DRaysBay: for Tampa Bay Rays fans - ALCS Preview: DRaysBay Playoff Podcast Series

Brett and Danny take a look at the roster heading into the ALCS, and how the Rays might line up their pitching staff.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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00:00:16
Hello, everyone. This is the draysbay playoff podcast series on Brett Rutherford joining me. Today is Danny Russell and we be breaking down the ALCS. So last night we had our game 5 instant reaction podcast, which was fun to say the least in the emotions were flying high as they should have been but Danny now, we are one day away from game 1 of the ALCS raisin Astros, and there's a lot of talk about

00:00:46
There's a lot to talk about and not a lot of time to prepare some more breathing room, but it went to get five and it was an exciting game. We can hear all about it on our instant reaction. I don't know if that's going to be the best break down so we can talk a little bit more about it today.

00:01:06
Obviously brazo glasnow Nick Anderson p a p p a p Fairbanks everything that we talked about last night goes without saying one performance that we didn't get to on the instant reaction podcast. Was that of Yandy Diaz so did not record a hit in game 5 but did not walk and reach base on error. The Full Count twice and really showed a cow kid voices of working account in in finding different ways to get on base either had a backflip on one of the walks a backflip on the walk. I think you're good at a small shout out yesterday and

00:01:47
It is a next-level player when you're back flipping a walk, but that just shows how intentional he is elected. He has become in his approach to hitting he is terrifying for opposing hitters harshly because his physique partially because of his ability. He hasn't got a lot of pictures to hit in 2020, but you don't need a lot of pictures to hit if you could take a walk 2019. Yachty had a 10.1% walk rate. That's up to 16.7% in 2020 that was in the regular season in the postseason over 17 plate appearances has a 35.3% walk rate that I believe is how many walks in the postseason six walks drawn and 17 plate appearances. That's what his approaches at the plate and we saw him and hitting leadoff spot twice. I think throughout the series would not Shock me if game one. He is there in the lead.

00:02:47
Spot it seems like right now between him and Meadows. I would still like to see Yoshi and they're too cuz you know, she's another guy that can draw the walk but Jonny Diaz really showing that he is just in an extremely skilled header and he'll find different ways to get on base. He had in the regular season a 428 on-base percentage that is like 78 points higher than his on-base percentage from last season or 88 points higher incredible improvement from him another amazing season, and he's killing it. What else can I say?

00:03:23
You know, so maybe game to looks like the Astros series is lining up to be Lance McCullers first. They use Zack Greinke in the most recent game so he's can be pushed out the game for which fortunate for the Rays in terms of pedigree. Although Lance McCullers. Tiffin ATIV is potentially the best the actors have right now. So things kind of aligned really well. He's definitely the hottest hand when it comes to pitching in game 2, that's when they're playing against about it as it's the only Lefty out of there for starting pitchers, and that's when you can probably expect you on d2b and delete off.

00:04:04
Yeah for certain and then you need to stick with Meadows with the way he's been performing at play obviously have to take home run yesterday. But other than that is that bad so I've looked not great.

00:04:14
Yeah, and I mean he's still returning from injury. It's clear that he's not at 100% but even Meadows not at 100% can get you a home run and I think Kevin cash when it comes to the playoffs even though Randy. Arozarena is hitting third, right? So he's not afraid to mess around with some new entities. I just feel like Austin Meadows is enough of a known entity that he doesn't want to be without his All-Star 2019 lineup. I think Hannah cash trusts Austin Meadows, I think Austin is can still put up a cop in an at-bat. Even if he's not going to get exactly the same visual result is not as clean of a swing maybe or as he's working through his oblique strain. I just can't imagine that Austin Meadows isn't still hitting leadoff. It means the same thing with Brandon Lau is that 30 plate appearances in the postseason is hitting o77 has a 200 on base percentage. It's not gone well, but still

00:05:14
Brandon loud, he's hit second or third in all of those. I think it was one game or Randy hit second, but right so and that's the that's when the left is on the right. So when the left he's on the mound Diaz arosarena looks like 1/2 in the light up.

00:05:31
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00:06:21
Yeah, I mean is you're still sharp put putting Brandon last name in the lineup in Sharpie? He's still going to have that talk through the line up and you just hope that whatever Funk he's in he can get out of that. He did draw walk in the first inning off of Gerrit Cole and Game 5 but then struck out twice in his last three plate appearances and not great. But you stay saying some pretty good pictures with that the Yankees are throwing out their muscular Tanaka and not worry about Brandon Lau quite yet.

