Austin Meadows Returns from Injured List
The Tampa Bay Rays have reinstated All-Star outfielder Austin Meadows from the injury/illness list. Meadows missed most of summer camp as well as the first 10 games of the season due to a positive COVID test. On July 25th he was cleared to resume baseball activities. The Rays announced Tuesday morning that he will be rejoining the Rays ahead of their two-game series with the Boston Red Sox. This announcement couldn’t come at a better time as the offense could really use his bat.
First and foremost, the Rays are getting their best hitter back in the lineup. Meadows hit .291 with 33 home runs while driving in 89 runs during his 2019 All-Star season.
It is unclear whether he will start in his first game back or where he will slide into the lineup. Meadows was the Rays primary lead-off hitter throughout 2019 and figures to make his way back there in due time. Having him back in the lineup will take some of the pressure off of the other players. The combination of Meadows and Brandon Lowe at the top of the lineup, especially against right-handed pitching, will be a welcome sight for Rays fans and the offense.
Trevor Richards was optioned to the Rays alternate site in Port Charlotte. The right-hander was pitching as a bulk reliever following a starter. His 10.13 ERA over 5 1/3 innings were not indicative of how he actually looked on the mound. Richards expects to be one of the first arms back up when an injury or situation calls for it.
As stated earlier, Meadows reinstatement is much-needed for the Rays. The Rays offense, as a team, is hitting .210 while averaging less than three extra-base hits per game. Meadows has the speed and power to produce big numbers at the top of the lineup. This is something the Rays would love to see continue in 2020. After a five-game losing streak, this news couldn’t have come at a better time.
What to Expect
Don’t expect him to walk on water in his return. Kevin Cash will do what is best for Meadows in his first week back to action. With his reinstatement, expect him to be in the lineup in some capacity Tuesday. The Rays face a lefty Wednesday, and he might get the evening off to recover from his first action in quite some time. No matter how productive he is, or how much time he plays, the Rays have to be excited to see him back in the clubhouse.
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