Are the Tampa Bay Rays a Playoff team? Based on what you have seen in all three phases of the game since the All-Star break, pitching, hitting and defense is this Rays team a team that can make a deep playoff run?
The Rays are coming off a disappointing home stand in which they went 3-3 against two of the worst teams in baseball the Detroit Tigers and the Seattle Mariners.
The Rays received more bad news on the injury front yesterday as it was announced that Rookie of the Year candidate Brandon Lowe will miss the rest of the season due to a calf strain.
Lowe was progressing nicely in his rehab and had planned to be back with the Rays next week when he suffered the injury at Durham Tuesday Night.
Lowe joins Yandy Diaz on the DL and those two players had been a big part of the Rays offense and got them off to that hot start in April and May.
Now those two guys are done for the season and there is no guarantee that they will be ready for the playoffs should the Rays get in.
Travis D’Arnaud who had been red hot after being acquired from the Dodgers has cooled down as has Eric Sogard who the Rays picked up as much for his offense as his ability to play different positions.
Jesus Aguilar has hit for average hitting .300, but has just one homer and five runs batted in.
If the Rays are too get to the post season they will need everyone contributing offensively. They need more from Kevin Keirmaier and his .243 average. Tommy Pham and Ji-Man Choi needs to be more consistent.
Defensively they will need to be better. Last night in Baltimore two errors put the Rays in an early 2-0 hole which they were able to climb out of, but against New York, Houston, or Cleveland they will make you pay dearly for those mistakes.
The rotation right now looks like Charlie Morton, Ryan Yarbrough, and Trevor Richards. Jalen Beeks and Austin Pruitt will begin the second or third innings of a game after the opener has pitched an inning or two.
Brendan McKay was sent to Durham for a ten day stretch after his string of poor outings. McKay was 1-3 with 8.69 ERA in his last five starts. Mckay will be back in September when the rosters expand.
Hoby Milner was recalled to help in the bullpen to take the spot of Mckay.
Tyler Glasnow and Blake Snell are both hoping to be back in September to solidify the rotation, but the way the Rays have been snake bitten by injuries one after another, lets just wait and see how everything unfolds.
The Rays are 75-54 and tied with Oakland for the top wildcard spot, a half game in front of Cleveland. These three teams will be battling it out the rest of the way for the two wildcard spots.
The Rays will need to stay hot. With 33 games left and needing a minimum of 95 wins to secure a wildcard spot, the Rays will need to win at least 20 more games the rest of the way.
The Rays are playing.581 baseball right now and will need to play at a .606 clip the rest of the way to get to 95 wins.