The Tampa Bay Rays just keep on winning. The Rays are 5-1 on the road trip after winning two out of three in Boston. They are 70-45, have a five-game in the AL East, and own the best record in the American League.
The Rays have done this without their number one starter Tyler Glasnow since mid-June. Glasnow, who had Tommy John’s surgery is out until 2023. Also, the Rays have not had their closer, Nick Anderson, all season as he has recovered from a torn ligament.
So how do the Rays keep winning?
Let’s give credit where due. Rays manager Kevin Cash, pitching coach Kyle Snyder, and bullpen coach Stan Boroski deserve to get all the credit.
Kevin Cash, hands down, is the American League Manager of the Year. I don’t want to hear anything about Alex Cora or Aaron Boone, who are consistently fawned over by the media for their mediocre performance.
Cash has put the Rays in position for a third consecutive playoff appearance and a possible trip back to the World Series.
When you have a bullpen with Jeffrey Springs, Matt Wisler, JT Chargois, Louis Head, Ryan Sherriff, JP Feyereisen, and Chris Mazza as mainstays in the bullpen, and are still 25 games above .500, you are doing something right.
The Rays have seen JT Chargois, Dietrich Enns, Sean Poppen, and DJ Johnson have all made their debuts this month for the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Rays currently have relief pitchers Nick Anderson, Chaz Roe, Ryan Thompson, Colin Poche, Oliver Drake, and Pete Fairbanks all on the disabled list.
Starters, Tyler Glasnow, Yonny Chirinos, Chris Archer, and Jalen Beeks are all on the disabled list as well.
The Rays traded Diego Castillo and Rich Hill at the trade deadline. Two pitchers made meaningful contributions to the Ray’s success this season.
That’s almost another pitching staff on the IR. And yet Cash and the pitching coaches seem to take these guys off the scrap heap and turn them into the second coming of Mariano Rivera.
How do they do it? Cash says that when a new pitcher joins the team, they ask them what they think they do best. What are his strengths? In what situations are they the most comfortable?.
Once they have this information, they begin working to that pitcher’s strength to build their confidence and get them ready to help the ball club.
It is also worth noting that the Rays lead the American League with a 3.59 ERA. The Rays are 12th in the league in offense with a .235 average.
The Rays are also number one in come-from-behind wins with 36. They have scored 227 runs after the seventh inning, which also leads the Major Leagues.
No other manager or ball club could absorb the losses the Rays have had to endure, with their pitching staff, and still, be 25 games over .500 and lead the league in wins.
Kevin Cash deserves to win the American League Manager of the Year award. If he doesn’t win it, it would be one of the greatest crimes of the 20th century.