One would think that you want to use your DH slot to get your best available bat in the game. Ron Washington thinks differently. After talking about working with rookie Mike Olt on his defense, he had this to say about using him when he’s not playing third base:
The skipper said he doesn’t want to use Olt as a designated hitter at this point.
“He’s too young to DH,” Washington said.
Yeah, you need to at least 35 to be a good DH. Just ask Michael Young and his .271/.297/.348 line. You can’t replace that with a young guy.
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: