2020 Rays: Go, Tsutsu, Go!!

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Yoshi is bringing the hype and doubling the fanbase with his army of Yokohama die-hards.

View: https://twitter.com/raysbaseball/status/1207435834812764160?s=21



Coming off 97 win season, Renfroe and Yoshi will provide some new power, pitching will be what Rays pitching always is, best farm in MLB to provide reinforcements—and right around the corner looms the chosen one, the prince who was promised, the messiah who will lead his people out of the scorching sands into the bountiful land of milk and poutine.
 

jon abbey

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What is your guess at the current lineup? The pitching staff seems pretty unchanged from last year, and loaded in both rotation and bullpen if guys are healthy, but the lineup seems weaker as of now without Pham and D'Arnaud.
 

edoug

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Yoshi is bringing the hype and doubling the fanbase with his army of Yokohama die-hards.

View: https://twitter.com/raysbaseball/status/1207435834812764160?s=21



Coming off 97 win season, Renfroe and Yoshi will provide some new power, pitching will be what Rays pitching always is, best farm in MLB to provide reinforcements—and right around the corner looms the chosen one, the prince who was promised, the messiah who will lead his people out of the scorching sands into the bountiful land of milk and poutine.
Wait til he finds out the 12 million they offered him was in yen. :)
Actually he could be really good bargain at 2/12.
 

Tokyo Sox

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Wait til he finds out the 12 million they offered him was in yen. :)
Actually he could be really good bargain at 2/12.
I expect he'll be a decent bargain yeah. I have to be honest, I'm going to hate the Rays a little less this year.
 

edoug

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I expect he'll be a decent bargain yeah. I have to be honest, I'm going to hate the Rays a little less this year.
I was thinking the only Ray/Devil Ray I disliked was Maddon. Then I remembered Gerald Williams and ironically three future Sox, Gomes, Price, and Crawford. Crawford was the "respect" kind of hate. You know wishing he was on your favorite team. Then he was on my favorite team. No more respect just hate.
 

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Rays lead BA top 100 with 8 on the list including the chosen one in the top spot. McKay is at #14 followed by:

2B Vidal Brujan, No. 51

RHP Shane Baz, No. 71

RHP Brent Honeywell, No. 80

LHP Shane McClanahan, No. 83

2B Xavier Edwards, No. 85

RHP Joe Ryan, No. 98



An embarrassment of riches.
 

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More Wander Porn:


Best prospect ever, etc etc etc
 

jon abbey

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(sorry for posting, Justin Turner, I know the physicals aren't done yet)
 

jon abbey

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"One more thing from #Rays press conference, Neander stressed they will do what’s best for top prospect Wander Franco’s long term development, but ... if he keeps progressing as he has, there COULD be conversations late in this season about bringing him up"
 

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"One more thing from #Rays press conference, Neander stressed they will do what’s best for top prospect Wander Franco’s long term development, but ... if he keeps progressing as he has, there COULD be conversations late in this season about bringing him up"
They are teeing up extension talks, with the big carrot hanging out there that if he signs an extension, he can come up and play in MLB right away and won’t get his service time “managed.”

12/$150m and he’s hitting lead-off in October.
 

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What is your guess at the current lineup? The pitching staff seems pretty unchanged from last year, and loaded in both rotation and bullpen if guys are healthy, but the lineup seems weaker as of now without Pham and D'Arnaud.
I've been stalling on replying because I continue to think there may be more moves coming. Hopefully trading some OF/1B depth for a catcher and then signing Puig. But pitchers and catchers are in Port Charlotte, so might as well take a crack at it now.

The lineup is....there is no lineup. Rays seem to be planning to respond to the extra roster spot, limit on pitchers and constraint on bullpen usage by looking to achieve maximum lineup flexibility and play hitting matchups even more aggressively than in the past. The 26 man will have overlapping clusters of players who can cover multiple positions and the supercomputer in the basement of the Trop will presumably spit out the best combination based on what the analytics suggest for any given day's opposing pitcher and park, etc. So, with all that said, here is the roadmap to glory.


