With the promotion of Jake Bauers to the big league club on Thursday, it‘s evident that the youth movement has arrived in Tampa Bay.
The Rays front office has been saying all along that these kids are ready for their first taste of Major League baseball. We are about to find out.
With the Red Sox and the Yankees running away with the division, it makes sense to let the kids that are ready get some experience at the MLB level as the losses mount.
Bauers is just the latest is a series of call-ups who was preceded by Christian Arroyo last month, and earlier this month Willy Adames got his first taste of life in the big leagues as he was called up to play in just three games.
Bauers was hitting .279 at Durham with 5 HR’s and 24 RBI’s. To make room on the roster, Brad Miller was designated for assignment and the Rays will probably release him as the trade market for Miller has all but dried up.
Miller had his best season for the Rays in 2016 when he hit 30 HR’s and drove in 81 runs. This year Miller hit .256 with 5 HR’s and drove in 21 runs. lately Miller had become more of a liability than an asset with his base running errors and his mediocre defense.
With the trade deadline just over 6 weeks away, the Durham shuffle will really get going as the Rays will trade high priced veterans to cut salary and give the young kids an opportunity.
I think Wilson Ramos and Adeiny Hechavarria will be the next guys to go. Willy Adames is definately ready and is the SS of the future. Although the way the Rays like to manage the depth on their bench, he may need to play second and third as well. The Rays love those guys that can play more than one position.
Ramos contract is up at the end of this year and the only reason he is in Tampa is because the Rays got him on the cheap while he was rehabbing his injured knee. Ramos is due 10.5 Million this year, and if the Rays can unload that contract you can bet they will.
The Rays would turn the catching over to Nick Cuiffo. Cuiffo was the overall No. 21 pick in the 2013 draft. The Rays would no doubt leave 34 year old Adam Moore at Durham. It would make no sense to promote a 34 year old when you are in the middle of a youth movement.
By August you could see an infield of Bauers at 1B, Robertson at 2B, Adames at SS, and a Duffy/Arroyo platoon at third, with Cuiffo catching.
Both Hechavarria and Kiermaier will both start rehab assignments at Port Charlotte tomorrow night. Hechavarria will be back sooner than Kiermaier, as Kiermaier has some strength to build up in that arm.
The Rays losers of 8/9 will host Toronto for three starting Monday night and then will be in New York next weekend.
-The Rays could set a new all time low attendance record this season. In the 03 season the Rays averaged 13,070 per game with a 63-99 record. The Rays could beat that this season as they are averaging just 13,600 per game which would be the third lowest all time in the history of the Rays.
As the youth movement continues and the losses mount, I don’t see the fans swarming Tropicana field to watch this team which couldput the all-time low attendance record in jeopardy.