The Rays traded for Tyler Glasnow from the Pirates at last year’s deadline in exchange for Chris Archer. Yeah, the Rays won 90 games in the same season they traded away their most recognizable franchise face and once-great pitching ace. Such has been their recent run of success.
It’s still very early in the season, but they’ve already had a five-game winning streak — snapped the other day after an 11-inning 1-0 loss against a desperate Rockies team — and they’re in first place of the brutal AL East (even the Orioles started off strong).
Christian Arroyo is on the roster and in San Francisco this weekend. Matt Duffy is not. Here’s Kevin Cash’s lineup:
Glasnow is also 6’8” tall. That sounds excessive. He pitched two innings against the Giants last season in Pittsburgh and didn’t allow a run while striking out three batters. It should be noted that those three batters — Nick Hundley, Kelby Tomlinson, and Austin Jackson — are no longer on the team. Andrew McCutchen drew a walk and Brandon Belt doubled off of him in that same game.
Meanwhile, the Giants almost won their series in LA earlier this week, and that’s pretty good, all things considered. They’ll kick off the home opener with this lineup:
Giants today: RF Duggar, 1B Belt, 3B Longo, C Posey, SS Crawford, LF Parra, CF Pillar, 2B Panik, P DRod— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) April 5, 2019
That’s right! It has only been a single day, but I had forgotten that Steven Duggar is the new starting right fielder. Notice how Joe Panik is no longer comfortably atop the lineup, even when there’s a righty on the mound (Glasnow throws right but hits left-handed)? Brandon Belt has reliably been the Giants’ best hitter over the past few seasons, and even though Farhan Zaidi doesn’t officially make the lineups, batting a team’s best hitter 2nd is the sign of analytics-based decision-making.