Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Tampa Bay Rays have signed manager Kevin Cash to an extension through 2024. Cash had one year left on his original five-year $5-million contract, with two team options. That’s all now absorbed by the new deal, the financial particulars of which are not yet known.
Cash will receive strong consideration for AL Manager of the year this year after guiding a Rays team many thought would be pretty bad to a 90-win season. He did so despite the fact that the front office shed several veterans last offseason, some of which came in straight salary dumps. Cash was able to get maximum effort out of a cast of young players while simultaneously implementing a radical new approach to starting pitching via the use of multiple scheduled bullpen days and the advent of the “opener” strategy.
Cash holds a 318-330 (.491) record over four seasons as manager. The future for him and the Rays looks far brighter, however.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.