The Rays took three out of four in Cleveland this weekend. They are 1 game back of the Red Sox for the AL East lead. And for those who are already thinking about post-season configurations, the Rays currently hold the first Wild Card position.
They enjoy a day off today, before beginning a nine game homestand that will include series against two of their division rivals.
More on the Hill and Cruz trades
From Sports Illustrated, Cruz trade shows sense of urgency.
Hill trade gets just a gentleman’s C from ESPN.
Tyler Kepner (NYT $) reflects on both Rays trades, and on trade deadline positioning in general.
Fangraphs: Cruz acquisition increases Rays chances to win the division.
Another angle on Cruz’s presence:
Day’s most common thought:Nelson Cruz will have. striking, positive impact on the Rays young Latin players, like Franco— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) July 24, 2021
The Tampa Bay Times also considers Cruz as an asset for his bat and his clubhouse presence ($).
Rays announced a great promotion — in honor of Nelson Cruz, #23, there will be $23 tickets on Sunday evening, August 1. If it’s in your budget, take advantage of this offer and help avoid having a stadium filled with Red Sox fans when the Rays are featured on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball!
We want to hear you bring the Boom— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) July 24, 2021
Want to follow Rays pitching prospect Shane Baz in the Olympics? Our sister site Twinkie Town shares information on the US national team.
And Twinkie Town has also reviewed a history of Rays-Twins trades.
The Rays claimed relief pitcher Jake Reed off waivers from the Dodgers, and assigned him to Durham. Jake’s wife Janie is currently in Tokyo with the US national softball team.
Around the League
The Rays just finished a series against the baseball team from Cleveland, and when they return to Cleveland in 2022 it will be to take on the Guardians. The team has announced a new name and logo the will become official next season. Wonder if they will have to do like the Rays in 2008 and charge $1 whenever someone accidentally uses the old name? The Athletic on the name change ($)
MLB may make the DH universal in coming years. so The Athletic asked National League pitchers what they will miss — about batting, and about pitching to other pitchers. ($)
The Detroit Tigers have been surprisingly good this season (middle of the pack in the AL Central). Is Manager A.J. Hinch the reason?
Trevor Bauer remains on paid administrative leave. This LA Times article talks about the Dodgers’ decision to sign him in the first place, among other matters.
Look, I realize a Red Sox win is bad news for the Rays. But there is some advantage to getting the Yankees out of the picture. And also, who isn’t irritated by Yankee fans who just assume that their team is one lucky bounce away from running away with the division? So bring on the Schadenfreude for yesterday’s game, where the Yankees went from a 4-0 lead in a no-hitter, to a 5-4 loss:
The Red Sox won 5-4 pic.twitter.com/At56ojyA64— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) July 25, 2021
The National League West features an intensive three-team race. The Padres have traded for Adam Frazier, Pittsburgh’s second baseman, to shore up their offense.