00:06:51
Not really kind of talked about lineups and in roster makeup two guys. We didn't see a whole lot of in the ALDS Yoshi Sushi to go and Hunter Renfrow if there is a role for them going into the ALCS.

00:07:08
It feels kind of similar.

00:07:12
And I feel bad saying that at least four Yoshi, but it is a remarkably right-handed pitching situation for the Houston Astros, which is what the same was true for the Yankees except for their best Britton Chapman extremely good lefties, but for the most part, they're their entire picture. I think they have two left-handed relievers on honor roster and one left-handed starter at all.

00:07:48
Right. So in terms of Renfro, I'm not expecting him.

00:07:55
The question becomes about defense and one of our points from last night is in walking through Kevin cash his decision making when he did not pinch-hit for guys and then when he pinch-ran for his and you know is it was clear that even despite a need for offense. He was still prioritizing a defense-first approach and the need for Yandy Diaz in Austin Meadows to to hold that DH position is I think the reason why you know, she's being pushed a little bit out of the starting lineup at this point and that's because as a third base / left fielder, the way the roster was designed to start the reindeer is rain is nothing left fielder, and he's got that on lock down. So the question becomes third base and who's playing third base in the playoffs Joey wendle. We did not talk about last night. So let's revisit him as well. I mean

00:08:51
Go for it. I mean he's awesome. That's exactly at who caught the last out. It was Joy window 110 miles an hour off the bat and he snagged that sucker out of the air and almost lost it because the cameras caught and I don't know if you might have seen this dear listener. The ball was poking through the wedding on window. He almost did not have that baseball. I mean, he definitely had it. He had snagged it what an incredible grab but if that back up the other side of his glove we're looking at a completely different situation. We're looking at a base runner looking at a potential error that could have been a mess of the Outfield grass the next at-bat the baseball card store and it would have been the curse of Joey wendle glove. But yeah, he did make that snag it was it was pretty funny.

00:09:51
Game for great night at the plate he had for hard hits. So for a hits of 95 miles an hour off the bat or better in game 5 will strike out against Gerrit Cole in the first inning with the bases loaded when he took that pitch low in the zone instead of telling a tall boy. That was that was tough his second at-bat good nine-pitch flap, but he still absorb and then he comes up again another brutal strike out. There was two men on and he was trying to fall off too much. He learned a different lesson from that first at-bat and

00:10:32
How to say that she has baseball right you hit 300 in your in the Hall of Fame like they're still a 70% failure rate when it comes to hitting and being impressed. So it was a weird night for Joy window at the plate. It was a great conclusion of the night for Joey wendle. And for that reason, I think he got off of are the naughty list if you will do we have them on the naughty list yet? You're looking that Joey wendle who in 2018 had an incredible out of nowhere season for the Rays as their second basement flashlight app 300-350-4435 - 139 games at a 117 WRC plus 2019 dealt with some injuries and I really bad year the plate to 93 on base percentage 71 WRC plus and one of those guys again weren't sure what his role was on this team team chaplain.

00:11:32
A guy playing multiple positions on the infield and I find that very frustrating but one combat is deserved is that he kind of plays that spiritual motivator all day, but it's like where is where is Wendel going to fit on this team? And this year? He's found his role at third base and he's excelled almost match the numbers in some ways that from his 2018 season 3 42 on base percentage for 35 slugging 116 WRC Plus in some amazing defensive play at third base incredible as well. I don't know going in the next season what they're also going to look like if you don't get too far off topic here, but Joey wendle and Jonny Diaz having those two guys cuz I'm glad he was held this year his defense at 3rd Base look pretty solid to a even though. She lies to to play at third base. We can also makes Yonder in the maybe at first or obviously a DH that's a really solid part of.

00:12:32
Rays roster and enjoy Wendell that the defense is really what's the part time player for me. I think in truest form. He probably is still a second baseman. He's shown more this year on defense and I'm so happy about it. Right and when it comes to hitting, you know, he's in a 2019 was bad, but he was playing injured and now he's looking above-average again, but hello, hello walk High strikeout. No home. Run hitter doesn't really succeed in the majors for him to be successful and continue to be successful. It is a rarity. This is not a normal type of baseball player that you you build around. So I would still think that he's a role player and not a starter and we still have to consider wander Franco coming down the pike as well. So I I wouldn't be using pen with joy Wendel, but when it comes to the postseason, it's very clear and I think injuries kind of cleared away a little bit but Yoshi's to the side. Yandhi.

