Rays Become 1st Team in MLB History to Start 9 Latino Hitters in Lineup

The Tampa Bay Rays made some history on Thursday by becoming the first team in Major League Baseball history to start a lineup featuring all Latino players, according to Tricia Whitaker of Bally Sports Florida.

The Rays’ starting lineup for Thursday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays featured Yandy Diaz, Randy Arozarena, Wander Franco, Harold Ramirez, Manuel Margot, David Peralta, Isaac Paredes, Rene Pinto and Jose Siri.

The lineup also occurred on Roberto Clemente Day, which honors the Hall of Famer for paving the way for Latinos in MLB.

Clemente was one of the legendary Latino faces in baseball alongside those such as Juan Marichal and Fernando Valenzuela.

The Puerto Rican played for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1955-72 and won two World Series titles, the NL MVP award in 1966, 12 Gold Gloves, four batting titles and earned 15 All-Star selections over his 18-year career.

In 2,433 games, he hit .317/.359/.475 with 240 home runs, 1,305 RBI and 83 stolen bases. The right fielder finished with exactly 3,000 hits.

Tampa Bay’s all-Latino lineup is quite impressive and is headlined by Franco, a 21-year-old who signed an 11-year, $182 million deal with the Rays in November 2021.

Franco, who is from the Dominican Republic, entered Thursday’s game hitting .263/.306/.394 with five home runs, 26 RBI and five stolen bases in 65 games this season. The shortstop finished third in Rookie of the Year voting in 2021.

Arozarena, who is from Cuba, is another face of Tampa Bay’s lineup. The right fielder won the Rookie of the Year award in 2021 and is hitting .265/.330/.450 with 19 home runs, 78 RBI and 30 stolen bases in 137 games this year.

Here is where the remainder of Tampa Bay’s starting lineup is from and a look at their 2022 season numbers:

  • 3B Yandy Diaz, Cuba: .295/.404/.421 with 8 HR, 51 RBI, 3 SB in 129 G
  • 1B Harold Ramirez, Colombia: .318/.360/.429 with 6 HR, 54 RBI, 3 SB in 102 G
  • DH Manuel Margot, Dominican Republic: .301/.351/.410 with 3 HR, 39 RBI, 6 SB in 72 G
  • LF David Peralta, Venezuela: .252/.315/.430 with 12 HR, 52 RBI, 1 SB in 119 G
  • 2B Isaac Paredes, Mexico: .214/.296/.453 with 18 HR, 40 RBI in 93 G
  • C Rene Pinto, Venezuela: .206/.239/.309 with 2 HR, 9 RBI in 22 G
  • CF Jose Siri, Dominican Republic: .210/.262/.335 with 5 HR, 19 RBI, 11 SB in 86 G

The Rays held a 4-0 lead over the Blue Jays in the bottom of the fourth inning. They entered Thursday’s game third in the AL East with a 79-63 record and in the last AL wild-card spot.