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McClanahan leads the way into second half of Rays season

Cape Coral native continues to dominate
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Posted at 5:29 PM, Jul 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 18:58:00-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Rays television analyst and former major league pitcher Brian Anderson doesn't hold back when he praises Tampa Bay left hander Shane McClanahan.

"Since I’ve been a part of the Rays- in some form or fashion since 2008- he’s the best I’ve seen," Anderson said prior to Wednesday's game in Boston. "He’s the best I’ve seen, period. There’s not even a debate in my mind."

McClanahan's one of the main reasons why the Rays are 44-37 at the halfway point of the season. They currently hold the second wild card position in the American League. Anderson said the 25-year-old Cape Coral-native found success through his work ethic and his ability to use a full arsenal of pitches.

"I mean, four-plus, elite pitches, that are putaway pitches. Pitches that he can wipe you out with," Anderson said when describing McClanahan's versatility. "Because of playing this game and having been in this game as long as I have, there’s not many players that I would pay money to go and watch. I would pay to go watch Shane McClanahan start. He’s that special and that fun to watch."

Entering play Wednesday, McClanahan, a former USF standout, is 9-3 with an American League-best 1.74 ERA. He also leads the league with 133 strikeouts.

Infielder Isaac Paredes has been a pleasant surprise for the Rays. He hit a power surge at the end of June, belting eight home runs in a ten-game span. He leads Tampa Bay with 13 long balls this season. Anderson said Paredes' success will continue as long as he doesn't get greedy for home runs.

"Now you’re going to start staying away from me? Well, I’m gonna stay back, and I’m gonna start lining you out to right field. That is a great development and just kinda shows you the maturity that he’s showing at the plate. That’s a great sign," said Anderson.

They New York Yankees (58-23) are running away with the AL East. The trade deadline is August 2nd. But don't expect the Rays to panic in the coming weeks. They never do.

"What they need to focus on is becoming the best version of themselves. Because that’s still out there. We haven’t seen it, yet," Anderson added. "We’ve seen it in bits an spurts, but we have not seen it consistently. That’s when we talk about some of the sloppy play that is just un-Ray-like. And somethings that they need to clean up."