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Game Notes: The Prodigal Son(s) Return

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Will the Rays feast?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

As the Rays travel back home to the Trop to take on the Oakland Athletics, it'll be a homecoming of sorts for several players on the away team as their current roster holds five former Rays (it was only a few seconds of glorious Raysdom in the case of Jesse Chavez). The others on that list are Sam Fuld, Stephen Vogt, Jesse Hahn, Scott Kazmir, and Ben Zobrist, who is currently on the DL recovering from knee surgery.

So far this year, Vogt has been outstanding for the A's, having accumulated 2.2 WAR thus far with a bat that's been 82% better than average. To put that in perspective, the closest Rays player is Kevin Kiermaier with 1.8.

Tonight the Rays will send Alex Colome to the hill to face off against Jesse Chavez who was with the Rays for all of two days in 2009 before being flipped for Rafael Soriano. Chavez was drafted in the 42nd round of the 2002 draft by the Texas Rangers and it took him nearly a full year to finally sign with the club. Chavez slowly climbed his way through the minors without standing out. At the 2006 trade deadline he was flipped to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Kip Wells and he'd make his major league debut two years later in 2008, but the results were disastrous.

Chavez journeyed around to a couple of organizations but found no success until 2013 when he carved himself a spot in Oakland's bullpen. In 2014, the decision was made to convert him back into a starter, but he was again moved to the bullpen after Oakland acquired Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija. With their departures this year, Chavez is back again in the starting rotation. Heading into play today, Chavez is 1-3, with a 2.63 ERA and 2.65 FIP in 37.2 innings pitched over the course of nine games (five starts).

Lineups:

A's;

Rays;

Jesse Chavez Scouting Report:

Chavez has three pitches he can throw in the low-to-mid 90's; a fastball (15%), cutter (43%), and sinker (18%), while he mixes in a change (17%) in the mid 80's, and a curve (7%) in the high 70's.

With his fastball, he stays away from both righties and lefties, hardly ever coming in. With his sinker, he'll have run low and away from lefties, while throwing it anywhere in the zone to righties. With his cutter, he tries to either back-door lefties, or he runs it under their hands trying to jam them, while with righties he mainly uses it sweep away from them and out of the zone. He's only thrown his curve a handful of times this year, basically just dropping it out of the zone. He really doesn't throw his changeup in the zone to righties, dropping it low and away, while with lefties he'll throw anywhere in the bottom of the zone.

Heading into play today, Chavez owns a 22.7 K% and a 7.8 BB%. So far this year, Chavez has been generating a high amount of infield pop flys as they're hit 20% of the time off him. Meanwhile, he sports a slight groundball tendency, with one coming 41.2% of the time a ball is put into play.

Other Rays Notes:

- Rays pitching has been really good.

- May 21st in Rays history

  • Tom Martin (1970), Travis Harper (1976), and Allan Dykstra (1987) are born
  • 2000 - Dave Hollins is released
  • 2002 - Signed Dave McCarty
  • 2004 - Jose Cruz Jr ties a franchise record by accumulating 10 total bases in one game. He did so by hitting three doubles and a homer
  • 2012 - Purchased Drew Sutton from the Pittsburgh Pirates