The Rays won six of seven to start this West Coast swing, sweeping the A’s and taking three of four from Seattle. They finish up this ten game road trip with three against the Los Angeles Angels, then get an off day on Thursday before finishing the week with three at home against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Rays currently sit in second place in the AL East, two games back of the Yankees.
News and Links
Lots of good Rays and a Rays-adjacent links this week. Let’s take a look.
Mother’s Day is different for some Rays.
#Rays INF Yandy Diaz hasn’t seen his mother since leaving Cuba in 2013, so he tries to talk with her each day. Ryan Thompson says his mom is the reason he got to the majors. J.P. Feyereisen’s mother tries to be mom on social media to many players. https://t.co/ID0lElaVOY— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) May 6, 2022
Emma Baccellieri on the hottest pitch in baseball: the sweeper.
Corey Kluber has long said he doesn't like thinking about his breaking ball as either a curve or a slider. Now, finally, pitch classification systems have language to call it something else altogether—a sweeper. So what does he think? I asked.https://t.co/lABdID2M4M— Emma Baccellieri (@emmabaccellieri) May 5, 2022
Ken Rosenthal on Wander Franco as the prototype baseball has been looking for.
On Wander Franco, and how he can spearhead the action revolution MLB so badly desires. Column: https://t.co/kp9CmdG3w9— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 5, 2022
The Stable is dead. Long live The Outcasts!
Just about all #Rays relievers have nicknames, such as Two Name, Punchy, Thumper, Hinge and Pope. What about the group collectively? We've got some ideas. Plus rumblings on attendance, a cool @ChasRiverDogs gesture, Franco praise, @BallyRays news, more https://t.co/GEEHqfAIKI— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) May 8, 2022
Kevin Kiermaier joins Rays legend Grant Balfour and Ryan Rowland-Smith on a fun podcast.
Tom Brew on my latest bullpen crush, Brooks Raley.
My column on calm/cool Tampa Bay #Rays lefty Brooks Raley @BrooksRaley, who has picked up two saves in the last two nights. No moment is ever too big, and he's loved his first few weeks in the great Rays bullpen. @MLB #MLB @RaysBaseball @AggieBaseball https://t.co/qxjvrjpXre— Tom Brew (@tombrewsports) May 7, 2022
Good news for cord cutters.
For non-cable customers frustrated by the lack of viewing options for the Rays and Lightning, help is on the way. Bally Sports is expected to unveil a streaming app for $20 a month by the end of June. #RaysUp #GoBolts https://t.co/872FkBj6Pw— Sports by Tampa Bay Times (@TBTimes_Sports) May 6, 2022
MLB Trade Rumors on how the Rays offseason moves set them up for success.
Jeff Passan on the strike zone you see vs. the strike zone that is called.
It didn't make sense. The strike zone you see on TV, on here, is completely different from the one MLB uses to grade umpires. Why?— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 2, 2022
I looked into it for ESPN+ and came away with previously unreported details on how balls and strikes really work in MLB: https://t.co/L8aO4F1pE0
Tim Jackson on barrels that aren’t carrying.
Guys are barrelling the ball. The results, however, have been puzzling, and kinda inconsistent with past seasons.— Mark Barry (@hoodieandtie) May 4, 2022
Today @baseballpro, @TimJacksonSays picks some names that have affected the most & gives some ideas about what to do moving forward. ($) https://t.co/wOmhm7wLBd
Britt Ghroli on the Twins rotation, included former Rays farmhand Joe Ryan.
NEW: The best rotation in the American League has been together for less than a month. How the Twins starters have pulled off one of the biggest early surprises in baseball: https://t.co/nsCUbNfCBN— Britt Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) May 4, 2022
Ben Clemens on the anti-anti-FIPers.
The Case Against a Case Against FIP https://t.co/5rJpERRE8x— FanGraphs Baseball (@fangraphs) May 5, 2022
MLB Trade Rumors on 18 starters that may be available this summer, including Blake Snell.
This is a fun piece on Byron Buxton.
On Baseball: Pick a skill, and Byron Buxton will dazzle you with it. A look at the man Carlos Correa calls “the best player in the world” https://t.co/ejYPupZQTU— Tyler Kepner (@TylerKepner) May 8, 2022
New data is available from Savant.
MLB published the data on the drag on baseballs. 2019, the balls were flying https://t.co/VTeUa8F1xR— Michael Schwab (@michaelschwab13) May 5, 2022
While we’re on the subject, here’s the latest in baseball conspiracy theories.
Well this is interesting - Mets hitting coach Eric Chavez says players have told him they suspect MLB is supplying balls that fly further for nationally televised gameshttps://t.co/w3M8XJQT0t— Nick Stellini (@StelliniTweets) May 7, 2022
I don’t think I’ve ever seen this before
I’ve been watching baseball for 50 years. Yet somehow, there are always “I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before” moments every year. And this past week had a ton of them.
The whole Dan Bellino / Madison Bumgarner sticky stuff check / hand massage / stare down / fbomb / ejection / (sort of) apology.
Dan Bellino vs. Madison Bumgarner set to George Michael’s “Careless Whisper” pic.twitter.com/WrzEug6qCO— Ben Heisler (@bennyheis) May 4, 2022
Dan Bellino, MLB umpire who ejected Madison Bumgarner, apologizes for behavior https://t.co/8A18pbWnEq— CBS Sports MLB (@CBSSportsMLB) May 7, 2022
An ejection and an injury gave us the first “emergency catcher” that we’ve seen in a while.
This is Josh VanMeter's 1st appearance at catcher at ANY professional level (MLB or MiLB) pic.twitter.com/hyHTiIZGRr— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) May 7, 2022
I can’t explain this.
Have you ever seen anyone homer while FALLING DOWN?!— MLB (@MLB) May 7, 2022
Welcome back, Ronald Acuña Jr. pic.twitter.com/LPm3GEBg5V
The Phillies blew a 7-1 lead in the ninth inning, losing to the Mets 8-7.
Too bad Ohtani couldn’t have just knocked the whole stupid wall down.
Shohei knocking his own number off the Scoreboard.— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 5, 2022
The Natural. pic.twitter.com/sLWtdRiLri
The lack of Tom Petty here is disappointing.
Your Palate Cleanser
Rays legend Kyle Farnsworth is trying to do some good.
This is Kasumba Dennis. He is a top catcher in Uganda. I am doing what I can to help him get seen by college coaches here in the US. I have more video on him. He is 18 years old. DM me for more info. #Ugandabaseball #baseball #uncommitted #mlb #collegebaseball #Uganda #catcher pic.twitter.com/sriKruPP3d— Kyle Farnsworth (@24_7Farnsworth) May 6, 2022
There are still good people in the world.