Joe Maddon improves to .500 as Rays manager

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The Rays defeated the Orioles 4-1 on Friday night and remain 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the American League East and seven games up on the Red Sox in the American League Wild Card. While the playoffs look like a virtual-lock, there was some extra significance to Friday’s win. As Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times points out, Joe Maddon improved to 391-391 (.500) as manager of the Rays.

“Five hundred — that’s like the old days when 70 wins was considered
high. C’mon, give me a break,” Maddon said. “Who want to be .500?”

Maddon was speaking in jest, but consider for a minute that the Rays were 127-197 (.391) over his first two seasons. This includes a 101-loss season in 2006. Since the start of the 2008 season, the Rays are 264-194 (.576) under his watch.

“We’ve
just grown as an organization, talent-wise, depth-wise. It really
speaks to the job the front office has done and the scouting and
development departments. That’s really where this transition’s come
from. I happen to be the manager.”

If the Rays defeat the Orioles tonight, Maddon will have his first winning record as Rays manager since the team was 7-6 over the first 13 games of the 2006 season. It might not happen tonight, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say he’ll get there eventually.

Tommy Hunter undergoes surgery to repair flexor tendon

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Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Phillies reliever Tommy Hunter underwent surgery, performed by Dr. James Andrews, to repair the flexor tendon in his right arm. There was no damage to the ulnar collateral ligament.

Hunter, 33, is in the final year of his two-year, $18 million contract with the Phillies. He was solid last year, posting a 3.80 ERA over 64 innings, but he was only able to pitch 5 1/3 innings this season, though they were all scoreless innings.

Hunter has been one of a litany of Phillies relievers to succumb to the injury bug this season. Seranthony Domínguez, Pat Neshek, and David Robertson are currently on the 60-day injured list while Vìctor Arano and Edubray Ramos are on the 10-day IL.