Can I be honest? I have lost track of which pitchers have been called up from the alternate site as other pitchers have gone on the IL. And by the way I did some quick math — Rays lead the league with 14 pitchers on the IL; Houston and Toronto are not far behind, but most teams have just 4-7 injured pitchers right now.
But I do know that Brent Honeywell was sent down after Saturday’s game, and Louis Head and Luis Patiño both joined the major league club for the weekend (and beyond?) Both have good stories.
Head got his first major league call-up — on his 31st birthday. We can never have too many “player endures many frustrating years in the minors, considers giving up on baseball dream, gets unexpected call up to the majors” stories. ($)
And in “just happy to be here” moments, here are Head and his wife snapping a photo on the field after Saturday’s game:
#Rays RHP Louis Head, who was called up for the first time in his career on Friday, and his wife taking photos on Trop mound after game today. pic.twitter.com/u45QKryssc— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 25, 2021
Head got into the game on Sunday, pitching a clean inning.
Luis Patiño had made his MLB debut with San Diego last year, but the 21 year old had never pitched in front of his parents (who were able to make the trip from Colombia). He pitched 2.2 “electric” innings:
Here’s some analysis of his arsenal and changes he may have made since joining the Rays:
Looks like there have been 2 large changes with Patiño's pitch shapes.— Lance Brozdowski (@LanceBroz) April 25, 2021
1) Fastball is riding more. Averaged <2" of arm-side horizontal mvmt in 2020. The 22 he's thrown today are averaging 6", max of 12".
Like this. Even if it's just getting him back to league avg. #Rays pic.twitter.com/q0Vp8bqqmw
And here’s a fun fact likely to make some of us feel old:
Luis Patiño was born on October 26, 1999.@RaysBaseball played its first game in 1998.— Cut4 (@Cut4) April 25, 2021
That means he's the first player in team history to be younger than the franchise. pic.twitter.com/AUJNQSnjAg
Those crazy catwalks! How can you not love the Trop — with some good Brian Anderson insights ($).
I did not realize that Friday was proclaimed an official regional “Champions Day”:
Pretty cool to see all this hardware together. Today is proclaimed “Champions Day” in Tampa Bay area. @TBLightning @Buccaneers @RaysBaseball @TampaBayRowdies #TeamTampaBay #Tampa pic.twitter.com/f0AjmmLNto— Dave Randorf (@DaveRandorf) April 23, 2021
Stadium updates: It’s not even clear whether the Rays will stay in St. Pete, but already there are worries about whether a new stadium will have....sufficient parking! Stadiums as little islands surrounded by a sea of asphalt has thankfully gone out of favor. As my fellow anti-parking urbanist Allen Iverson so eloquently put it:
Around the League
Kim Ng’s hiring represents a new level of success for women in the MLB, but barriers remain.
A couple of useful explainers. First, unhappy with the change of All Star Game venue some members of Congress have threatened to remove baseball’s partial exemption to anti-trust regulations. What does that mean exactly? Even Deilich explains why the implications would be greatest for minor league teams and players ($)
Next, Andrea Arcadipane‘s video explains something I never quite understood: minor league options.
How do minor league options work? pic.twitter.com/vFyiPF3BJn— Andrea (@scoutgirlreport) April 22, 2021
This young fan stole an out with a great catch, and @KoleCalhoun can only show his respect.— Bally Sports South (@BallySportsSO) April 24, 2021
What a cool moment. pic.twitter.com/XRbnDsGUXE
I would not have assumed that Trevor Bauer would be on team “let the kids play” but apparently he thinks celebrations are just fine.
Small sample sizes of course, but 538 doesn’t find that players who opted out in 2020 are struggling thus far in 2021.
Also small sample size, but here’s a look at bullpen usage (and how rule changes might impact bullpen usage).
Here’s a good overview of the Rays next opponents, the Oakland Athletics ($).
And we’ll close with the very talented Tricia Whitaker:
Dear @RaysBaseball,— Tricia Whitaker (@TriciaWhitaker) April 25, 2021
TBH, singing today was terrifying but the good kind of terrifying. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do something I’ve always wanted to be brave enough to do.
Singing & ⚾️ are 2 of my loves in life & today those worlds collided. Thanks for that pic.twitter.com/sbfcju3eIo