The Tampa Bay Rays are hanging in there. Even though the past week has not gone according to plan, they are still in sole possession of the final wild card spot on the final weekend before the deadline.
Excitingly, the first reinforcement of trade season has arrived from the Diamondbacks in the form of outfielder David Peralta. Peralta will add length to the lineup, as well as production from the outfield which has been sorely missed in St. Pete this season. However, the Rays can't bank on their deadline plans to get them to the postseason.
Unless the Rays go full force with deals at the deadline, there are too many holes on the current roster that need plugged to become a serious World Series contender. This means, for the Rays to turn their season around, they'll need help from guys they already have. The next man up mentality has been huge for Tampa Bay all season, but now it's time for specific players to make an impact.
Part of the reason that the Rays have not met expectations this year is that some players have been underperforming, especially on the offensive side. Injuries have also thrown a wrench into their plans, but this team is not deep enough as it stands to buy their way into a playoff run on August 2. They need some players to come into their own this second half and contribute down the stretch. Here are 3 players that the Rays need to step up if they expect to make the postseason.