As the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox do their American League East version of a pas de deux, I’m wondering what kind of conversation Alex Rodriguez might have should he reach third base and chat with Evan Longoria, or vice versa. Longoria made his thoughts known regarding Rodriguez’s playing while he challenge his suspension for violating league drug policy, and he’s not on the Yankee’s side of the issue. Of course, it’s pretty hard to tell if the Yankees themselves are on A-Rod’s side.
As for how the Rays will play it with Rodriguez, Manager Joe Maddon says they’ll play it straight up. His take sounds like he’s auditioning for Secretary of State. And he’s right on point.
Matt Moore had a workout in the Baltimore bullpen yesterday afternoon, threw well, felt well, and is closer to his return to the rotation. With no time line regarding a rehab in the minors or anything. I’m going to trust the Rays on this. They have rehabbed David Price and Alex Cobb during mid-season this year, and both have come back at top form. They know what they’re doing with pitchers. That top form. They’re one game out of first place, and I’m sure they would love to have the southpaw ready to go for the last two months of the season. While other pitchers, and pitching staffs, will be wearing down, the Rays could be fresh and ready to go.
Tampa Bay has former number one pick Delmon Young back in the fold, albeit with a minor league contract. And they’re also expressing interest in Washington Nationals’ outfielder David DeJesus. If they acquire DeJesus via trade, who’s gone, either from the big league roster or from the team all together?
Chris Archer’s last outing against Toronto was stellar. He might be young, but he has the arm and the intellect to make adjustments. Wise, and talented, beyond his years. Who was the last man on the hill that night? Jake McGee, following Fernando Rodney. It seems, after all, that relievers can switch roles and find success. McGee has only allowed one earned runs in his last six outings. After a rough start, the big lefthander seems to have found himself on the mound. And it’s fun to see a guy basically say “Here’s my fastball, good luck.” It’s rare even for a reliever to get away being a one-pitch wonder, but McGee tends to stick with throwing milk, and little else.
After the Yankees’ series, Tampa Bay doesn’t have a day off until September ninth. And that’s their last off day of the season. Joe Maddon is managing his lineup, as well as his rotation and bullpen to stay as fresh as possible over the stretch. That means some players will get unexpected opportunities to play the hero. Of course, Maddon pretty much sets the team up for that sort of thing anyway. A master of the lineup mix-and-match.