For the third straight week the Rays bullpen has been selected as Bullpen of the Week. Of course, there is always the asterisks of what it means to be in the “bullpen” for the Rays: it means you start, you hold, and you close.
The management of the bullpen has been nothing short of tremendous by Kevin Cash and company. Everybody that is out in that pen has bought in, and has stepped up no matter their role. Vets like Sergio Romo have returned to being a lockdown closer. Chaz Roe has proven he’s more than just a gif-able magic Slider. Young flamethrowers Diego Castillo and Jose Alvarado are already proving adept as filthy relief aces. Ryne Stanek and Hunter Wood have particularly taken the role of Opener to heart, and been dominant in that role (as well as dominant in the later innings when they aren’t “breaking” the game). And of course, a whole slew of “bulk guys” lead by 12 game winner Ryan Yarbrough.
The Rays have been called a lot of things this year, as they have shaken up quite a lot of preconceived notions for what is a “4th starter” or a “middle reliever” and if we still even need as many arbitrary boxes as we think we do.
So far, I like to call them “successful”.
- Kevin Cash has done a tremendous job, and is starting to earn some Manager of the Year buzz. Marc Topkin has some good reading on Cash, and his almost certain position leading the future of this young group of Rays.
- Mallex Smith is recovering quickly from his viral infection, which is tremendous news. Mallex has been a revelation in his expanded role in 2018, and yet still tends to be underrated. MLB gave him some spotlight, selecting him as the Rays most Overlooked player.
- Carlos Gomez plays baseball like a kid, and baseball is better for it.
Around the League:
- Jeff Sullivan has an interesting read on “the most important thing about Clutch”.
- The Phillies have claimed and are working out a trade for Jose Bautista from the Mets.
- The San Diego Padres are calling up 2B Luis Urias (BA #29 overall prospect).
- A Reddit user (rusinga_island) posted a picture of their Toronto Blue Jays fact a day calendar which became oddly prolific on the day Kendrys Morales went for an 8th straight game with a HR. Morales would go 0-3 and end his homer streak.