Position players:
Zunino RH primary C
Perez LH backup C
Ji-Man LH 1B/DH
Martinez RH 1B/DH
Yandy RH 3B/1B/DH
Yoshi LH 3B/LF/DH
Brandon Lowe LH 2B/3B/LF/RF
Brosseau RH 2B/3B/1B/LF/RF or Wendle LH 2B/SS/3B/RF or Robertson RH 2B/SS/3B (prob only room for one, if Brosseau he needs to show he can backup SS)
Adames RH SS (only spot where one player penciled in as every day starter)
Renfroe RH LF/RF/CF/DH
Meadows LH RF/LF/CF/DH
Kiermaier LH CF
Margot RH CF
Arozarena RH RF/CF/LF or O'Grady LH OF/1B or Nate Lowe LH 1B/3B/DH (last spot on bench)





Pitchers:
Starter-ish--> Snell, Glasnow, Morton, Chirinos, Yarborough
Reliever-ish-->Anderson, Castillo, Alvarado, Drake, Poche, Roe, 1 of Fairbanks/Kittredge.
Mckay will be inserted as a starter at some point in the season if not right out of the gate. Possible 6 man rotation early in season.
Beeks and Banda knocking on the door for bulk guy/long relief.
Honeywell coming back from 2 missed seasons and is a total enigma. No timetable but he's throwing and telling people he'll be pitching in the majors sometime this season. Who knows with him. Really unfortunate injuries.
 

jon abbey

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Thanks! I will not pretend or even try to understand the position player plan there, at least D'Arnaud and Pham are gone. That is some crazy outfield D, that will be fun to watch. And the pitching staff top to bottom seems to be potentially the best they've had in a long time if they stay healthy, three aces up top and a bullpen so deep they could trade Pagan who would close for many teams.

Also Eric Longenhagen announced his top 8 upcoming July 2 signings, thankfully TB has filled a gaping hole in their system for potential superstar middle infielders (Wander and Brujan aren't enough) with 16 year old Venezuelan SS Carlos Colmenarez, who he has as the top guy in the whole class and already a 45+ which would instantly make him TB's #8-10 prospect at FG.

 

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I don’t worry about losing Pham so much, but d’Arnaud is going to leave a void. Catcher is the one position that is immune to all their shuffling and positional flexibility. It’s the curse of Buster Posey. They are forever doomed to cycle through mediocre backstops.

Gotta keep the line moving with the young talent. Colmenarez can take over 2B in 2026 to help keep the dynasty going. Hope he’s able to quickly pick up French.
 

jon abbey

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MLBN had the Tampa broadcast of today’s TB/NY game and they did a ton of interviews including a few innings with Stu Sternberg in the booth. Sternberg was more knowledgeable about the minutiae of his roster than any baseball owner I’ve ever heard, and also both he and Cash talked seriously about the possibility of a Kiermaier/Margot two man outfield. They said they’d try it some this spring and see, pretty wild.
 

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MLBN had the Tampa broadcast of today’s TB/NY game and they did a ton of interviews including a few innings with Stu Sternberg in the booth. Sternberg was more knowledgeable about the minutiae of his roster than any baseball owner I’ve ever heard, and also both he and Cash talked seriously about the possibility of a Kiermaier/Margot two man outfield. They said they’d try it some this spring and see, pretty wild.
It all starts at the top. Stu dove into the details from day one and put in place the high performance management culture. He trusts the people he puts in place to do their thing, but he’s highly knowledgeable, in the loop and quietly advising in the background. It’s like Venture Capital 101 and I, for one, absolutely love it!

I’m curious to see how they might deploy a 2 man outfield. Will it be an uber-shift against pull hitting lefties, or will they use 5 infielders spaced out evenly behind a ground-ball specialist pitcher?
 

