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Tampa Bay Rays news and links: Digesting a tough loss before the arrival of Duda

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MLB: New York Mets at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Rays lost yesterday, in the eleventh inning, after Adeiny Hechavarria and Tim Beckham misplayed what should have been the final out of the game.

Losses like this are hard, especially against your rival, in the middle of a playoff race. Tim Beckham’s post-game interview summed up the feeling just about perfectly.

The Lucas Duda and Dan Jennings Trades

  • Our own Mark Suleymanov was in the clubhouse, and he described the arrival of Dan Jennings.
  • Jason Hanselman examined Dan Jennings, and he found some interesting things. For starters, Jennings began the season getting better than results than he maybe should have, but since then his process has regressed (positively) to match those good results, rather than the other way around.
  • Henry Druschel at Beyond the Box Score wrote about the Lucas Duda-Drew Smith trade, saying that the Rays made a good deal. I think Smith has a better chance of impacting a major league roster than Druschel does, but I like how Druschel wrote this piece, emphasizing how hard it is for us outsiders to evaluate these types of trades.
  • Jeff Sullivan wrote about how the trade as well, and about how the Rays are “going for it.”
  • Marc Topkin on the Rays being buyers. Plenty of quotes there.
  • It’s behind the pay wall, but the Baseball Prospectus guys did a roundtable on the Rays, the AL East playoff race, and—similarly to Sullivan—what “going for it” means in Tampa Bay.
  • Bryan Grosnick and Javier Barragan provided the trade breakdown for Baseball Prospectus.
  • Baseball America wrote briefly about the trade. Can you decipher what they said for me? Because it sounds sort of like they asserted that Lucas Duda is below average when he strikes out. Revelatory.

Other Links

You can’t tell by looking at their middling offensive BIP numbers, but they hit their fly balls harder (projected .359 AVG-1.029 SLG) and their grounders weaker (.205 AVG-.223 SLG) than any AL club.

  • Jeff Sullivan noticed that more hitters are having unexpected seasons than is usual. Something is going on and it looks statistically significant, not just anecdotal.
  • A good retrospective on the White Sox running up a white flag in 1997.
  • Baseball writers keep suggesting that the Rays might trade Brad Miller or Tim Beckham. Everyone has a price, and the price on those guys surely isn’t even that huge, but I’m selling on this “rumor.” When a team is going for it, as the Rays are, marginal wins matter. That means that unless there’s a perfect match on another contending team, those players have more value to the Rays than they do anywhere else.