Thursday, August 30, 2018

Bulls Win the South; Call-Ups Coming?

Somewhere else I've written that for AAA baseball it's the Division Championship that matters. Come September the playoffs are driven by call-ups, the quality of the AA franchise, and the ability of team leaders, managers, and coaches to sustain team cohesion. In other words, something of a crapshoot. So, last night's clinching of the South is a big deal and says a lot about the team and the Rays.

The hero was new guy Austin Meadows ( story here) who hit three home runs, a single, and took a nasty high and insider off a protective arm. That last event led to two ejections and a bench-clearing moment or two. Tonight could be ugly.

They also reached a season high 19 games above .500.

We are getting near to September call-up time. Here's Tampa Bay Times writer Marc Topkin's thoughts:

The Rays are expected to make at least a couple of additions when rosters can be expanded Saturday, then more when Triple-A Durham's season is over. Among the more interesting prospects who have not yet been called up are C Nick Ciuffo, RHP Ian Gibaut, OF Austin Meadows (acquired from Pirates), LHP Colin Poche and INF/OF Kean Wong. Others who have and might return at some point include INF Christian Arroyo and RHPs Jake Faria, Austin Pruitt and Jaime Schultz. "We've had a lot of guys at the upper levels doing some really interesting things that deserve to be rewarded,'' senior VP Chaim Bloom said. "The tough decisions we have sometimes are balancing that against the practical limitations of the (40-man) roster and that you can only run so many guys out there on a given night.''

Meanwhile, Columbus has surged to a one-game lead over Indianapolis in the West. They are playing for the opportunity to host the Bulls on September 5. The Wild Card competition remains wild.

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