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Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 10-9 Wednesday loss to Rangers

Choi shows signs of halting slump; who had Meadows-Heredia-Wong in outfield pool; a speedy callup.
A B-2 bomber flies over Globe Life Park during the playing of the national anthem before the Rays-Rangers game in Arlington, Texas, on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. The Rangers are leaving the park after 26 seasons for a new, retractable-roof stadium being built nearby. [TONY GUTIERREZ | AP]
Published Sep. 12
Updated Sep. 12

• Ji-Man Choi had a cool 3-for-24 start to September after a hot finish to August, so the Rays should see some promise in his two homers and three walks in Wednesday’s game. Having him swinging well is typically a big boost.

• Safe to assume no one had the Rays playing a meaningful September game with a starting outfield of Austin Meadows, Guillermo Heredia and Kean Wong? Probably not even Wong, who made the start due to injuries to others.

• Give the Rays credit for creativity in signing speedy Johnny Davis and bringing him to the majors. Even if he were to only help them win one game in September, it would be a worthwhile investment and might pay off grander.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Tommy Pham (29) takes a moment in the dugout after the Rays 6-2 loss to the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the American League Division Series Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 in Houston. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    When deal is announced Friday, Rays will add power and young talent, and save on Pham’s projected $8.6 million salary.
  2. It would help if regular season crowds were as large and enthusiastic as the American League Division Series against Houston last month. As it is, the Rays have been at the bottom of the American League in attendance for much of the past decade despite one of the highest win totals in baseball. MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times
    John Romano | Mayor Rick Kriseman’s decision to dismiss the shared city plan with Montreal means the Rays probably won’t get a stadium deal until their lease runs out in St. Pete in 2028.
  3. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg is excited to have a home playoff game for the first time since 2013. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    In a statement, principal owner Stuart Sternberg said they still believe the sister city plan is worth considering.
  4. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said he will not allow the Tampa Bay Rays to split its season in Montreal. The city and team are once again at an impasse until 2027, when the Trop contract ends and the Rays could move wherever the team wishes. CHRIS URSO  |  Times
    St. Petersburg’s mayor said he won’t give the Rays permission to explore playing in both Tampa Bay and Montreal. The team would become a free agent franchise after 2027.
  5. Joe Garvey (right) with Steve Garvey 1970's.  Photo Provided By Garvey Family Tampa Tribune
    John Romano | Steve Garvey does not have the cumulative stats of a Hall of Famer, but he was an MVP and 10-time All-Star and one of the most recognizable players of the 1970s and ’80s.
  6. Guillermo Heredia, center and the Tampa Bay Rays celebrate on the field after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays to clinch a wildcard playoff birth. Friday, Sept. 27, 2019 in Toronto, Canada DIRK SHADD   |   TIMES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Among others of potential interest who were made free agents elsewhere: Ex-Rays Steven Souza and C.J. Cron.
  7. Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Chaz Roe (52) delivers a pitch in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the American League Division Series Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 in St. Petersburg. DOUGLAS CLIFFORD  |  Times
    Monday at 8 p.m. is when teams have to tender contracts to rostered players or they become free agents.
  8. If the Rays hadn't already committed to Mike Zunino (above), he would likely be just the kind of catcher they would be looking to as a replacement for Travis d'Arnaud. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Rays Tales: A look at two of their biggest decisions thus far, plus who are all these ex-Rays managing, and rumblings.
  9. The Pirates posted the news of Derek Shelton's hiring on Twitter. Twitter
    Current Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro was a finalist for the last remaining opening in the majors, for now anyway.
  10. The Rays acquired former Cincinnati Reds first baseman Brian O'Grady (34) on Wednesday. AARON DOSTER  |  AP
    With a roster spot opened, they add a first baseman/outfielder who put up big numbers at Triple-A last season.
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