HomeTeamsRaysYandy Diaz Has Lofty Goals for 2024 Campaign

Yandy Diaz Has Lofty Goals for 2024 Campaign

Over the last four years, Yandy Diaz has become vital to the Rays offense. Following a stellar season, he has higher expectations than ever before. The 32-year-old is aiming to play in 162 games. 

“One of the goals for me is to be able to play 162 games,” Diaz told reporters Monday through interpreter Manny Navaro. “I think that’s going to help me stay on the field and be able to accomplish those goals and try to be healthy as much as I can this season.”

For the Rays, having Diaz in the lineup every day would be ideal. During the 2023 campaign, he won the American League batting title and finished sixth in the AL MVP voting. In 137 games, he hit a career-high 22 home runs and drove in 78 runs. 

While Diaz was a model of excellence at the plate, he also was solid in the field. He only committed six errors and added 72 assists to his resume. He also helped the Rays turn 70 double plays while spending most of his time at first base. 

Although Diaz has lofty goals, he was able to stay healthy last year. He didn’t spend a day on the injured list despite being limited by a left groin injury. His hope is that that injury is in the rearview mirror this year. 

“When you focus on your goals and try to achieve what you have in mind, you try to carry that over to the next year and keep that mentality for the next season,” Diaz told MLB.com’s Adam Berry. “(The groin) affected me a little bit, obviously. There was still some pain throughout the year, but it’s something that just happened. You don’t expect injuries to happen, but hopefully, this year, it’ll be better.”

If Diaz can play in 162 games he will join special company. Only three players in franchise history have reached that milestone. The list includes Aubrey Huff, Delmon Young and Evan Longoria. Since 2015, only seven Rays have played in over 150 games, according to MLB.com

However, for Diaz, surpassing expectations is something he is somewhat familiar with. Since becoming a Ray in 2019, he has improved every year. He was not projected to win a batting title before the start of last season, but the veteran infielder didn’t let that hold him back. 

As the Rays look to make a deep playoff run, Diaz will be critical to their success. He is a great defender and his impact on offense can not be overlooked. With him in the lineup, the Rays are a much better team. 

While Rays manager, Kevin Cash, is impressed with Diaz’s determination, he hasn’t committed to playing him every game. 

“I love that Yandy wants to play 162,” Cash told Berry. “You balance that out a little bit. The game has changed. It’s evolved a little bit. The way these players come in, how strong they are, what they put their bodies through, it’s probably a benefit to give them a day off here or there.”


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