Michael Young expected to play first base under National League rules in St. Louis

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The Rangers won’t have the benefit of the designated hitter for Games 1 and 2 of the World Series against the Cardinals, which means Michael Young will almost certainly get the nod at first base in St. Louis.

The only other realistic option is Mitch Moreland, but he is hitting just .105 (2-for-19) during the postseason. The 26-year-old has struck out in five out of his last six at-bats.

Rangers manager Ron Washington told Jeff Caplan of ESPNDallas.com earlier today that Young will play, so even though he declined to name his starting first baseman, it’s fairly obvious where he’s leaning.

“In Moreland’s case, yes, he’s struggling a little bit now,” Washington said. “It comes down to just trying to get the best nine out there I possibly can on that day. I’ve made a decision, but I’m not ready to talk about it.”

Young is batting .209 (9-for-43) with eight strikeouts during the postseason, but finally busted out in the Game 6 clincher against the Tigers on Saturday night, going 3-for-6 with a home run, two doubles and five RBI. The 34-year-old started 36 games at first base during the regular season and four during the ALDS and ALCS.

The Rays announce “The Rays Tank.” Really.

Tampa Bay Rays
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Earlier this offseason the Rays traded away franchise player Evan Longoria. Over the weekend they traded starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment. These were clearly financially driven moves, and now the Rays sport a payroll of less than $70 million. The club’s offseason moves prompted Longoria to say that he feels sorry for Rays fans.

If you asked Rays brass, I’m sure they’d make strong statements defending all of these moves while offering evidence-light arguments that, yes, they truly are interested in fielding a competitive team in 2018. They would likely react VERY angrily to any suggestion that they are tanking this year. Teams never admit that they’re tanking.

In other news, the Rays announced a new blog:

Oh.