The Tampa Bay Rays cannot afford for September to look like August.
August was a month the Tampa Bay Rays would love to forget. The Rays finished the month with a losing record for the first time since 2006, when they went 9-19. That year was manager Joe Maddon’s first season with the team.
If you cannot score runs, you cannot expect to win baseball games. That was one of the downfalls of the team in August. The Rays only scored 88 runs in August, an all-time franchise low. The previous low was 106 runs in 2006. In fact, the last time the team failed to bring 100 runners across home plate in a month was July 2009.
With August in the past, the team can look forward to September with renewed optimism.
Pitcher Jeremy Hellickson, who has been struggling recently with a 3-5 record and 5.88 ERA in his last 10 starts, should be rejoining the team soon. Hellickson was optioned to Class-A Charlotte to get some rest in preparation for the final charge toward the postseason.
Also slated to return from an elbow injury is starting pitcher Matt Moore. Moore made a rehab start for Triple-A Durham and should be back in the starting rotation next week during the series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
September also marks the moment when major league rosters expand from 25 to 40. For the Rays, players including outfielder Delmon Young, catcher Chris Giminez and pitcher Josh Lueke will make the trip up to the majors to help the team fight for what would be the fourth postseason appearance in the franchise’s history.
At least the Rays can always look back on September of 2011 if they need inspiration for how to close out the final month of a season.
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