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Tampa Bay Rays: Rickie Weeks Job Is Safe…For Now

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May 1, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Rickie Weeks (8) looks on from the dugout during the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
May 1, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Rickie Weeks (8) looks on from the dugout during the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
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Rickie Weeks has gotten off to a slow start for the Tampa Bay Rays. Nonetheless, his just remains safe within the organization, at least for the time being.

When the Tampa Bay Rays signed Rickie Weeks to a minor league deal, it was hoped that he could provide some power in a bench role, along with veteran leadership. He won a job out of Spring Training as the right handed part of the Rays first base platoon, while serving as an occasional designated hitter. In theory, it would be the perfect role for Weeks as he moves into the later stages of his career.

Thus far, however, Weeks has not been what the Rays had hoped for. Heading into last night’s action, Weeks had produced a .163/.317/.286 batting line. While half of his eight hits have gone for extra bases, Weeks has also struck out 28 times in 60 plate appearances.

Despite that slow start to the season, Weeks does not appear to be in danger of losing his spot on the team. According to Marc Topkin, the Rays are still looking at Weeks as a part of the present. However, Topkin also admits that while the Rays love his intangibles, his lack of production may well lead to his dismissal if Weeks does not show signs of improvement.

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The problem is getting Weeks enough at bats to break out of his slump. For as cold as he has been to start the season, Logan Morrison has been just as hot. Not only has he produced a much improved .263/.364/.516 batting line, but Morrison leads the Rays with seven homers. Morrison has even fared relatively well against lefties thus far in 2017, albeit in a limited sample size, with four hits and two walks in 16 plate appearances.

Meanwhile, the Rays have Patrick Leonard waiting in the wings in Durham. He has annihilated AAA pitching thus far, with a .390/.448/.552 batting line, hitting eight doubles and three homers. As a right handed corner infield option who can play either corner outfield position, Leonard would be able to theoretically slide into Weeks’ role.

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The Tampa Bay Rays are willing to let Rickie Weeks have a chance to turn his season around. However, while they say the clock is not yet ticking, it is certainly being wound up.

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