ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Tampa Bay Rays plan to call up two-way player Brendan McKay this weekend. He’s expected to take the mound as the Rays starter on Saturday against Texas.
McKay, the fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft and a top-20 prospect , started his professional career playing first base and pitching. More recently the Rays have made him a pitcher/DH in order to keep things simple. His arm is pretty far ahead of his bat thus far in his minor league career, however, so expect the Rays to focus on that part of his game.
As a pitcher this year he went 3-0 with a 1.30 ERA, striking out 62 in 43.2 innings at Double-A Montgomery and 3-0 with a 1.08 ERA, striking out 26 in 25 innings for Triple-A Durham. As a hitter he stunk up the joint while at Montgomery but has a line of .265/.400/.551 with four home runs in 60 plate appearances since his promotion to Triple-A which ain’t too shabby.
Today the Angels introduced their newest big star, Anthony Rendon, who just signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to play in Orange County.
And it is Orange County, not Los Angeles, Rendon stressed at the press conference. When asked about the Dodgers, who had also been reported to be courting him, Rendon said he preferred the Angels because, “the Hollywood lifestyle . . . didn’t seem like it would be a fit for us as a family.”
What “the Hollywood Lifestyle” means in that context could mean a lot of things I suppose. It could be about the greater media scrutiny Dodgers players are under compared to Angels players. It could mean that he’d simply prefer to live in Newport Beach than, I dunno, wherever Dodgers players live. Pasadena? Pasadena is more convenient to Dodger Stadium than the beach. Who knows. They never did let Yasiel Puig get that helicopter he wanted, so traffic could’ve been a consideration.
But maybe it’s a subtle allusion to political/cultural stuff. Orange County has trended to the left in some recent elections but it is, historically speaking, a conservative stronghold in Southern California. And, based on something else he said in his press conference, Rendon seems to be pretty conscious of geographical/political matters:
A shoutout to the notion of Texas being Trump country and an askance glance at “the Hollywood Lifestyle” of Los Angeles all in the same press conference. That’s a lot of culture war ground covered in one press conference. So much so that I can’t decide if I should warn Rendon that both Texas and Orange County are trending leftward or if I should tell him to stick to sports.