00:13:32
It really depends on who's on the mound and both of them are James around that DH roll while Joey wendle holding down the fort in the garage in the dirt. I wasn't trying to say that Joey Windows do the new franchise their basement. Obviously a lot of skill for a guy like Joey wendle to patent their lineup every single day. And you looking at the Rays who have the luxury of saying yeah, Joey wendle You're great and all but you're not going to be like a staple in our lineup in and especially with how well he's done. So I want to go back to what you said about Hunter Renfrow and if he doesn't even make the roster going into this round no,

00:14:14
What is the reasons why Renfro wouldn't make the roster the Reasors would be that you feel like you need another reliever, right? And you think that the benches full right now, they're the bench on offense is Michael Perez a catcher.

00:14:30
And then you got bra so he has to stay here in that yonder Diaz is not in the typical starting lineup if there's a right-handed pitcher on the mound and then you've got tsutsugo has been forced out and then you have Brett Phillips as your you know, hyper defensive replacing the runner or Runner and you need that role. So when it comes to position players, you could look at a situation. Where do I need a third right-handed?

00:14:59
You know bench option.

00:15:02
If this was the regular-season you start thinking okay, Austin Meadows and Renfro can platoon, you know is Margo going to be the The Meadows platoon though. If a platoon happens ji-man Choi, who does he trade offer right-handed hitter? Will you put in Kevin Kiermaier? That's how you make a room for rent broke. The answer was no answer is yes the answer on Meadows. Is he s so it would one of those nose rempros out. I don't know if you need Hunter Renfrow and that feels weird because his power potential is obvious and Petco Park is the setting for the next round. So you do wonder if that familiarity quote-unquote is helpful, but he hasn't

00:15:50
How many FS does renter have in the postseason I will tell you in just a second, but going back to like meeting an extra reliever. It's your plan 5 days in a row but the 28th man roster compensate for that. I think for the most part 3 extra roster spots that you didn't have last season into than the normal you have now with with the new rules Retro 6 plate appearances and he is the home run against Toronto in the ALCS where you can potentially be playing 7 days in a row and I don't know if with the bullpen makeup like that makes things.

00:16:36
A lot more tricky and I don't know if you'd want to bring in a guy like Josh Fleming who showed this season that he can pitch multiple endings for you either as a starter or behind an opener, maybe a guy like Ryan sherriff gets another look but I mean, it's a renfroe hypothetically is left off the roster. What picture do you think will be the next man up that is truth. He is at eligible eligible tomorrow. So the question starts becoming is I'll probably help that he's traveling with the team. He's pitching another interesting X Factor could be Brent Honeywell, just a big Mystery Box. He's throwing on a regular basis to race headers when they're trying to have a little bit more of like an elevated BP session.

00:17:29
but I I mean no one knows whether or not he's actually

00:17:34
Going to be like capable of facing make doing hitters. He hasn't and maybe another Shane McClanahan situation about the Astros lineup. Just real quick George Springer right-handed hitter Altuve bad. Beer quality hitter still there. Number two hitter entrenched number to header, right? So he's having a brand allow moment himself, but Altuve right-handed hitter Alex bregman right-handed hitter Carlos Correa who has been starring for them in the postseason right-handed hitter. Yuli gurriel, right-handed hitter there lefties are Josh Reddick and Michael Bradley.

00:18:14
And who is the best hitter on the team this year? Excuse me? Kyle Tucker the right field rookie. So you do have three interesting Lefty's in there, but so many good righties. And so if I think about I need links out of the bullpen

00:18:30
am I going to bring in Fleming?

00:18:32
Yeah, that's what I mean you're looking at. I don't know how anyone would be interesting. And again, we have no idea what would break down what I think would happen. If you go back couple years ago. When we we drive to McClanahan in the whatever the mill round the sandwich round in the first round. Shane McClanahan abroad High. Well, you know Fireball at you like they are extending his knee and had to be carted off.

00:19:11
That we saw the report out of Port Charlotte his season's over that's unfortunate. And now he's making his major league debut in the postseason south. I mean also making his major league debut. This postseason would be huge that guy that we weren't sure like what is future was in baseball with all the arm problems that he's dealt with. I don't know who that's almost as big of a? Because he's dealt with injuries over the last two seasons when he's been on the team and what he's been pitching been a huge question mark and like you said you want links out of the bullpen. So Alvarado historically hasn't been the guy to do that. I think he was probably the best picture out of all these options it we're looking at it as a whole lemon gas situationally. I don't know how many times you find a spot for him. Yeah, because the Astros do the rays and Yankees both heavily put you in their lineup the Astros.

