The Tampa Bay Rays are getting to that point in the season where the injuries are starting to take their toll offensively.
With Brandon Lowe and Wander Franco both out with injuries, the Rays are forced to field a lineup most days with at least two to three players hitting below the Mendoza line.
Vidal Brujan( who has no business being on the big league roster right now) is hitting .134. Mike Zunino is hitting .148, Brett Phillips is at .183, and Taylor Walls is hitting .148.
Isaac Paredes is now at .200, and Kevin Keirmaier, who seems to be in a slump at least once a month, is hitting .211.
Infielder Jonathan Aranda is hitting the cover off the baseball at Durham, hitting .324 with eight homers and 32 RBIs. Would he contribute more offensively than Taylor Walls or Vidal Brujan?
Aranda also has the versatility the Rays are looking for as he can play 3b, 1B, SS, and LF.
I know Kevin Cash is in love with the defense of both Brujan and Walls, but you have to be able to manufacture runs, and that is an area the Rays are lacking consistency.
Is it possible to give Josh Lowe another opportunity? Lowe struggled in his first opportunity with the Rays, but he seems to have figured it out at Durham. Lowe is hitting .283 with five homers and 28 RBIs.
The Rays averaged just over three runs a game this weekend while dropping two of three to the Chicago White Sox.
It is painful to watch this team try to hit the ball at times. The Rays are hitting .232 as a team and are ahead of just Oakland, Detroit, and Baltimore, three of the worst teams in the American League.
The injury bug has also bit the pitching staff quite hard. Currently, pitchers Tyler Glasnow, Shane Baz, Luis Patiño, Nick Anderson, Pete Fairbanks, JT Chargois, Yonny Chirinos, Andrew Kittredge, Chris Mazza, Brendan McKay, and JP Fereyeisen are all on the DL. That’s enough pitchers to put together another MLB pitching staff.
Despite all the injuries to the pitching staff, the pitching has been the strength of this Rays team the first two months of the season. The Rays are third in pitching in the American League, trailing only the Yankees and the Astros.
According to Spotrac, the Rays have lost 615 days to the injured list going into the weekend series against the White Sox. That is the most in the American League and third in MLB.
The good news is that Andrew Kittredge is back, as he pitched a scoreless ninth inning on Sunday.
The Rays were up 2-0 headed into the eighth inning, but Brooks Raley and Jalen Beeks could not hold the lead as the White Sox rallied for three runs in the eighth inning, the big blow a pinch-hit two-run homer off the bat of Jake Burger.
The bullpen not being able to hold a 2-0 lead put a damper on an outstanding performance by Drew Rasmussen. Rasmussen pitched seven scoreless innings allowing three hits with one walk and two strikeouts on Saturday Afternoon.
The Rays will open up a three-game series with the St Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night. Jeffrey Springs, Corey Kluber, and Shane McClanahan will start for the Rays against the Cardinals.
The Rays are now 31-23 and have dropped to third in the American League East, eight games behind first-place New York Yankees and a half-game behind Toronto.