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Rays’ Isaac Paredes swings his way to AL Player of the Week honors

The infielder acquired from Detroit hit .579 over five games with five home runs, including three in one game.
The Rays' Isaac Paredes gestures toward his third base coach as he circles the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Pirates on Saturday.
The Rays' Isaac Paredes gestures toward his third base coach as he circles the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Pirates on Saturday. [ STEVE NESIUS | AP ]
Published Jun. 27|Updated Jun. 27

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash wasn’t making too bold of a statement Sunday in suggesting infielder Isaac Paredes’ recent performance was worthy of American League-wide attention.

“I don’t know when player of the week voting comes out,” Cash said, “but he’s got to be at the top of somebody’s list because it’s been pretty spectacular.”

Paredes, 23, was atop the official list, named the winner Monday after hitting .579 (11-for-19) over five games, with five home runs, including team record-tying feats of hitting three in one game (on Tuesday) and five over three games.

He also became the first Rays player to homer in four consecutive at-bats and the seventh with seven or more extra-base hits in a four-game span. He enters play Tuesday having reached base safely in seven consecutive plate appearances.

“He’s seeing the ball really well right now,” Cash said. “We’re learning a little bit about him as we go, but very impressed with just his presence, his calmness in the box and the confidence he’s showing.”

Paredes, acquired in a late spring trade with Detroit for Austin Meadows, leads the Rays with 10 home runs, all in his last 26 games (since May 18), and he is hitting .255 overall in 34 games.

He joins Manuel Margot as weekly award winners this season for the Rays.

You guys look familiar

Former Rays Mike Brosseau, left, and Willy Adames return to the Trop this week.
Former Rays Mike Brosseau, left, and Willy Adames return to the Trop this week. [ DENIS POROY | Special to the Times ]

Willy Adames will get most of the attention, but former Rays infielder Mike Brosseau and first base/assistant hitting coach Ozzie Timmons are also making returns to Tropicana Field with the Brewers. A video honoring all three will be shown at the end of the second inning Tuesday.

Brosseau hit one of the most memorable home runs in Rays history during the decisive fifth game of the 2020 AL Division Series, an eighth-inning go-ahead blast off the Yanekees’ Aroldis Chapman, who had thrown at his head in a September game. He was traded to Milwaukee in November after playing parts of three seasons for the Rays, having signed as undrafted free agent.

Timmons spent 15 years as a coach in the Tampa Bay organization, the previous four with the big-league team, before leaving in November to join the Brewers as one of two hitting coaches. (If you were wondering, he no longer does 10 pushups for every run scored as he did with the Rays.)

“He’s as good as it gets,” Brewers general manager Matt Arnold said. “He’s wonderful. … He’s been as advertised — a tremendous person, a really good hitting guy and a great resource for our staff and our players. … He’s been a really nice fit.”

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Other Brewers with Rays connections include relievers Brad Boxberger and Hoby Milner, catcher Omar Narvaez, injured outfielder Hunter Renfroe, equipment manager Jason Shawger, special assistant Quinton McCracken and Arnold.

“We’ve collected a lot,” Arnold said. “We were joking about it in spring training, a couple of us were over talking and someone said, ‘Hey, it’s like a Rays organization meeting.’

“It’s awesome to have that kind of connection. A tremendous group of people down there in Tampa Bay, and it speaks to the development and the staff and the great people they’ve been able to produce.”

Randy Arozarena shares a moment with former Rays first base coach Ozzie Timmons during a game last September.
Randy Arozarena shares a moment with former Rays first base coach Ozzie Timmons during a game last September. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]

Miscellany

The Brewers’ first trip to the Trop since 2017 will be a quick one: With a 7:10 game Tuesday and a 12:10 start Wednesday, the two-game series could be completed in about 20 hours. … Milwaukee right-hander Brandon Woodruff is expected to be activated off the injured list (right ankle sprain, finger numbness) to start Tuesday, as is second baseman Kolten Wong (right calf strain). … The Rays are considering a bullpen day arrangement for Wednesday. ... Right-hander Luis Patino (oblique strain) worked five innings (78 pitches) Sunday in his third rehab start for Triple-A Durham, allowing two runs and six hits, striking out seven.

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