Tampa Bay Rays Roster
- AL East
- Tropicana Field
Tampa Bay Rays closer Diego Castillo blew his second save chance of the season and was saddled with the loss in a 9-8 game against the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday. Entering the game with an 8-7 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning, Castillo allowed two runs on two hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning. The 27-year-old right-hander is now 4-for-6 on save chances in 2021 and has a 2.79 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 13 strikeouts in his 9 2/3 innings pitched. He hasn't pitched terribly, but Castillo could find himself on the hot seat if he blows a few more save chances. However, with Nick Anderson (elbow) out for at least the first half of the season, Castillo should have a longer leash in the ninth-inning role.
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Michael Wacha allowed three earned runs on five hits while walking one and striking out one in 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision in the 9-8 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night. All three of the runs that Wacha allowed came on two home runs to Hunter Dozier in the second inning and Jorge Soler in the fourth inning. The 29-year-old right-hander is 1-1 on the season with a 4.35 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 21 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings in four outings (three starts). The veteran hurler is merely a matchup-based play in deeper leagues without a ton of upside. Wacha will face the red-hot Oakland Athletics in his next start next week.
Tampa Bay Rays catcher Francisco Mejia went 1-for-3 with an RBI double in the 9-8 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday. It was the third double of the season for the Rays backstop, and he's now slashing .323/.353/.516 on the young season in 35 plate appearances in his first season in Tampa. The former San Diego Padres catcher also has a home run and six RBI in 10 games on the season. Mejia, 25, is splitting time behind the dish with Mike Zunino and is worth owning for his offensive prowess in two-catcher leagues. Mejia is also a switch-hitter, so he gives the Rays more options in terms of matchups against both right- and left-handed pitchers.
Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe went 1-for-5 with a run scored, two RBI and his second home run in as many nights in Wednesday's 9-8 loss to the Kansas City Royals. He also struck out once in the game. Lowe is slashing just .182/.299/.364 on the young season, but he has homered in back-to-back games and has gone deep three times now in 2021. This isn't the start that Lowe's fantasy managers were hoping for, but he's showing signs of life this week and should start tapping into more of his power from here on out. Expect his average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage to slowly creep up as we enter the end of the first month of the season. There is a buy-low opportunity here.
Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Joey Wendle continued his recent hot streak on Wednesday, finishing 2-for-4 with two doubles, three RBI and a run scored in a 9-8 loss to the Royals. Wednesday's performance extended his hitting streak to nine games, as he is now slashing .405/.425/.703 with two home runs, eight RBI and 11 runs scored in that span. Wendle is putting up the best numbers of his career right now, and he's looking like he could finally be reaching the 15 to 20 home run potential he showed in the minors. Managers should look to grab Wendle off the waiver-wire in most formats, as he can be a solid third base/corner infield option.