2020 will be an interesting season for Joey Wendle who is likely on the outside looking in regarding playing time. Wendle, who struggled in 2019, will have to fight for at bats next season.
Joey Wendle was a key contributor on the 2018 team that won a surprising 90 games, but his 2019 season was also sideswiped by injuries and inconsistency. After coming over to the Rays prior to the 2018 season, Wendle finished 4th in the Rookie of the Year voting behind a strong first season with the Rays. He slashed .300/.354/.435 and showed off the leather on a daily basis.
But, 2019 was hardly as productive for Wendle…
- 75 G
- .633 OPS // 70 OPS+
- 3 HR // 19 RBI
Aside from the lack of production in 2019, Wendle also had to deal with the emergence of rookie second baseman Brandon Lowe, who finished third in the rookie of the year voting despite missing a good portion of the year with a lower body injury.
Both Lowe and Wendle are left handed hitting second baseman, but Lowe possesses more power and signed an extension prior to the beginning of last season. Wendle may be on a short leash this offseason and could be a possible trade candidate, which I touched on earlier this offseason. With a ton of options in the infield including Adames, Lowe, Choi, Robertson, Brosseau, and now Tsutsugo, Wendle may be out of a job come spring.
But, if the Rays hold on to Wendle, let’s hope he can bounce back.