Revolving-door Rays host Angels (Aug 01, 2018)
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Amid the chaos of three major trades, the Tampa Bay Rays managed to win again Tuesday, beating the Angels despite more deals that continue to change the face of their franchise.
Tampa Bay (54-53) has made six trades in a week and Tuesday before the trade deadline, they traded away All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos to the Phillies and their opening-day starter Chris Archer to the Pirates. They also dealt three minor-leaguers to the Cardinals for outfielder Tommy Pham.
The Angels (54-54) made no moves at the deadline, but will face some of the Rays' newest faces Wednesday as the series continues.
Tyler Glasnow, a 6-foot-8 right-hander acquired from the Pirates in the Archer trade, will make his Rays debut as Wednesday's starter. A year ago, he was considered one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball, though he hasn't initially found success at the major league level.
Glasnow is 1-2 with a 4.34 ERA this season with 34 appearances -- all in relief, so naturally, the Rays are throwing him in with a start, continuing their experimental use of relievers as "openers."
Glasnow dominated in Triple-A last season, going 9-2 with a 1.93 ERA, but struggled in his first taste of the majors, going 2-7 with a 7.69 ERA. Austin Meadows, another top prospect acquired from Pittsburgh, will start his Rays career with Triple-A Durham, allowing him to play every day until the Rays are ready to promote him to the major league lineup.
How long can Glasnow last? His last outing was one of his longest this season, throwing 57 pitches Thursday in three scoreless innings against the Mets, allowing no hits but four walks. For the season, he has 72 strikeouts in 56 innings, among the most among all relievers in baseball.
The Angels will counter with right-hander Nick Tropeano (4-5, 4.82 ERA), who has allowed five earned runs in three of his last four starts, seeing his season ERA swell from 3.80 to 4.82. He's struggled against the Rays, lasting only 2 2/3 innings earlier this season, giving up four earned runs on six hits, including two home runs. For his career, he's 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA against Tampa Bay, giving up six home runs among 17 hits in 13 innings.
The Rays will add Pham to their lineup Wednesday -- he was hitting .248 with 14 home runs and 41 RBIs for the Cardinals, down from a career year last year when he hit .306 with 23 home runs and 73 RBIs. The Rays will also get a boost with the healthy return of pitcher Jake Faria, who is expected to pitch immediately after Glasnow's Rays debut.
Can the Rays build off the momentum of Tuesday's series-opening victory, even as their roster continues to change?
"We needed a win, regardless of everything that's taken place here over the last 24 hours," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "It was nice to see the guys respond. They continue to do that. It's been a long day, but it finished in a good way with a win."