Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times recently reported that the Tampa Bay Rays have decided to limit Brendan McKay to a pitcher and designated hitter.
"In an effort to aid two-way prospect Brendan McKay’s development as a pitcher and a hitter the Rays have decided he no longer will play the field.By limiting McKay to DH duty rather than playing first base, the Rays feel he can simplify his pre-game schedule; focus on his performance at the plate, which has lagged behind his work on the mound; and, they hope, stay healthier after being sidelined twice last season with oblique injuries. -Marc Topkin"
I like this move by the Rays for a few reasons. Many still believe that the former 4th overall pick has good raw power potential and by allowing him to simplify his approach, we may see him tap into that more than he has in the past. I also believe that his bat has struggled to keep up with his arm and by allowing him to focus solely on DH-ing and pitching, his bat may take a step forward.
Even though Topkin mentioned that Bloom made it clear that this isn’t a step back for his 2-way development, I’m not convinced:
I do think this possibly signals that the Rays are getting closer to limiting McKay to a pitcher-only role especially if his bat can’t keep up with AA pitching. They have obviously identified that his arm is superior and by allowing him to DH, they are trying to give his bat the best chance to succeed… but, if it doesn’t the Rays may just limit him to a pitcher.
Chain Bloom had this to say, ““This is all about prioritizing the things we think are most important in Brendan’s development at this stage,’’
His schedule will be set up like this:
"But for this season, McKay, assigned either back to Charlotte or promoted to Double-A Montgomery, will be on a six-day schedule, with plans for him to pitch once, have one day off and then DH four days. -Marc Topkin"
- Tanner Dodson, who I am very high on, will remain a fielder (CF) and pitcher.
Marc Topkin also reported that Tyler Cloyd has agreed to a minor league deal with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Tyler Cloyd has signed a minor league deal with the Tampa Bay Rays which included an invite to Spring Training. A right handed pitcher who has spent time in the major leagues with the Phillies, Mariners and the Marlins. Cloyd spent time in Korea as well during the 2015 season.
Cloyd, a right handed pitcher has amassed over 1000 innings in the minor leagues and 112 innings in the bigs. The 31 year old has made 27 appearances which included 17 starts. He has pitched to a 6.35 earned run average and a 1.65 WHIP across those appearances.
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He appeared 7 times for the Marlins in 2018. In total, he threw 17.2 innings and had a 13/10 strikeout to walk ratio along with a less than impressive 8.66 ERA. Likely just another move for depth, I wouldn’t look for anything spectacular to come of this under the radar signing.