After a victorious homecoming for Kevin Cash and Asdrubal Cabrera, the Rays will have their work cut out of them as they get set to face reigning Cy Young Award winner, Corey Kluber. Going to the hill for the Rays will be Erasmo Ramirez, who has emerged as the one of the Rays top starting pitchers (even though he usually only last 5-6 innings a game). Mr Antonevich has an excellent writeup looking deeper into the causes of the new-found success of Ramirez, which you can read here.
Heading into play today (excluding Ramirez's first two outings), he is 6-1 with a 2.36 ERA and a 3.50 FIP, to go along with his 20.0 K% and 7.1 BB% over the course of eight starts and 53.1 innings pitched. His last time out against Washington, he delivered six shutout innings, while allowing five hits, walking three, and struck out four in a victory over the Nationals.
During the Rays 4-1 victory over the Indians, the team blasted three solo homeruns, hit by Joey Butler, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Steven Souza Jr. During this past week, Souza is 6 of 19 with two homeruns, while he has only struck out three times in 25 trips to the plate. Meanwhile, Butler shows no signs of slowing down (even though he has to, at some point, right?).
Right now, the front five in the Rays rotation is Archer, Karns, Ramirez, Colome, Andriese. When Odorizzi and Moore return, Colome will hopefully become a nice weapon out of the 'pen and Andriese will probably be back in Durham. But, just by replacing those two starters, an already good team will be significantly improved. Then, the Rays will also get to add James Loney back to the infield, plus a potential logjam of quality players when Desmond Jennings and John Jaso make their respective returns. The Rays are in a very good position as we near the halfway mark of the season.
Corey Kluber Scouting Report:
Needless to say, Kluber received very poor run support thus far this season. So far in 14 starts this year, Kluber is 3-8 with a 3.54 ERA and a 2.47 FIP. He also has a 28.3 K% and a 4.6 BB% during his 96.2 innings pitched.
|PITCH||VELOCITY||FREQUENCY||vs LHB||vs RHB|
|Fastball||Low to Mid 90's||
10% vs LHB
15% vs RHB
|Sporadic||Works up in the zone, or away from the hitter.|
|Sinker||Low to Mid 90's||
39% vs LHB
36% vs RHB
29% vs LHB
29% vs RHB
|Runs it down and in, mixing in & out of the zone||Runs it down and away, mixing in & out of the zone|
|Slider||Low to Mid 80's||
14% vs LHB
21% vs RHB
|Keeps it down in the zone, usually trying to back door the hitter||Sweeps it down and away from righties, occasionally out of the zone|
|Change||Mid to High 80's||
9% vs LHB
0% vs RHB
|Keeps it inside, usually down in the zone||Hasn't thrown a change this year|
When hitters do make contact off of Kluber, ground ball are the most common result, as they're hit 47.2% of the time. Line drives are hit 22% and fly balls are hit 30.8% of the time.
Lefties are hitting much better against Kluber this year than righties. In 185 trips to the plate, righties have slashed .211/.234/.320 with 4 HR, to go along with a 33.0 K% and a 2.2 BB%. Meanwhile, lefties have slashed .291/.356/.428 with 3 HR, to go along with a 24.2 K% and a 6.8 BB% in 207 trips to the plate.
During Kluber's last time out, he suffered a subpar start by his standards, which the Rays would gladly take from 4/5ths of their rotation. He went five innings against the Tigers and allowed two runs on four hits, while walking one and striking out two. So far he is winless in the month of June, having dropped three in a row.
#Rays lineup: Kiermaier cf, Butler dh, Longoria 3b, DeJesus lf, Forsythe 2b, Souza rf, Cabrera ss, Franklin 1b, Rivera c, Ramirez p— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) June 20, 2015
Other Rays Notes:
- The FSL allstar game is tonight, and six of the Charlotte Stone Crabs will be participating, led by Jacob Faria who will be starting the game. Three of them were acquired within the last 12 months, and Gantt was recently just reinstated after Dayron Varona was promoted up to Montgomery.
- Matt Moore is very close to returning. If all goes well during tomorrow's start, there's a slight chance he could rejoin the rotation next week. It's expected that he'll need at least one more though after tomorrow.
- Richie Shaffer missing his 5th consecutive game.
Jared Sandberg's lineup for tonight: Brett 2B Brown CF Motter DH Mahtook RF Dykstra 1B Belnome 3B Velez LF Maile C Lee SS Zarate LHP— Durham Bulls (@DurhamBulls) June 20, 2015
- June 20th in team history, of which the team is 8-8 all-time
- 1978 - Bobby Seay is born. He'd spend eight seasons in the majors, and part of three year with Tampa Bay. In 45 games, he was 1-1 with a 3.63 ERA and a 3.48 FIP. In 2005, he'd be traded to the Rockies for Reggie Taylor.
- 1996 - The GCL Devil Rays record the first ever win in the organization's history
- 1999 - In a game that featured five lead changes, the Devil Rays are victorious after Miguel Cairo hits a single in the top of the 11th that scored the go-ahead run.
- 2003 - Miguel Cabrera makes his major league debut against the Devil Rays and is a little underwhelming, going 0-4. That is, until the bottom of the 11th, when he hit a walkoff HR off of Al Levine to the deepest part of Pro Player Stadium
- 2006 - Andrew Friedman pulls off one of his best deals, as he sends Joey Gathright and Fernando Cortez to the Royals in exchange for J.P. Howell
- 2012 - Chris Archer makes his major league debut against the Washington Nationals. He had a shaky first inning, in which he allowed three runs, but settled down after that and went six innings, while walking one and striking out seven. Also, Jose Molina homered off of Stephen Strasburg in that game.