The Tampa Bay Rays left New York in second place in the AL East after losing the rubber game of their 3-game series with the New York Yankees 13-5 on Sunday afternoon.
Monday is an off-day in Tampa. It is a time to regroup in the friendly confines of St. Petresburg where they will play the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday and Wednesday before heading to Cleveland for a 4-game set against the Indians.
While the offense has been stalled for the most part, averaging only 3.75 runs per game while posting an 8-8 mark, Willy Adames has been heating up.
In April he appeared in 26 games and slashed a miserable .200/.265/.300 spanning 98 plate appearance in which he struck out 29 times and walked just seven.
He finished Sunday in New York 2-for-4 including his third home run of the season. Through 13 appearances in May he is batting .311/.404/.511 spanning 52 plate appearances in which he’s struck out 11 times while drawing seven walks.
With the return of Matt Duffy approaching and his spending time at shortstop, some have suggested that this could mean Duffy displaces Adames at the position.
It’s more likely that the Rays are using the additional time during Matt Duffy’s rehab (after adding him to the 60-day injured list) to increase his positional versatility.
For instance, there may be games against a tough lefty where Kevin Cash wants to go heavy on right handed bats. Willy Adames can move to second base, which he played in 10 games in 2018, while Duffy mans shortstop with Daniel Robertson at 3b and Yandy Diaz at first.t
For now, the Rays will hope that the recent small sample size shown by Adames in May, including the plate discipline, will continue for the rest of the season. If he returns to the wild free swinging Adames of April, the team will have to explore other options to lessen his time in the lineup. That would be a bitter pill to swallow for Adames and the organization.