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Rays Tank: Clutch exists, but it's not really clutch

Also, Brett was up late, and Josh Sale was up late too often.

Rick Yeatts

The big(ish) news from yesterday was that Rays former first round pick Josh Sale was suspended fifty games for testing positive a second time for a "drug of abuse." And the guy most upset about it? Fellow 2010 draft pick Kevin Kiermaier.

We all know what we sign up for. There's certain things we're allowed to do and certain things we aren't. Drugs, there's no place for it. Everybody feels bad for him. I don't know why.

He had plenty more to say, so check out all his quotes in Chastain's article (h/t

Speaking of Kiermaier, he tripled yesterday in a 14-inning losing effort that pretty much caused Brett to lose his mind. That new-found power has caused him to rank third as the most improved player compared to their preseason WAR projections. Before the season, only the Oliver and the Danny projection systems believed in Kiermaier. Now ZiPS and Steamer also see him as having a league-average bat going forward to pair with his amazing defense.

Other Links

An update by Wendy Thurm on the latest court ruling in the San Jose vs. MLB antitrust case. This is a case with big implications for the Rays ability to move out of the Tampa Bay area, should they desire to do so.

Is the shift responsible for the decline of offense in baseball, like so many have claimed? No, says Jonathan Judge.

Prospect comparables, with a Desmond Jennings sighting.

Russell Carleton says that clutch hitting does exist, but as Tom Tango points out, what he's really saying is that situational hitting exists. As the leverage of the situation rises, some players put the ball in play more, walking and striking out less. This does not necessarily mean a change in overall quality. There was a THT series some years back that found this exact same thing in a bit more granular detail, but I'm having trouble finding the link. Does anyone else remember who wrote it?