00:20:11
And part of that is Dusty Baker the only redeeming quality of the Houston Astros in 2020 Dusty Baker. I mean, if you look back over all of the postseason games played so far there is exactly one game in which he didn't use the same 9 dudes and that's because he gave Josh Reddick a day off.

00:20:33
That is that is crazy eyes and how you need your pitching staff a lot easier for Kevin cash and Kyle Snyder and I'm not taking any more effective the Astros like you mentioned have some amazing hitters plan how we're going to tackle this series that makes things a lot easier because this is all I can give the World Series you get the normal schedule to get a day off after game to a day off after game 5.

00:21:06
We thought is the bullpen crunch was tough in a 5-game series if this series goes to six or seven games things are going to get really dicey and you don't have Oliver Drake. Is he eligible to come back on this one? I wish I knew I don't know Richards might be a guy that you picked over Fleming's in this situation.

00:21:35
Yeah, I mean it makes sense and the promise of Trevor Richards still exists. I mean the fastball changeup wasn't the same this year. Just buy the I test it is his stuff that you require them for weren't exactly what he showed in 2019 and a worst version a worse than or less than version of Richard's is is replacement level if I'm being just Frank right now a lot of teams I think would take Richards if the Arizona Diamondbacks called up the Rays they would be asking for Richards as a starting pitcher not as the last man out of the bullpen when you need length. So I think the qualities there and that has a lot to do with the Rays and how The rosters constructed. But as of right now Richards is on the roster, so I'm not worried about him getting full off Tigers is also able to add length and he's right-handed Ryan Thompson.

00:22:35
Is assumed Richards is a replacement-level player. Do you take a replacement-level player that can give you 3 4 endings out of the bullpen when needed over a slightly above replacement level player that can give you one ending at most in a rock in terms of a roster spot going into this series of set up like this.

00:23:00
I think well when it comes to the pictures at the Rays unavailable, we're still talking about Fleming. I don't think the razor tapping Rideshare for this roster, even though he's on the the travel roster unless there's injuries. I don't think Sheriff Who's in Edgar Garcia? Probably not also not in I actually know he's not even on the playoff pool. He's on the 40-man roster. I don't think he's in the playoff pool.

00:23:24
Oh wait sure. If I don't I don't know if he's in either is he I'm on roster resource and I have no idea how to tell is on the verge of quality. The discussion is when do you get to add in Fleming and I think the answer is if there's another injury if Aaron Luke gets hurt last Sheriff still get a sheriff. I guess you still could.

00:23:52
Trevor Richards is pitching multiple Innings like that game that he is probably a loss.

00:24:00
So it doesn't really matter but you also like don't want to be burning pictures of the game. That is a loss not want to go back and discussion is like weather when when and when not to punt on a game but that is somewhat of a valuable roster spot. So most likely okay. So starting rotation for the Rays game one. He was dangled out there by Kevin cash frequently and Kevin cash was even very forthright. He said we have a pitching plan and our pitching plan was simple glasnow Anderson if the game is closed.

00:24:45
Fairbanks and Castillo, we're going next and some order and then what those guys were done. We were just giving the ball to snow. The rest of the bullpen was out the window. So in terms of trust in terms of understanding, I leverage that was pretty straightforward snow did not get used which means he is well rested for game one it is easy to assume that Charlie Morton, even though he was third quarter rotation going from Wednesday turning back around to Monday would be free state of rest for him. Yeah. So I would assume that Martin is going game two and then going from Friday to Wednesday. I think glass. Should be able to make that happen. So then Yarbrough in game 4

00:25:29
and then game 5

00:25:32
Nashua trash and it also depends on what the series is that when you get right to the race weeping for her. I mean it but if it interrupts 32321 going into game 5 do you pitch now on short rest? Obviously, you don't want to let the series go any longer than that if you're in that position, but if you're down 3-1 snow almost definitely go on short rest, so going to be a sting rays and Astros any final thoughts Danny.

00:26:03
Maybe we should touch base again. Once we know the roster. Maybe we can get a guest on I think they'll be some more interesting things to preview. But right now I'm still just basking in the glow of that LDS. We have three Rays game franchise history. Remember if you want these episodes download it directly to your device. Make sure to subscribe to our podcast feed and makes your head on over to draysbay. Com to check out all of the great postseason coverage from this 20/20 run Danny. Thank Robin on and let's keep on chugging
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