Former Dirtbag Matt Duffy returns to Southern California as the Rays are set to play the Angels for a four-game weekend series.
Tampa Bay Rays third baseman, Lakewood High School alumnus, and the pride of Long Beach State, Matt Duffy, returns to Southern California to take on the Los Angeles Angels in a four-game weekend set at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. The Rays are 20-22 so far this season and are currently sitting in fourth place in a loaded American League East that features two perennial powerhouses at the top of the division: the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Both are expected to contend for a world championship.
Expectations are low for the Rays this season, considering they are in the middle of a rebuild after they traded away longtime franchise player and another former Dirtbag third baseman, Evan Longoria. Even with these low expectations, however, it is good to see Duffy on the field consistently this season. Over the last couple seasons, Duffy has missed a considerable amount of time due to two surgeries on his Achilles tendon. He is currently dealing with a hamstring injury but is expected to be back in the lineup during Saturday’s or Sunday’s game in Anaheim.
Duffy has played in 30 games this season and is hitting .322 with two home runs and 14 RBI in 121 at-bats. Rays prospect Christian Arroyo has filled in at third base over the last three games while Duffy rests his hamstring, and Arroyo is batting eighth in the order tonight against Angels starter Nick Tropeano.
Duffy attended Lakewood High School before playing at Long Beach State. He was drafted by the San Francisco Giants back in 2012 and made his major league debut on Aug. 1, 2014. He helped the Giants win their third World Series in five seasons as the youngest player on the Giants roster at the age of 23. Duffy was traded to the Rays, exactly two years after making his debut, on Aug. 1, 2016, for left-handed pitcher Matt Moore. With Tampa trading Longoria this offseason, it gives the 27-year-old Duffy the chance to solidify himself as one of the best third basemen in the game. Duffy’s hamstring injury doesn’t seem to be anything more than a strain and hopefully, he can stay healthy for the remainder of the season.