Rays Add Desperately Needed Right Handed Bat
According to Marc Topkn of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter), the Tampa Bay Rays have acquired infielder Trevor Plouffe from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for cash or a player to be named later. The Rays will receive approximately $2MM of the $3MM remaining of his 2017 salary (Susan Slusser Twitter).
To make room for Plouffe on the 40-man roster the Rays moved Matt Andriese (hip) to the 60-day disabled list.
Last winter, Plouffe signed a 1-year $5.2MM deal as a free agent with the A’s after spending parts of 7 seasons with the Minnesota Twins where he hit .247/.308/.420.
Plouffe struggled with the A’s batting just .214/.276/.357 with seven homers spanning 58 games and 199 plate appearances.
After 70 games the Rays find themselves with a 35-35 mark. They’ve bounced between three games over .500 and three games under .500 for the entire season.
Through all the yo-yo between winning and losing two major weaknesses have been identified that need to be addressed.
The first is the bullpen. Specifically the bridge from the starter to closer Alex Colome. The Rays have yet to have a strong 1-2 punch at the back of their pen in the Kevin Cash era, but the Rays hope to have that with the return of Brad Boxberger in the next week.
The second area is hitting against left-handed pitching. The Rays are 8-15 against left-handed starting pitchers, second worst mark in the AL. They also rank last in the American League batting just .227 against them, ranking ahead of only the San Diego Padres (.215) in all of baseball.
Rickie Weeks was brought in to help in that regard after batting .284/.368/.642 with six of his nine homers against southpaws last season. Prior to his injury he had hit just .167 (9-for-51) against them. Weeks in the disabled list for a shoulder impingement and there is no timetable for his return.
Wilson Ramos, due to come off the disabled list June 25, boasts a career .296/.343/.464 mark against lefties. He”ll help but the Rays need more than just one bat.
In his career, Plouffe a mark of .284/.368/.642 against left handed pitching. Despite his overall struggles with the bat this season, he maintains a solid line .294/.357/.373 against southpaws.