The Tampa Bay Rays have been the hottest team in baseball since the start of the season. There’s no question the fellas in Florida are looking like a team that can compete for a World Series title. Tampa Bay has an MLBbro who is not only dominating on the mound, but he’s also doing it as a rookie.
Taj Bradley, ladies and gentlemen, is one pitcher that hitters do not want to see at the plate. Bradley won his third consecutive start on Monday as the Rays defeated the Houston Astros 8-3.
The victory improved Bradley to 3-0 and solidified his place in what has all of a sudden become a crowded and extremely deep staff.
Taj Bradley Demoted?
In a move that shocked the MLBbro world, Bradley was awarded with a demotion on Tuesday.
The Rays demoted the rookie right-hander to Triple-A Durham as part of a series of roster moves , the team announced.
The 22-year-old Melanated Mound posted a 3.52 ERA (120 ERA+) and an 11.50 strikeout-to-walk ratio over the course of his first 15 big-league innings.
Reportedly, Bradley’s minor league stay is temporary. The Rays are hoping to get Bradley on an altered schedule where he’s able to start every fifth game instead of every sixth game, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
We hope so because MLB needs more Black pitchers and Bradley is on his way to stardom. No need to keep him toiling in the minors. The Rays will have their hands full in the AL East.
Bradley Was Excited For Start Against Houston Astros
The Georgia native was excited to go against the defending World Series champs. I mean, how often does a rookie get to face the defending champs in their third start?
He was aware of how well Houston could hit and that was something he knew he had to prepare for.
“A good-hitting lineup,” he said a day prior to the game. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I mean, I’ve only seen what I saw on TV and stuff like that. So, it’ll be cool to face them up front and in person.”
Bradley went five innings, allowing three runs on four hits and finished with six strikeouts. With the win, Tampa Bay moved to 20-3 on the season and set a modern-era MLB record with their 14th consecutive home win to begin a season.
“You look on the scoreboard, it seems like there’s a new record broke every day,” Bradley said after the game. “It means a lot. So, it’s like, what’s tomorrow?”
The 22-year-old has been impressive in his first three starts. And it only helps that his offense has backed him up with some stealth production too. But nonetheless, Bradley has put a lot of smiles on the faces of the Rays’ coaching staff. What an addition to an already formidable rotation. There’s no question that Bradley has put himself in early discussions of competing for the American League Rookie of the Year award.
We told you this Melanated Mound Marauder was coming to shove. Now Taj Bradley has officially arrived. After a stellar debut, Bradley pitched 5.1 innings, allowing just three hits, 0 runs and whiffing nine in a 10-0 win over Cincy Reds on Tuesday. He's now 2-0 as a starter. This… pic.twitter.com/3CFbpVtFft
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) April 19, 2023
As the season continues, Bradley will continue to work on his craft and become a better student of the game. The Rays have something special in their rookie pitcher, who will be ready when he’s called back up.
The Future Is Bright For Taj Bradley
When you see a young pitcher like Bradley having this success early on, it’s hard not to think about what the future could potentially look like.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) April 12, 2023
Bradley has all the tools to become the No.1 pitcher in the rotation one day. This brother has a great baseball IQ and has a great feel for the game.
“Throwing strikes, for sure. Not giving hitters too much credit. Still trying to beat people in the zone and expand when I need to,” he told the Tampa Bay Times. “That’s pretty much everything I’ve come to find out in the minor leagues, from Low-A up to this season, so just keep doing it.”
This season, Bradley has a good chance to get a taste of what the postseason is like and y’all know when the stage is bigger, that’s when the players show what they’re really about. Bradley can go on to have a remarkable rookie season, one that people will always remember. This is only the beginning of what’s to come for this MLBbro, so make sure to keep tabs on him throughout the season.