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Sunday, June 20, 2021

Rays call up top prospect Wander Franco

The Rays have decided the future is now and are calling up top prospect Wander Franco for Tuesday’s game.

Franco, 20, has been playing for Triple-A Durham, where he is hitting .315 with seven homers, 35 RBIs and a .954 OPS in 39 games. He was told the news as the Bulls were busing from Norfolk, Va., to Jacksonville for their next series.

Franco, the multi-talented switch-hitting infielder, will instead be heading to Tropicana Field for the opener of a three-game series against the Red Sox on Tuesday night.

Moves to add Franco to the 40-man roster and the 25-man active roster still have to be finalized.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 20, 2021 at 08:15 PM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rays, wander franco

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: June 20, 2021 at 10:32 PM (#6025442)
You almost have to feel sorry for the Rays. They had a perfectly good, cheap SS in Willy Adames. But off he goes to be replaced by prospect Taylor Walls. All Walls has done so far (90 PAs) is put up a 107 OPS+ with a 356 OBP and play (according to DRS) historically great defense (+6 already, over a +40 pace). So now they have to squeeze in Franco somewhere. In place of Walls? In place of 3B Joey Wendle putting up a 142 OPS+? In place of Brandon Lowe and his 123 career OPS+. These sorts of decisions must keep them up late at night.
   2. shoelesjoe Posted: June 21, 2021 at 12:22 AM (#6025493)
The Bulls were on a bus from Norfolk, VA to Jacksonville, FL? Is it normal for minor league teams to travel 600+ miles between series? I thought one of the reasons that organizations consolidated their affiliates this year was to avoid this kind of long distance travel by having teams in the same league closer together.
   3. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: June 21, 2021 at 12:40 AM (#6025497)
It is amazing that with their approx $68mil payroll(1/3 of the Yankees payroll), they continue to win, win and win some more. It really is one of the most impressive things in all of sports.

Their ability to trade, draft and develop low cost, young talent is fun to watch; even if their success comes at the expense of the team I follow.
   4. tonywagner Posted: June 21, 2021 at 08:09 AM (#6025506)
Even some of the better-performing Rays have some weakness vs LHP (Lowe, Wendle, Meadows).

So I’d expect Franco to start against every LHP, and also rotate around the infield and DH vs RHP.
   5. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 21, 2021 at 08:06 PM (#6025644)
An opportunity for some compelling narrative. Could Wander Franco even bring fans to the Trop?
   6. Walt Davis Posted: June 21, 2021 at 09:07 PM (#6025654)
The Bulls were on a bus from Norfolk, VA to Jacksonville, FL? Is it normal for minor league teams to travel 600+ miles between series? I thought one of the reasons that organizations consolidated their affiliates this year was to avoid this kind of long distance travel by having teams in the same league closer together.

There are only so many AAA cities on the East coast. The AAA-East is 20 teams spread across 3 divisions and stretches as far west as Omaha. The SE division where Durham resides stretches from Fla to Va and as far west as Memphis -- how much more regional can they get?

Now, whether a road trip that gave them a series in the far north of the division followed by one in the far south of the division was necessary ... Unfortunately for the Bulls, after playing at Norfolk, the nearest divisional city is Durham. They could stop off in Gwinnett on the way to Jacksonville but Norfolk to Gwinnett if 540 miles ... and they might stop there on the way back. So unless trips to Norfolk are just going to be one-series road trips, they are always gonna have a long drive there and/or a long drive onto the next series. And on the plus side, Norfolk to Jacksonville is pretty much a straight shot down 95 with all the fast food you can eat.

Things don't look much better going the other direction. Charlotte's just around the corner but Nashville is over 500 miles and Memphis over 700 miles and leaving from Charlotte doesn't save a ton of time. You could shift Memphis to the Midwest division and Toldeo or Columbus to the Northeast I suppose. I have no idea how much inter-divisional play there is.

Anyway, could be worse ... Norfolk, Jacksonville and Memphis have even tougher travel schedules.

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