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Sunday, Dec 16, 2018
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Rays journal: Austin Meadows among final wave of callups

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Rays will get their first look at OF Austin Meadows when he joins them Thursday in Toronto as part of the final wave of callups.

And based on what RHP Tyler Glasnow, a former Pirates and now Rays teammate, said, they're going to get an eyeful.

"Expect studly things from him,'' Glasnow said. "He's an unbelievable baseball player. … He's going to be up here and people are going to go just, 'Wow.' He's just an unbelievable athlete, and he was just born to swing a baseball bat. You'll see it — it's impressive.''

With Triple-A Durham's season finally over, the Rays are also bringing up LHP Hoby Milner and RHPs Chih-Wei Hu and Austin Pruitt. All three had been up before and are on the 40-man roster, as the Rays opted not to drop anyone to create space to take a look at some other promising, and potentially more promising, prospects, such as RHP Ian Gibaut, LHP Colin Poche or INF/OF Kean Wong.

Meadows was acquired with Glasnow and prospect RHP Shane Baz from the Pirates in the July 31 Chris Archer deal but sent to Durham, where he hit .344 with 10 homers, 22 RBIs and a 1.167 OPS in 27 regular-season games.

Manager Kevin Cash is looking forward to seeing what Meadows, 23, can do, but he admitted it will be "challenging, no doubt" to get the lefty hitter into the lineup as the Rays have a group that has been doing pretty well.

"Anytime you acquire a guy like Austin Meadows, there is genuine excitement to get him in there, get him playing, see what he can do,'' Cash said. "We'll see how these next couple games shake out and go from there.''

None of the three pitchers did much good in their previous stints with the Rays: Pruitt went 2-3, 4.80 in 20 games; Hu 0-0, 5.40 in three; and Milner 0-0, 6.75 in two.

Gibaut and Poche are likely in the future plans; Gibaut has to be added to the 40-man roster for 2019, but Poche does not.

Wong maybe not as much. Following up on comments his older brother, Cardinals INF Kolten, made about the Rays being "a bad organization" for not giving chances to deserving young players, Kean told milb.com he found the situation "frustrating" but also motivating. "I'm playing for 30 teams out there and if another team wants to give me a chance, I'd love to take that chance from another team if the Rays don't give me that chance,'' he said.

Hey, have you heard about this Snell guy?

Winning 20 games apparently is still a significant milestone based on how the rest of the baseball world suddenly seemed to acknowledge and appreciate the great season LHP Blake Snell compiled. National media were suddenly tweeting and writing about Snell, with MLB Network and ESPN lining up interviews with the majors' first 20-game winner since 2016. "It's somewhat amusing, I guess, that it takes the kid to win 20 games for somebody to actually pay attention to what he's accomplished,'' pitching coach Kyle Snyder said. "We've seen it all year.'' The benefit of the increased attention is the boost for his chances to win the AL Cy Young Award, for which he has a strong case with a 20-5 record, AL-leading 1.97 ERA (with Chris Sale dropping off the board temporarily due to lack of innings), and 0.97 WHIP (walks and hits per innings).

Staats report

Rays TV man Dewayne Staats rejoined the team in Arlington, saying the respiratory issues that kept him off the air for five games have cleared up and he will be back in the Fox Sports Sun booth Thursday night in Toronto.

Number of the day

15 Wins by LHP Ryan Yarbrough, breaking Rolando Arrojo's team rookie record that stood since the 1998 inaugural season. "It's obviously a huge accomplishment, but I can't take the full credit,'' Yarbrough said, nodding to the offense and defense.

Miscellany

• RHP Ryne Stanek is the opener Thursday night against the Blue Jays, with RHP Yonny Chirinos slated to work the bulk of the innings.

• INF Joey Wendle reached base in eight consecutive plate appearances, one shy of the team record, before grounding into a double play in the eighth.

• The Rays rapped 39 hits and scored 16 runs in winning three straight from the Rangers. It's their 12th series sweep of the season, third most in the majors and tying the team record.

• OF Tommy Pham had his seventh career multihomer game, giving him 19 for the season and extending his streak of getting on base to 21 games.

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