Every Wednesday former MLB skipper Kevin Kennedy joins Booger and Rich to break down the Tampa Bay Rays. Kennedy talked about their recent west coast struggles and the return of Jeremy Hellickson to the rotation.
Kennedy said he hopes Hellickson tweaked his mechanics during his rest in the minors and said the Rays need him down this stretch to secure a playoff spot. With fans unsure of why Hellickson was sent down for “rest”, Kennedy said sometimes that works to send a guy down to work on mechanics and get their mind right before making another start. Kennedy said the Rays don’t have an alternative and Hellickson will likely be on a short leash tonight.
With the season winding down, Kennedy said the Rays and other teams in the hunt have to imagine that they’re in a playoff game. There has to be a sense of urgency according to Kennedy. Although it’s a long season, the season isn’t long anymore. You can’t make up ground with only a handful of games left.
The Rays have been struggling on the West Coast and Kennedy said Maddon is a great manager but his move to take David Price out early against the Dodgers set the tone for their struggles during that road trip and continues to haunt them on this current trip to the Pacific Time Zone. Kennedy still says Maddon is doing the best he can, but Maddon doesn’t panic and Kennedy says he can’t change his style now.