in Cleveland over the weekend, as his average has dropped from the .240 range to just above .200 over the last month A lot of young hitters go through a slump like this especially in the beginning of their career. It’s just a matter of learning how to pace yourself and be a contributor to your team as an everyday player.
Kevin Cash has gone on record as saying that the plan is to let the young Bauers work his way of the slump. He will be in the lineup every day.
The Rays are currently 8 games out of a wild card spot, but the chances of the Rays getting that last spot are slim to none as both Oakland and Seattle have stayed red hot.
If the Rays had played the kind of baseball all season long that they are playing now, the story may be a bit different.
-The Rays will be in Toronto for a 3 game series before coming back home this weekend to take on the Baltimore Orioles.