Jose Seri teases Reyes with an elite defense

This story was excerpted from Rays Beat News by Adam Perry. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.
DETROIT — It was hard to miss the shiny gold chain Jose Seri wore when he first met the media in Tampa Bay in front of his new safe at Tropicana Field on Tuesday. So I had to ask: What does the number “100” around his neck – angled up and underlined twice, like an expensive emoji – mean?
Siri flashed a big smile and laughed and replied in English: “One hundred percent every time!”
After he picked Siri and stole second place and scored the green light on Wednesday afternoon, it was hard to miss a real 💯 emoji tattooed on his left forearm. It’s a pretty good indication of how the latest Ray is approaching the game: 100 percent effort in everything, every time.
“Everything” is confirmed by Siri, through translator Mane Navarro. “Running, hitting, in the dugout, in the field, even in my house.”
This was evident in his first week as Rays’ regular midfielder. The 27-year-old runs hard and often, as he did while twice in the second half on Thursday night at Comerica Park. It swings hard and often, whether it’s in contact or not. It doesn’t take much to get Siri to work. He paints to do every possible play.
“I thought I had a lot of energy, but this guy has more than me,” fellow newcomer David Peralta said with a smile. “I try to keep up with it, but I love it. It’s what you need. Good energy, positive vitality and everything around you will improve.”
“Yes, he has a lot of energy,” Ciri replied with a laugh through Navarro. “But when ‘El Rayo’ appears, that’s when a lot of energy comes out.”
“El Rayo,” a pseudonym that Siri picked up playing winter soccer in the Dominican Republic, could directly translate to “Ray” (appropriate!) or, in his case, a lightning bolt. When the Rays acquired “El Rayo” as part of a three-team deal on Monday, they were certainly hoping it would provide a spark.
“We want him to get out there and be active,” said manager Kevin Cash. “When you lose players we’ve lost, key players who are injured for whatever reason, it cuts into a little bit of your team dynamic. Not just on the field, but the team mentality. And that’s the guy that people have been talking about over the course of several seasons. [how] He is a high energy player. He really likes to express himself in the dugout. He is a good teammate. Encourage him to keep doing it.”
There is a wide range of opinions about Siri. Some evaluators believe that his struggle to communicate on the board will prevent him from being an everyday player. Al Rays thinks Ceri can be an influential player because of the elite defense — they mentioned his name in the same sentence as Kevin Kiermayer, which says it all like nothing — and what chief baseball operations Eric Neander called a “tools premium.”
It will take some time to see if Siri will live up to Rays’ high expectations, but the physical abilities are there. He’ll obviously be given a chance to put it all together, and you can see – around his neck and on his forearm – how committed he is to proving himself.
“I think I play a very big game, I play very hard,” Seri said through Navarro. “I’m so grateful to be here, and I’m ready for it.”

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