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Tsutsu with a first pitch ground out to 2b at Dunedin

Then Snell comes in at the bottom of the first and proceeds to walk 4 (3 of the Jrs and Shaw) in 1/3 of an inning before being pulled.
 

jon abbey

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This is always a good read when it's your team:

 

jon abbey

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Yeah, it's gonna be fun if they actually get through it. I thought it was pretty crazy to see that only one of TB's top 30 prospects made the team, which shows you how loaded they are in the future too (and that TB still will keep guys down if they possibly can).
 

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Yeah, it's gonna be fun if they actually get through it. I thought it was pretty crazy to see that only one of TB's top 30 prospects made the team, which shows you how loaded they are in the future too (and that TB still will keep guys down if they possibly can).
They’re only pulling out enough to win
 

sean1562

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What does this team do with Willy Adames especially now that Brandon Lowe seems legit? I guess Wander Franco could turn into a complete bust but you would think they could get a great young SP for Adames no? He is having a solid start to this season, was good last year, and is under team control through 2024.
 

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What does this team do with Willy Adames especially now that Brandon Lowe seems legit? I guess Wander Franco could turn into a complete bust but you would think they could get a great young SP for Adames no? He is having a solid start to this season, was good last year, and is under team control through 2024.
I don’t think they’ll be in a rush to get rid of him. I’d guess he’d start playing more 2B and some 3B and they could get him plenty of AB with rotating Lowe between 2B and OF until they see exactly what they have in Wander.
 

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A combined 10 5 1 1 6 8 line from the law firm of Slegers, Gilmartin, Thompson, Fairbanks, Curtiss, Beeks and Banda. They are down 7 or 8 pitchers so we get this...
 

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A combined 10 5 1 1 6 8 line from the law firm of Slegers, Gilmartin, Thompson, Fairbanks, Curtiss, Beeks and Banda. They are down 7 or 8 pitchers so we get this...
I honestly have no idea who half of those guys are. It really doesn’t matter, though. They’re system pitchers.
 

jon abbey

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Every day the Rays win a game and lose a pitcher, tonight it was Beeks and it doesn’t sound good.
 

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Every day the Rays win a game and lose a pitcher, tonight it was Beeks and it doesn’t sound good.
From Topkin:

#Rays Cash said Beeks issue was the forearm/elbow area and sounded similar to what happened to Andrew Kittredge, who earlier this year tore his UCL

Ugghh.
 

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It’s amazing that they are somehow cobbling together decent pitching performances


8/26/20
Beeks, J.
60-Day Injured List

8/20/20
Anderson, N.
10-Day Injured List

8/20/20
Roe, C.
10-Day Injured List

8/19/20
Chirinos, Y.
60-Day Injured List

8/15/20
Alvarado, J.
10-Day Injured List

8/11/20
Kittredge, A.
60-Day Injured List

8/10/20
Morton, C.
10-Day Injured List

8/9/20
Drake, O.
10-Day Injured List


8/3/20
Chirinos, Y.
10-Day Injured List

7/21/20
Poche, C.
60-Day Injured List

McKay out for season, too
 

sean1562

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I don’t think they’ll be in a rush to get rid of him. I’d guess he’d start playing more 2B and some 3B and they could get him plenty of AB with rotating Lowe between 2B and OF until they see exactly what they have in Wander.
After looking at their projected payroll for the next few years, Adames seems like a key guy that they will kind of have to trade to avoid arb. They should be able to get a haul for him but the question is will they trade him this offseason or next, before he hits his arb season. Makes sense to keep Franco down if you know you are gong to have payroll issues and you want to let Adames turn into an All-Star caliber starting player before you ship him off to a team in need.
 

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Nobody really knows how he’s progressing given the lack of a traditional minor league season. I choose to believe he is absolutely crushing everyone in the alternate site simulated games and they are keeping that info under wraps.

Then, when game 1 of the ALCS against the Yankees rolls around......
 

jon abbey

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...both he and Jasson Dominguez are activated and each hit 7 HRs in the series.

(Dominguez I am pretty sure is not in the US and has no chance to be added)