Rays Notes: Dave Martinez Finalist for Astros Manager, Ben Francisco Trade, Strikeouts

By Robbie Knopf

It has been an exciting time for the Rays the past two days and more good news continued to come in.

Rays bench coach Dave Martinez got great news on Thursday as he is one of the front-runners for the Houston Astros’ managerial job along with Red Sox bench coach Tim Bogar according to Nick Cafardo. Martinez is one of the nicest guys around the Rays and is a very intelligent baseball guy who has only learned more as he has served under Joe Maddon, and best of luck to him as the Astros decide which manager will guide them through their rebuilding process and eventually back to contention.

In other Rays-Astros news, the two teams decided on who the player to be named would be for the Ben Francisco trade that happened back on August 31st: left-handed reliever Theron Geith. Geith, 23, pitched well for High-A Charlotte this season, posting a 2.98 ERA, an 8.1 K/9, a 1.8 BB/9, and a 0.3 HR/9 in 31 games and 54.2 IP. Geith, who was the Rays’ 39th round pick in 2011, is a 6’4″, 170 lefty with a fastball in just the high-80’s and a good slider. He’s a little bit interesting because he’s a lefty who may have some projection remaining, but trading him was certainly worthwhile to acquire an outfielder to contribute to the Rays’ MLB effort immediately. Good luck to Geith in his new organization.

And finally, the Rays are on track to set two American League records: team strikeouts- for both their pitchers and hitters. Rays pitched have now struck out 1264 opposing hitters, just 2 short of the AL record set by the 2001 New York Yankees. The Rays have seen starters David Price, James Shields, Matt Moore, and lately Chris Archer all strike out batters at a rate of 8.5 or higher per 9 innings while Joel Peralta, Jake McGee, and Joel Peralta all have strikeout rate of 11.0 or higher per 9 innings out of the bullpen as the Rays have managed to get together a set of electric arms this season. Congrats to them on that record, which they should set on Friday night. For the hitters, they’re currently at 1221 K’s on the season, on pace to break the MLB record of 1324 held by the 2007 Devil Rays. You can’t exactly be proud of that, but it is what it is and it doesn’t matter if the Rays can find ways to win games.