Rays’ Yandy Diaz seeks to maintain hot bat vs. Cardinals

Rays' Yandy Diaz seeks to maintain hot bat vs. Cardinals

As the Tampa Bay Rays are patching up their rotation, the offense is receiving a big boost from Yandy Diaz

The All-Star had four hits Tuesday night and drove in the go-ahead run in the Rays‘ 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals

When the teams meet Wednesday evening in interleague play in St. Petersburg, Fla., Diaz will carry a .322 batting average into the game

“You can just bank on a bunch of good at-bats,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said of Diaz. “I felt like, even when we were a little quiet offensively, he still is doing his thing.

Diaz had a big game in the opener on his 32nd birthday

Not all the news was rosy for the Rays on Tuesday, however. Pregame, the team announced that All-Star left-hander Shane McClanahan likely will miss the rest of the season

McClanahan has been on the 15-day injured list since Thursday with tightness in his left forearm. Surgery is a possibility, according to Cash

“Probably everything is on the table,” Cash said. “Less than ideal news.

Additionally, right-hander Tyler Glasnow (back spasms) is not expected to start until the weekend series against the Cleveland Guardians

That leaves the Rays with limited options. So on Wednesday, Tampa Bay will start left-hander Jalen Beeks (2-3, 6.27 ERA), who was called up from Triple-A Durham on Sunday. He has never faced the Cardinals

It will be a bullpen day for Tampa Bay

Beeks last pitched in the big leagues on July 4, tossing two innings and allowing one earned run against the Phillies

At Triple-A, Beeks appeared in 11 games with one start. He is 0-1 with a 5.84 ERA in 12 1/3 innings, with 17 strikeouts

In Game 2 of the series, the Cardinals will start right-hander Dakota Hudson (2-0, 4.10), who is fresh off his best appearance of the season

On Aug. 2 in a victory against the Minnesota Twins, Hudson gave up three runs on two hits with seven strikeouts to get the win

Hudson spent time on the injured list earlier in the season, and he made his first appearance of the season on July 1. This will be his third start

For his career, Hudson has faced the Rays once. In that lone start in June 2022, he tossed seven innings, giving up one run, but didn’t get a decision

Before Tuesday’s game, the Cardinals scratched outfielder Tyler O’Neill due to left knee tightness. It’s questionable if he will be available on Wednesday

Overall, this has been a disappointing season for St. Louis. But on a positive note, catcher Willson Contreras has overcome his slow start, and since early July, the veteran has heated up

He hit .429 in July and has a .300 average in August

In Tuesday’s loss, Contreras was 1-for-4 with a ninth-inning homer

Contreras signed as a free agent to replace catching legend Yadier Molina. Filling those shoes initially was daunting

During his struggles, Contreras has had numerous conversations with people inside the organization regarding how to get on track. Among those he received pep talks from were team president John Mozeliak, manager Oliver Marmol and members of the coaching staff. Contreras even turned to Molina for advice

About a month ago, Contreras turned inwardly for answers

“I just told myself, ‘They signed you for something,'” Contreras told MLB.com. “You already do something good, so don’t try to do more than you can do.

–Field Level Medi

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.