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Rays rookies gaining experience in up and down season

By Ken Filler
Aug. 12, 2018

The Rays up and down season continues. This has been a pattern for the Rays all season as they can never seem to get on an extended streak that will propel them to stay above .500

The Rays are currently three games above .500 and are looking for a sweep against the Blue Jays.

I’ve stated before, the Rays play to the level of the competition. How else do you explain sweeping the Yankees at home and then going .500 against the two worst teams in the AL the Orioles and the White Sox.

The main factor driving this inconsistency is the fact that the Rays are playing more rookies than anybody and have one of the youngest teams in baseball.

The Rays young pitchers except for Blake Snell are still learning how to pitch at the MLB level. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut, you have to put the guys out there, let them get the experience and take their lumps.

The fact that the Rays have played so many rookies and still are three games above .500 is amazing in itself.

The Rays farm system is currently ranked No. 2 in all of baseball according to Baseball America. Last winter, the Rays system was ranked No. 11 in baseball.

Brent Honeywell, Willy Adames, Brendan McKay, Jesus Sanchez, Matthew Liberatore, Ronald Hernandez, and 17 year old Wander Franco are some of the prospects that are being noticed outside of the Rays organization.

The Rays have very few veterans on the roster. Carlos Gomez, CJ Cron, Kevin Kiermaier, and Matt Duffy are just some of the older veteran players on the roster. Sergio Romo is the veteran of the pitching staff and he may be gone in a waiver deal the next few weeks.

Some nights the Rays start 6 rookies depending on the situation. You have Perez, Bauers, Wendle, and Adames around the infield. With Beeks or Stanek on the mound and the recently recalled Brendan Lowe in the line-up as the Rays are all in on the rookies getting playing time and gaining experience.

The other positive is that a lot of these rookies have played a lot together in the minors. They know one another well. Adames, Bauers, and Lowe all played together at some point in Montgomery and at Durham. That can only help the Rays going forward.

I like the direction the Rays are going. I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical when the team unloaded Evan Longoria and Steven Souza. So by a show of hands do you think the team has missed Longoria and Souza this season?

How about Alex Cobb or Jake Ordorizzi in the rotation? Thats what I thought. The Rays would probably have the same record or maybe be a few games under .500 if they had kept those big contracts.

I think the Rays can and will finish above .500. The rebuilding process is well under way in Tampa, and I think the Rays will have a good team sooner rather than later.

Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports