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Strickland Makes His Chance With Rays An Adventure

Rays pitcher Hunter Strickland

2020 was a rough season for relief pitcher Hunter Strickland, as he made just four appearances for the New York Mets, finishing the year 0-1 with an earned run overage of 8.10.  But that didn’t stop the Tampa Bay Rays from reaching out to him, and offering him a chance to come to the defending American League Champions on a minor-league deal.

“We’ve have talked about him for multiple seasons,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.  “He was a guy that we talked heavily about when he was with the Giants, that we really liked.”

And the 32-year-old knew coming to Tampa Bay would be good for him to have a chance of competing for a shot of returning to the postseason.

“I talked to a couple of different people that have played here,” Strickland said Saturday.  “I’ve heard a lot of good things about it collectively.  Obvious the track record top to bottom here speaks for itself.”

And you know Strickland is serious about wanting to make the team, as Cash spilled the secret that the reliever wasn’t living in a rented house or condo, but instead in a RV park in a trailer.  It’s a decision made for simplicity.

“It’s just me here right now.  My wife and kids are coming down on the 27th,” he said. “I got a 28-foot bumper-pull camper, and I’m just staying at local RV park, and enjoying it.  No complaints on my part.”

But Strickland did say that his family will be staying with him in the trailer for a taste of the simple life.

“I got a chair, I got bunch of kids toys for when they here, I got a little propane grill, and I got a bed,” Strickland laughed.  “All the essentials.”

Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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