Game #69 Lineups and Outlook
(insert immature jokes)
The Curse of Cleveland appears to have been passed on to the Rays after their basketball team did a thing. Now Tampa Bay will have to carry this yoke until they can pass it off by winning a championship of their own. It looks like this won’t be the year. In addition to losing another sloppy, winnable game yesterday the Rays suffered injuries, large and small, to Mikie Mahtook and Steve Pearce, respectively. Mahtook’s broken hand on an inside offering is the latest blow to decimate the Rays outfield.
Pearce might have been an adequate replacement in a corner outfield spot, but his hammy flared up in the 9th last night. It looked like he’s going to need at least a couple of days to see if it’ll stretch proper again or if he’ll need more rest. The Rays probably don’t have a couple of days, and if Pearce is going to be better off giving that two weeks of rest, I would prefer the team move Kiermaier to the 60 day DL to then promote Johnny Field to play center.
This team is being crippled by poor defense forcing pitchers to burn more ammo and subsequently not be able to go deeper into the game. Balls falling for hits, balls falling foul, balls being erred upon. Pitching is hard enough without having to get four or even five outs at times. I think Field could help in that regard by being a fine centerfield defender that has a better arm than Desmond Jennings. If you have those two out there with Motter in right then perhaps you would start to see some smiles from the rotation again. Though I bet that lineup would look an awful lot like Durham.
The thing is, the Rays are already halfway to the great state of North Carolina. You can split up Jennings and Motter, but they’re both bad options against a righty. Decker might draw a walk here and there, but he’s not going to hit. I’d prefer the guy that brings a very good glove and perhaps some game-changing speed on the bases, and who knows, maybe he’ll hit a little.
I’ve got this as a pretty tight game, while Vegas is very much on the side of the City of Champions. Maybe something there or maybe the system doesn’t have feelings so it doesn’t know how sad! the Rays are right now. Snell should have his hands full with three of their first four, but it does get a little easier from there. I’m not sure why Tito is using Chisenhall and Naquin today after sitting against Smyly yesterday, but that should bail the young’n out some. The Rays lefties look to have good matchups, but I don’t know why you wouldn’t just walk Morrison or Dickerson if you can get away with it later.
I’ve been beating this drum for awhile, but it’s time to switch roles for Erasmo and Andriese. Ramirez looks like he’s tinkering right now with a shift on the rubber (more on this soon) and I don’t think he’s near dialed in yet. Let Andriese have that 4+ outs in medium to high leverage role until the All Star Break while managing Erasmo’s appearance until then. Put guys in a position to have success and then don’t be shocked when they do.