As the Tampa Bay Rays head to New York and Boston for games against the AL East leaders, it is time for them to put their best team on the field. Austin Meadows is part of that team.
With Tyler Glasnow pitching the way he is for the Tampa Bay Rays, the Chris Archer trade is already paying off. With the Rays facing three games each with the Yankees and Red Sox, it is time to show the next piece.
Austin Meadows has shown why the Rays insisted he be included in the deal in the short time he’s been with Durham. In just nine games, he is 12 for 31 with three home runs and eight RBI. And, on Saturday, he did this:
In a taste of the big leagues earlier this season with Pittsburgh, Meadows proved he was ready. He was the National League’s Rookie of the Month for May, slashing .409/.426/.795 in 13 games with four home runs. With Tommy Pham out at least another week with his fractured foot, the Rays could add a little more offense to the lineup with Meadows.
If Meadows comes up, who goes?
With the Tampa Bay Rays getting deeper and deeper in talent, finding room for these additions is getting much more difficult. Typically, I wouldn’t advocate demoting Brandon Lowe after his first week or so in the majors. He’s getting good at bats. But, not one of those have earned him even a base hit. Swapping Meadows for Lowe right now seems like the obvious move. Yet, with Daniel Robertson all but done for the season, Lowe serves as a second base option allowing the Rays to move Joey Wendle all over.
After Lowe, things get a little more tricky. Carlos Gomez would make sense, although the energy and experience he brings to this team is obvious. That .218 batting average and .309 OBP makes him a logical target, especially since Meadows would eat into most of Gomez’s playing time.
With the next trade deadline just over two weeks away, another option would be to clear a roster spot with a trade. Of course, Gomez could be part of this conversation. But, two other obvious targets for other teams should be Sergio Romo and CJ Cron. Most likely, neither would bring a big league addition in return. Romo has been great this season and it would be fun to see him get a chance at the playoffs this season. Cron has also performed the way the Rays needed him to this season, but his playing time has decreased with Jake Bauers taking over first base.
Whatever the Rays choose to do, their best team includes Austin Meadows in the outfield. Showing the big dogs of the AL East where the Rays are headed would be a great way to wind down the season.