The Tampa Bay Rays finished off April at (12-10). The Rays just dropped the series against the New York Yankees (13-9) to end the first month of Rays baseball, however they did collect their first win against the Yankees this season in New York. Drew Smyly looked solid only giving up two runs for the Rays as James Loney had a clutch hit in the 13th inning on Wednesday afternoon to win the game. Tampa Bay now comes home to face off against the Baltimore Orioles (10-10) due to the rioting in Baltimore. The Orioles will be the home team at Tropicana Field this weekend which will be very awkward for the Rays.
The Rays were up and down in April but they got through it. This team put together five wins in a row but also lost four in a row. There were some great moments and some ugly ones. This team still leads the MLB with rookies on the roster as well as players on the disabled list and they are still pumping out wins. The Rays are also one of the youngest teams in baseball. Many fans did not expect the Rays to be doing this well with all the injuries. This team is energetic and exciting to watch. Kevin Cash brings an up tempo pace to the game all fans enjoy watching. The Rays seem to be the comeback kids many of the games they have battled back and this shows off great heart in this ball club.
Steven Souza Jr. has shown off his power with four home runs and leads the team in home runs. The hitting is coming around quite nicely as this lineup seems to be filled with scrappy hitters. Two rookies surprisingly lead the team in home runs and RBIs which is very rare. Tim Beckham has three bombs and is really turning on the fastball. He was the first overall pick in 2008 as this is the first time he has made the opening day roster but he is certainly taking this advantage of this opportunity. It would be hard for the Rays to send Beckham down when Franklin gets healthy due to his offensive output. James Loney and Drew Smyly returned last week so it’s also good to get reinforcements to this banged up team.
Chris Archer is wheeling and dealing for the Rays to go along with Jake Odorizzi in the pitching staff. Evan Longoria went on a five-game hit streak during their last stretch and it always helps to have James Loney backing him in the lineup. It will be interesting to see who the Rays send down when Nick Franklin gets healthy. Alex Cobb and Jake McGee will be the next Rays to return to action. Desmond Jennings is hurt and is considered day-to-day with his knee injury. Jennings had the same injury him last year so the Rays will take this very slow as David DeJesus will get more playing time in the outfield. The Rays took the series at home against the Boston Red Sox (11-10) and swept the Toronto Blue Jays (10-11) last week in the six-game homestand. The Jays, Orioles, Red Sox and Yankees are all leading the league in home runs. All of these teams are in the American League East so the Rays hitters will have their work cut out for them this season trying to keep up with this pace. This team isn’t going to crush the baseball but the Rays need to be aggressive hitters to keep up with the big bats in AL East. The Rays are now one game behind the Yankees for first place in this tough division. The Rays were in the midst of a nine-game road trip all within the American League East before the riots in Baltimore this week sending them home. Tampa Bay will travel to Boston to take on the Red Sox next week.
Tampa Bay just picked up another left hander from the Los Angeles Dodgers in Xavier Cedeno. He will help add lefty depth to the bullpen which is always needed and he looked sharp on Tuesday night. Tampa Bay recently sent down Everett Teaford from the bullpen which made room for the new southpaw. The Rays were three games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2013 season when they went in to play the Yankees on Monday but dropped the first two games of the series in New York. John Jaso was moved to the 60 day disabled list but is still aiming for an early June return. Alex Cobb should be back in late May but Alex Colome is set to return this weekend when the Rays take on the Baltimore Orioles. Colome is likely to get the start at Tropicana Field on Friday night. Jake McGee should be the next Ray to join the bullpen as early as next week.