Randy Arozarena burst into the national news last postseason when his offensive barrage buried the New York Yankees and gave the Los Angeles Dodgers fits as they tried to get him out en route to winning the World Series.
Rays’ fans looked to 2021 with excitement, fully expecting Arozarena to be at the forefront for Rookie-of-the-Year consideration in the American League. As Arozarena showed in the 2020 postseason, when he gets hot, he is sizzling.
But there has been only one problem in 2021: Arozarena has not been hot. At least, not in the first half of the season. Into the All-Star break, Arozarena carried an average of .251, with 10 homers and 41 runs batted in.
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Randy Arozarena is warming up
Since the All-Star break, however, he has been sizzling, and it could not come at a better time for the Rays. Since play resumed after the All-Star break, Arozarena has hit .354 with six homers and 11 RBI. He has also scored 14 runs in that period.
Even better, Arozarena hit .433 during the recent eight-game homestand. Against Seattle in the final three games of the homestand, Arozarena hit .636 while crushing two homers and driving in four, also scoring three runs.
The timing of his offensive outburst is exactly what the Rays were needing. The Rays have had well-known trouble as a team hitting against left-handed pitching. Arozarena has carried a .281 average for the season versus southpaws.
Randy Arozarena hits the COVID-19 IL
However, after Randy had started to turn it on, he caught a bad break. Arozarena was placed on the COVID-19 IL on Friday, which will keep him out at least this weekend in Baltimore.
He was placed on the IL due to close contact, so it doesn’t appear Randy caught the virus himself, so that is the good news. But seeing Arozarnea finally get hot, and now seeing him be forced to miss a couple of games, it’s unfortunate. Maybe more annoying than anything.
However, as long as Arozarena stays COVID-free, and returns sooner rather than later, he will hopefully continue his hot streak.