Delmon Young Will Need to Improve His Offense for the Tampa Bay Rays
Delmon Young and the Tampa Bay Rays are hoping to rekindle old flames while trying to stay in the postseason hunt. The team signed the 27-year-old outfielder to a minor league contract earlier this month after he was released by the Philadelphia Phillies.
According to Marc Topkin from the Tampa Bay Times, Young is expected to join the team on Sunday when the rosters expand to 40 players from 25. He completed seven games with Double-A Montgomery, batting .233 with 1 HR and 3 RBI.
Young was originally drafted by the Rays with the first overall pick in the 2003 draft. After some incidents including flipping a bat at an umpire and arguing with manager Joe Maddon, he was traded to the Minnesota Twins in 2007.
In order for this reunion to work out, the Rays need Young to perform above the .261/.302/.397 line he posted in 80 games for the Phillies this season. The Rays have made an art of blowing leads this season and need the ability to continue to add runs late in games.
Also, as the season continues to get closer to conclusion, additional depth is needed for a postseason push.
Young will likely be used primarily as a designated hitter against left-handed pitchers—he is batting .286 against lefties so far this season. He should allow for a good rotation with Luke Scott as he prepares to return from injury.
Aside from what he brings to the team on the field, Young also brings some additional postseason experience to the Rays: He was the 2012 ALCS MVP for the Detroit Tigers in their defeat of the New York Yankees en route to the World Series.
The Rays and Young both hope he can be part of another team that makes it to the final series of the year.
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