5:54 AM EST, Sat January 29, 2022
DRaysBay Jan 27, 2022
Colin Poche is expected to be back for spring training

Colin Poche is expected to be back for spring training

Photo by Julio Aguilar/ The Fastball Guy Is Set to Make a Comeback The Rays’ depth at the left-handed reliever position has been a minefield of injuries, and chief among them was invisible-fastball guy Colin Poche, who suffered a UCL tear back in 2020. He underwent Tommy John surgery in the same year, and he has been recovering since then. Typically, a rookie salary reliever with a long road to recovery does not last three years on the 40-man roster, but the Rays have been patiently waiting for Poche’s opportunity to return, and if he doesn’t suffer any setbacks...
DRaysBay Jan 27, 2022
What if... The Rays traded for Jeff McNeil in 2018?

What if... The Rays traded for Jeff McNeil in 2018?

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports This trade does not seem rooted in reality, but it’s a perfect what if! Sometimes you win trades and sometimes you lose trades, but what about the rumored trades that never actually go down? While we can never be sure if these nationally reported trade rumors are in fact true, it’s a fun exercise to look back on reported discussions. This rumor from 2018 features a trade that makes us question the validity of the report, but was one I couldn’t help thinking about so let’s dive in. What did the rumored deal look like? Joel...
DRaysBay Jan 26, 2022
Austin Meadows has been trying to hit the catwalks

Austin Meadows has been trying to hit the catwalks

Photo by Julio Aguilar/ An alarming trend for the Rays slugger Austin Meadows put together a 2021 season that had many ups and downs. Overall, it was a decent year for the Rays slugger as he hit .234/.315/.458 (113 wRC+) with 27 homeruns and 106 RBIs over 142 games. His season was certainly an improvement from his forgettable 2020 campaign (88 wRC+) but a step down compared to his great 2019 season (144 wRC+). There has been quite a bit of variability in Meadows’ offensive production to this point in his career. What is most interesting to me though is the recent...
DRaysBay Jan 26, 2022
2022 DRaysBay Community Prospect List No. 21

2022 DRaysBay Community Prospect List No. 21

Photo by Victor Decolongon/ Catcher (?) Ford Proctor wins the previous vote. Previous Winner C Ford Proctor (L/R, 6’1 195, 25 in 2022) 2021 statistics with Double-A Montgomery: 381 PA, .244/.381/.419, 12 HR, 27 XBH, 16.5 BB%, 26.2 K% Ford was busy during the lost season, playing in an independent league and then Australia, all while learning how to play catcher. He skipped a level and went to Double A in 2021, and he got off to a slow start. However, over the final three months, he batted .299/.419/.522. His defense behind the plate has improved, and he can still play...
DRaysBay Jan 25, 2022
Mike Zunino is good

Mike Zunino is good

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports If you are a Rays fan, you may feel that catchers who are reasonably good behind the plate and reasonably effective with the bat are like unicorns. You read about them, you dream about them, but do we have any evidence that such a creature exists? Last year, however, Rays fans got to see a catching duo that framed, blocked, threw out runners, and was not a black hole at the bottom of the lineup. Leading that duo was Mike Zunino. Zunino’s first two years with the Rays were not great. He was credited with managing a young pitching staff, but...
DRaysBay Jan 24, 2022
How Rene Pinto jumped to the top of the catcher depth chart

How Rene Pinto jumped to the top of the catcher depth chart

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports The catching prospect that emerged out of the pandemic was not top-line acquisition Blake Hunt. Prior to the pandemic interrupting the facets of everything in the world, Rene Pinto had been an organizational soldier for the Tampa Bay Rays. He served as a backstop throughout the lower rungs of the organization, mainly serving as the backup catcher at each level he was playing in. Although he never merited that much attention as a prospect, Pinto had always posted solid offensive results as he hit .280/.335/.419 over 1,422 plate...
DRaysBay Jan 24, 2022
View from the Catwalks: No Sister City for you!

View from the Catwalks: No Sister City for you!

Photo by Brian Blanco/ Stu’s sister city scheme succumbs to reality Stu Sternberg held a press conference last week to announce the MLB had put the kibosh on the sister city plan. Dear Rays Fans,⁰⁰For more than two decades, the Rays have proudly served as Tampa Bay’s hometown team, supporting our community and uplifting our growing region. Our priorities are to win baseball games and keep the team in Tampa Bay for generations to come.— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) January 20, 2022 Local area leaders reacted to the news. Reaction from a plethora of...
DRaysBay Jan 23, 2022
Will Josh Lowe inherit centerfield?

Will Josh Lowe inherit centerfield?

Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports The athletic outfielder is set to emerge as an everyday player On September 8th, 2021 another piece of the future arrived for the Tampa Bay Rays. Josh Lowe made his big league debut. Lowe, the younger brother of former Rays first baseman Nate Lowe, was selected in the first round (13th overall) in the 2016 draft by Tampa Bay. He was touted as one of the best athletes of the 2016 draft class by Baseball America and all of his tools drew strong praise; some scouts even thought of possibly drafting Lowe as a pitcher. His only weakness was...
DRaysBay Jan 22, 2022
2022 DRaysBay Community Prospect List No. 20

2022 DRaysBay Community Prospect List No. 20

Photo by Rick Ulreich/Icon Sportswire via Colby White was one of the most dominant relief pitchers in minor league baseball in 2021. Previous winner RHP Colby White (6’0 190, 23 in 2022) 2021 statistics with Low-A Charleston, High-A Bowling Green, Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham: 62 1⁄3 IP, 1.44 ERA, 0.66 WHIP, 6.5 BB%, 45.0 K% In retrospect, the Rays probably didn’t need 16 1⁄3 innings to know White was too good for Low A, or 23 1⁄3 innings to know he was too good for High A, or 13 innings to know he was too good for Double A. It’s rare for a...
DRaysBay Jan 21, 2022
The Rays “sister city” plan is dead, what’s next? - DRaysBay Podcast Special

The Rays “sister city” plan is dead, what’s next? - DRaysBay Podcast Special

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports We react to the news that MLB has killed the Rays split-season plan with Montreal, then dive into what happens next Following the news that MLB’s Executive Council had killed the Rays “sister city” plan with Montreal, we provide an instant reaction to Rays owner Stu Sternberg’s press conference, which announced the team’s failure on Thursday afternoon. Brett is joined by Danny and Darby for the instant reaction, where we project what’s next in the Rays Stadium Saga, and end the podcast with our assessments of the “sister...
DRaysBay Jan 20, 2022
MLB kills Rays sister city plan with Montreal

MLB kills Rays sister city plan with Montreal

The Executive Council has ruled the Rays cannot pursue splitting their season with Montreal in sudden change of opinion. The Tampa Bay Rays appeared to be caught off guard this week when MLB’s Executive Council voted to end the team’s pursuit of splitting home games with the city of Montreal. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg announced the change of approval from MLB in a somber press conference this afternoon. Statement from the Tampa Bay Rays regarding Sister City Baseball plan: pic.twitter.com/N9tA1CTeED— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) January 20, 2022 During...
DRaysBay Jan 19, 2022
Brett Phillips is ready to take over in Center Field

Brett Phillips is ready to take over in Center Field

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports ... right? Brett Phillips solidified himself in Tampa Bay Rays lore when he came through with the game winning hit in Game 4 of the 2020 World Series. He wasn’t the first and won’t be the last to come through in a big moment for a team, but few get to do it for their hometown team as he was born and raised in Seminole, Florida. Phillips was a sixth round pick out of Seminole High School where he was an overs lot signing as part of the Houston Astros draft class that included Carlos Correa and Lance McCullers Jr. Phillips was ranked in...
DRaysBay Jan 19, 2022
Rays place five prospects in Baseball America Top-100 prospects for 2022

Rays place five prospects in Baseball America Top-100 prospects for 2022

Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/ Despite four graduations! The Tampa Bay Rays, widely credited with baseball’s best farm system, have again placed 5 prospects in Baseball America’s Top-100 for 2022, despite graduating four prospects to the majors from last year’s list. Only the Pirates and Diamondbacks (6 each) had more prospects on the list this year. No. 8 - RHP Shane BazNo. 44 - OF Josh LoweNo. 56 - 2B/0F Vidal BrujanNo. 58 - RHP Taj BradleyNo. 97 - 3B Curtis Mead In looking at these names, the first reaction is surely the shock that must ware off from not...
DRaysBay Jan 19, 2022
2022 DRaysBay Community Prospect List No. 19

2022 DRaysBay Community Prospect List No. 19

Former first round pick JJ Goss stays in the top-20. Previous Winner RHP JJ Goss (6’3 185, 21 in 2022) Rehabbed with Florida Coast League Rays in 2021 Like Taj Bradley, there were reports of big strides made by Goss during the pandemic. Unfortunately, a shoulder injury kept the righty out for most of the season. Fortunately, he’s still very young. Since he was drafted with the No. 36 pick in 2019, his stuff — from his fastball velocity to secondary pitches — has improved. In a small number of innings, he’s continued to demonstrate good control. Goss remains in a...
DRaysBay Jan 18, 2022
The Rays signed Aaron Slegers again. Why?

The Rays signed Aaron Slegers again. Why?

Photo by Sean M. Haffey/ The interesting pitch characteristics of the 6’10” righty During the shortened 2020 season, twelve different Rays pitchers threw 20 or more innings, including front-line starters Tyler Glasnow, Charlie Morton, and Blake Snell. Do you know which of those twelve guys had the lowest Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP)? If you read the title of this article you probably have a pretty good guess; the answer is Aaron Slegers. Slegers has had an eventful first tenure with Tampa Bay, at least as far as his transaction log was concerned: 3/30/19:...

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