Apr 26, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcherChris Archer
(22) throws a pitch during the sixth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Tampa Bay Rays (13-12, .520)
Overall Record & Last 10 games:
Another huge surprise has been the Rays’ season, so far. They were supposed to have even less pitching than the Yankees, and yet, that’s where they money is being made.
The Rays’ young talent on the mound has come through, with the team winning six out of ten away games, while posting a 7-8 record at home. By losing their last two games, the Rays fell just short of being as hot as the Yankees, giving Tampa a record of six wins in the last ten games, overall.
- The Rays have eleven players out with injuries. Major injuries to their pitching staff were supposed to cripple the team’s chances to win. However, any hope that these pitchers come back will only strengthen an already-successful starting rotation. Pitchers Alex Cobb (right forearm tendinitis) and Matt Moore (Tommy John surgery) will likely be back in May and June, respectively, ensuring that the Rays will have a pitching staff, starting or in the bullpen, to be reckoned with come the summer.
- Center fielder Desmond Jennings is day-to-day with a soreness to his left knee, but should be in the lineup soon, if not already.
- Catcher John Jaso, however, has yet for his injury to his left wrist (contusion) to be confirmed for a return date. Considering that the Rays have been very happy, so far, with their starting catcher Rene Rivera, expect Jaso to start as the designated hitter, if at all, when he returns.
- Starters – Chris Archer (6), Nathan Karns (6), Jake Odorizzi (5), Matt Andriese (5), Erasmo Ramirez(2), Drew Smyly (2), Alex Colome (1), Steve Geltz (1)
- With injured pitchers coming back to the rotation, changes will be made. It will just be interesting how they are made. The team’s ERA (3.61) is just below the Yankees. They have given up 21 home runs, while striking out 211 batters. Opposing lineups have been held to a .214 batting average, as well. Not bad for a young pitching staff by committee.
- Hitting is clearly the weakness for this team. At the moment, they sit at thirteenth out of fifteen teams in the American League, in terms of batting average (.230). Nobody in the East division is worse.
- With only 20 home runs, 88 RBIs, and 91 total runs scored, the Rays are in last place in their division, by far.
- In terms of fielding, however, they rank the best in all of the American League in errors (7) and fielding percentage (.992), with their .735 defensive efficiency ratio taking second place. They haven’t had to turn many double-plays, like many other teams, because either their pitcher strikes the batter out or otherwise never reaches first because of great defense.
Keep Your Eyes On:
- Logan Forsythe – The second baseman is hitting .296, .324 in the last ten games. He has 2 home runs and 11 RBIs, with an on-base percentage of .374 and a .481 slugging percentage. Forsythe is hard to keep off of the hit list, as only 3 of the last 10 games did he go without a base hit, and, in 4 of those games, he had multiple hits. Tampa needs more batters like Forsythe, so that they have more base runners in scoring positions and give their starting pitchers a bigger lead to work with, once in a while.