Taylor Featherston has been a member of the Tampa Bay Rays since June 9. With one swing of the bat on Tuesday, he helped the team make history.
When the Tampa Bay Rays purchased Taylor Featherston from the Philadelphia Phillies, it was a move that was collectively met with indifference. After all, he had been purchased by two other franchises already, and had all of 38 games of major league experience. He had displayed flashes of power and speed in the minors, but at 27 years old, he seemed to be nothing more than minor league depth.
However, with Rickie Weeks being placed on the disabled list, Featherston was thrust into action. He had already received five plate appearances with the Rays heading into Tuesday night’s action, drawing a walk and striking out once. As the Rays were looking to make history by hitting their 100th homer in a season in the fewest amount of games, he would seem to be one of the last players that would be expected to hit that historic home run.
And yet, he did just that. Leading off the third inning against Marco Estrada and the Toronto Blue Jays, Featherston sent the 3-2 offering to deep right, giving the Rays a 1-0 lead. That homer would also be the Rays 100th of the season, coming in their 67th game, the fastest they reached that mark in team history.
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The Rays were not done with the longball with that homer. Four batters later, Logan Morrison followed with a three run shot of his own, victimizing Estrada once more. Corey Dickerson added a homer of his own in the top of the ninth for good measure, as the Rays cruised to an 8-1 victory.
Chances are, Featherston’s homer will be overlooked in the other storylines from the game. Dickerson continued his All Star push, while Morrison is making a case for his own inclusion. Jacob Faria continued to pitch well, looking like a future mainstay of the rotation. Yet, it was the unheralded Featherston, a player whose acquisition barely attracted notice, that would end up making team history.
Chances are, Featherston’s time in the majors will not last long. Should Matt Duffy ever return from his heel injury. or Weeks is able to return from the DL, he is likely ticketed for Durham. However, that one swing will remain in the Rays record books, at least until they hit 100 homers quicker.
Taylor Featherston helped the Tampa Bay Rays make history. We’re certainly paying attention to him now.