HomeTeamsRaysIs April a Trend of Abberation for the Rays?

Is April a Trend of Abberation for the Rays?

The first month of the season has not been ideal for the Rays. Injuries and slow starts instantly placed the team in an unfavorable position. Frustration boiled over in Milwaukee. How can the team regain their confidence and return to playing like last season?

Every team deals with injuries. Going into spring training, certain injuries were known and were carry overs from last season. The pitching was decimated by injuries. Manager Kevin Cash tried to patch up his pitching rotation the best he could. Re-signing former Ray Jake Odorizzi to a minor league contract did not work out. Number one starter Zach Eflin is not fulfilling his role as the ace of the staff with a 1-4 record.

Slow starts by Randy Arozarena, Jose Siri, and batting champion Yandy Diaz are killing the team’s ability to score runs. Rays’ fans are grateful for hot starts by shortstop Jose Caballero and designated hitter/outfielder Harold Ramirez. Although their hot starts cooled down, they are providing much needed offense. Amed Rosario and his gift to play multiple positions is bringing solid play with his .295 batting average. Third baseman Isaac Paredes is leading the team with hits (32), home runs (7), and RBIs (17). He is a true offensive force with a .291 BA, .509 SLG, and .867 OPS. Lastly, it is the beginning of May, Arozarena and Siri need to get off the interstate.

The brawl in Milwaukee was a result of an abundance of frustration. The irritation of being swept by the Chicago White Sox probably was an issue Siri could not mentally let go. It is unclear why the confrontation occurred. Was it from something that happened in a previous game? Was Siri already agitated and the slightest action could provoke the actions he took? Either way, there is no place for this in baseball.

What can be done to get the Rays back on the winning track? Only time can fix the injuries. More needs to be asked of the pitchers on staff. Reaching down into the farm system for a starting pitcher is not an option. The pitchers at Durham are not performing well. Waiver picks ups are a risky option but there is an ample number of middle infielders to trade.

This is good news. Josh Lowe, Jonny Deluca, and Jonathan Aranda have started rehab stints at AAA Durham. Healthy Lowe and Aranda will bring much-needed left-handed presents to the lineup. Deluca will improve the team’s speed on the basepath and bring another dimension to the team.

How do you approach slumping batters? Should Cash continue playing fan favorite Arozarena with his .139 batting average and 37 strikeouts? One option is to let him continue playing and work out his hitting issue in the batter’s box. That could be a timely option, plus he will be giving up valuable outs. Benching him might have a negative psychological effect making the issue worse. Shuffling the lineup and hoping it sparks offense may be the answer. Siri is in the same situation. Siri has 41 strikeouts this season.

Overall, April was not a good month for the Rays. On the positive side, there are five months remaining in the season. That is a lot of baseball. Players are on their way back from injury. Team dynamics will change with the addition of healthy players. Winning streaks are possible. It was not long ago the Rays started the season 13-0.

So, which over used adage do you want to hear?

It is a long season. Gotta play one game at a time. It is a marathon, not a sprint.

Take your pick! Keep your heads up, Rays fans.


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