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Tampa Bay Rays: Shane Baz has done all he could to make playoff roster

By George Curcio
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Shane Baz (11) throws a pitch during the second inning against the Miami Marlins at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Shane Baz (11) throws a pitch during the second inning against the Miami Marlins at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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In high school, Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Shane Baz was known as “The Wizard of Baz.”  That was back when he was a two-way player, playing third base when he was not pitching.

The focus now is entirely on his pitching, and Baz the Magnificent has set tongues wagging across baseball land with his two initial outings for the Tampa Bay Rays.

It has been that way for Money Bags Baz since the Pittsburgh Pirates signed him as a first-round draft pick in 2017. He came to the Rays as the “Player to be named later” in the deal that sent Chris Archer to the Pirates for Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows and Baz.

Shane Baz has been incredible for the Tampa Bay Rays already

After racing through the minor leagues this year, as well as pitching in the Olympics in Japan, Baz made his Rays debut on Sept. 20 at Tropicana Field. His opponent was the Toronto Blue Jays, considered one of baseball’s most vaunted offenses.

The right-handed Baz breezed through five innings, despite giving up two home runs (the only hits he allowed). Goosebumps Baz struck out five with no walks in those five innings, and notched a victory in his major-league debut.

Baz the Wonderful did even better in his second start. Sunday, again at Tropicana Field. he went 5-2/3 innings against the Miami Marlins, holding them scoreless on three hits. Baz offset the one walk he allowed with nine strikeouts.  His record went to 2-0, with a 1.69 ERA and 0.56 WHIP.

Shane “The Grim Reaper” Baz is knocking — loudly — on the door of Tampa Bay Rays’ management. Healthy starting pitching has been the Rays’ major problem all season.

Mad Dog Baz is letting them know he is here, ready, willing and able to provide the help the Rays need in the postseason.

Manager Kevin Cash has been ecstatic with the performance thus ar of Shane “The Enforcer” Baz, saying he does not know what more Baz can do.

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All that is left now is for Cash to answer Baz’s knock at the door.

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