Rays Report – Week 2
The Week that Was
No sense skirting the subject, this week was not, uh…good. It wasn’t wholly unsurprising that we would crash back down to earth, but was hoping for more like 3-3 than 1-5. Still, even with the fall to 2nd place, plenty to be excited about for Rays fans. We sit in 2nd place in the East, 1.5 GB of the Yankees and a half-game behind the Twins and Indians for the Wild-Card.
Stars of the Week
5-Star Ray of the Week: LF Chih-Hsien Chiang – Chiang was a bit of a disappointment in ’16, his first as a Ray. But he has started hot in 2017 and for the week hit .346 with 3 2B, 1 HR and 3 RBIs. With the other two starting OFs struggling, it’s key that Chiang keeps this up.
4-Star Ray of the Week: 2B/3B Kyle Seager – Seager, acquired from Chicago shortly before Opening Day, had a nice little week. He hit .368, including his 1st HR as a member of the Rays. He got a hit in each of the 5 games he started.
3-Star Ray of the Week: SP Zach Potter – On the surface, Potter had a good week. 2 starts, 2.77 ERA over 13 IP with 10 K to only 2 BB. Those 3 HR allowed put a damper on things though, as does the fact we lost both outings. Solid start so far from him, but he needs to keep the ball in the ballpark.
2-Star Ray of the Week: RF Carlos Moncrief – Two rough weeks in a row for arguably our best hitter. This week was a 3-for-26 funk (.115) with no XBH, and a trio of BB for a .322 OPS. He also struck out 8 times. A number of our bats could’ve taken this spot (7 Rays had at least 8 PA and an OPS under .550), but Moncrief is such a key hitter, he gets the nod.
1-Star Ray of the Week: MR Josh Lueke – A lot of arms could’ve also taken the 1-star spot – that happens when you allow 37 runs in 6 games. Lueke gets the “honor” though – thanks to the fact he took two losses in relief this week. His peripherals were ok (8 K, 3 BB, no HR allowed) but we don’t have the offense to support a faulty bullpen
The Week Ahead
My apologies – I completely forgot this section last week! This coming week, we have a full tilt of 7 games. First we finish off our 4-game set in Boston, then we head home to face the 12-1 Tigers before the 3-10 Astros come to town. The caveat is that the tail end of our rotation (Perez and Arrieta) are the guys who will get 2 starts this week. With that said, I’d be really happy to net a 4-3 week.
Down on the Farm
Things definitely turned around a bit for the farmhands as well. AAA Durham and AA Montgomery both went 4-3 and A Charlotte stayed in first with a 4-2 week. A Bowling Green continues to struggle at 2-9.
Minor League Pitcher of the Week goes to AAA SP Steven Inch – he fired a 5-hitter with no BB and 5 K’s in a 10-0 win against Toledo
Minor League Batter of the Week goes to AAA 1B Chris Fletcher – he hit .370 with 4 XBH, 6 BB and a 1.114 OPS on the week
Around MLB Pro
Things have definitely started to settle a bit with our 2nd week in the books. Both the Yankees and Tigers are riding 9-game winning streaks to the top of their respective divisions. In the AL West, the defending champion Angels find themselves tied with the upstart A’s at 8-5 with Seattle lurking a game back. After losing their 1st 11 games, the White Sox finally got in the win column with a 6-5 win in Minnesota. It’s still plenty early, and while pennants aren’t won in April – they can be lost in April. Teams fading behind the pack need to kick it into gear before their deficits become insurmountable.
Over in the NL we’ve got the Braves leading the East at 7-4, the Reds on top in the Central at 9-4 and the Dodgers taking the West at 10-3, riding a 6-game winning streak. A few preseason favorites find themselves on the wrong side of .500 – the Mets are 6-7, the Giants 6-8 and the Rockies are at 4-10.
Thanks for reading and good luck this week!