Tampa Bay Rays – Extra Innings Advantage – Speed Kills
A very important note to this new rule is that pinch runners can be used for the runner on second. If Mike Zunino is due to start the inning on second base, and the Rays still have a catcher available off of the bench, then you can bet they are turning to a pinch runner with elite speed.
Thankfully, the Rays have plenty of speedy options.
There are many ways to seal the victory in this scenario. Two sac bunts and you win. A speedy runner can steal third and be wild pitch or a ground ball from victory. With satisfactory speed at second, a single could score the winning run.
Here’s a look at some of the fastest players on the Rays that may be available in extra innings on any given day. Along with the player’s name, I’ll add their ft/sec from baseballsavant.com and where they ranked among all major leaguers.
- Kevin Kiermaier (29.4 ft/sec, T-23rd in MLB)
- Randy Arozarena (29.4 ft/sec, T-23 in MLB)
- Manuel Margot (29 ft/sec, T-52 in MLB)
- Michael Brosseau (28.3 ft/sec, T-121 in MLB)
- Willy Adames (28.3 ft/sec, T-121 in MLB)
- Austin Meadows (28.1 ft/sec, T-147 in MLB)
Additional metrics show that Kevin Kiermaier ranked fourth in the entire league averaging 3.97 seconds from home to first. He was one of just seven players who averaged under four seconds. Kiermaier had 38 plays in which he exceeded 30 feet per second last season. Not far behind him was Manuel Margot with 25.
Where else do you think the Rays have tactical advantages in this crazy 2020 season the league has laid out for us? Let us know in the comments below!