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Rays’ struggles magnified by sweep at the hands of Baltimore

Photo by Alex Walworth I The Scrum Sports Staff Photographer

The Tampa Bay Rays are ten games into their 60-game season, and after a solid 4-1 start, the team has lost five in a row, with their struggles really showing in a sweep at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles.

Well, damn. Not the start that everyone was expecting for the Rays. It’s one thing to go through a slump, but it’s another to go through struggles at the hands of the Orioles.

“We’re not getting it done right now,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said after the third loss in a row to the Orioles. “Right now you can point to any aspect of our game, we’re not doing a good job of being ourselves. Myself included.”

The Rays are now two games under .500 for the first time since June 2018. The offense has provided just 13 runs in their last five games, which again have all been loses. This after scoring 33 runs in their first five games, a 4-1 stretch.

To say the Rays are missing Tommy Pham might be an understatement. Pham is triple slashing .275/.396/.375 with a home run, seven RBI and a league leading five stolen bases.

Meanwhile the new additions in the offense — well let’s just say they are not off to a great start.

Yoshi Tsutsugo is hitting .200. Manuel Margot is hitting .100. Hunter Renfroe is hitting .182. Jose Martinez has been the best new comer and he’s hitting .259.

Now I’ll be the first to tell you if you basing a player’s performance solely on batting average, you’re doing it wrong. But I’m not going to bore you with all the details with how those players are struggling mightily.

The bright side — it’s only been ten games. All of this can change with a few at bats. This team and coaching staff is too good to have these struggles last much longer than this. And although they can’t get Pham back into the lineup, they can expect one guy to return…

The return of Austin Meadows is now

Cash mentioned last week that Rays All-Star outfielder, Austin Meadows, should return sometime during the upcoming home stand, and that’s exactly what happened as Meadows was reinstated to the active roster today. In a corresponding move, the Rays sent Trevor Richards to their alternate training site.

Meadows looks to make his season debut tonight against the Red Sox as he’s made a fully recovery from COVID-19.

Last year Meadows broke out with 33 home runs and 89 RBI in 138 games. He slashed .291/.364/.558 and even stole 12 bases. His immediate impact to this offense — ¬†that needs a spark so desperately — can not be overstated.

What’s coming up

The Rays have six games this week, all at Tropicana Field. They start off with a two game series against the Boston Red Sox followed by a four game series against the New York Yankees. The series with the Yankees includes a double header on Saturday. Charlie Morton and Ryan Yarbrough will be the starters facing the Red Sox. No starters have been announced for the Yankees series.

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