Rays bats hot to start the second half of the season

The bats were hot in Baltimore as the Rays scored 33 runs over four games as the second half of the season began Friday night in Baltimore. 

Nate Lowe who was recently called up from  Durham has been filled in nicely hitting .299 with five home runs and 11 runs batted in. Lowe homered twice in the second game of Saturday’s day night double header to help the Rays win 12-4.

Rookie third basemen Michael Brosseau has also been red hot since his call up from Durham. Brosseau hit a homer run Sunday afternoon in the Ryas 4-1 win. Brosseau is hitting .349 with four homers and ten runs batted in.

The Rays are still battling a lot of injuries but are looking forward to getting some guys back. First basemen Ji-Man Choi was activated of the 10 day DL and should be back in the lineup any day. 

There has also been a Matt Duffy sighting, as Duffy has started the last three games at Durham in a rehab assignment. If all goes well (keep your fingers crossed), we might see Duffy in Tampa in a week or two providing no major setbacks. 

Daniel Robertson who had surgery right before the All-Star break is doing some baseball activities and should be ready for a rehab assignment within the week. 

Brandon Lowe has not started any baseball activities as that shin bone bruise heals

The news on Tyler Glasnow is no news. Glasnow continues to recover from the bruised forearm and there is no timetable for his return. 

Diego Castillo returned from the DL and looked good in the two thirds of an inning he pitched on Saturday. With Jose Alvarado not expected to be back until at least mid – August, the Rays will need Castillo to step up and anchor the back end of the bullpen which has been a struggle for the Rays all season. 

Pitcher Brendan McKay continues to impress in his short time in Tampa. Although McKay didn’t get a decision in the Rays 2-1 loss to the Orioles on Saturday, Mckay threw 86 pitches and had seven strikeouts and gave up just three hits in the five innings he pitched.

Mckay was most impressive in the fifth inning when the Orioles had two men on with no outs and Mckay got the next two batter to strikeout and then got a groundout to get out of the inning with no runs scored. 

McKay is 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA with one walk and 13 strikeouts. McKay is probably here to be a permanent part of the Rays rotation. 

The Rays still need to acquire some bullpen help and did make a minor trade yesterday acquiring Peter Fairbanks from the Texas Rangers in exchange for infielder Nick Solak.

On the season Fairbanks is 0-2 with a 9.35 ERA with 15 Strikeouts. Fairbanks is currently at Durham and could get a call up to the Rays later in the season. 

There are two and a half weeks  before the trade deadline, and if the Rays want to be competitive come October they have to acquire some bullpen help. A couple of ex-Rays Kirby Yates and Alex Colome could all be available as well as Will Smith the Giants closer. 

Next up the Rays have a big four game series at Yankee Stadium beginning Monday night. The Rays  are 55-40 after taking three of four in Baltimore and currently trail the Yankees by six games in the AL East.  Blake Snell, Yonny Chirinos, and Charlie Morton all expected to start for the Rays.