The Rays started the season off on the right foot as they won the first series against the Blue Jays, but the offense hadn’t really clicked yet. The next two games against the Atlanta Braves saw an offensive explosion as the Rays scored a total of 19 runs on 20 hits. Hunter Renfroe led the offense with 3 hits and 2 HRs in the first game of the series.
The Rays would then go on the road and that’s when everything went downhill real fast. Tampa Bay lost 5 straight games: 2 to the Braves and 3 to the Orioles. The offense was horrific as they averaged 2.6 runs per game on the road trip. Manuel Margot went 2-for-20 during this losing streak. And if you thought that was bad, Mike Zunino had an 0-for-16 stretch during that span. The defense wasn’t much better as they committed 6 errors in that 5-game span (among other mental miscues). These other miscues included Kiermaier not sliding into 2nd base and Choi tagging up from 2nd on a fly ball to left field. It was just an all-around awful performance from a team that is playing way below their potential.
Despite the results of the past 5 games, Brandon Lowe has been very impressive as he leads the team with 10 hits and 8 RBIs. He has been one of the lone bright spots of this 4-6 club. Austin Meadows is expected to make his 2020 debut on Tuesday after being sidelined with a positive coronavirus test. The addition of Meadows should improve the offense and hopefully act as a resurgence for this struggling ball club. There are also some other possible moves the Rays can make to switch things up. Nate Lowe is available to be called up as an infield option that could also possibly boost the offense. N. Lowe played in 50 games for the Rays last season notching 40 hits and 7 HRs. They also have a young catcher prospect on the 60-man roster by the name of Ronaldo Hernandez that is a much better hitter than Mike Zunino. Zunino is a great defensive catcher, but if we can give Hernandez some big league time I think he could really help this team in the long run. The Rays’ bats have averaged 4.2 runs per game so far with a lackluster .190 team batting average. Although we saw a snapshot of what this offense can do at home, this upcoming home stretch, I think we’ll start to see a trend in the opposite direction in the offensive department.