The Tampa Bay Rays have played 8 games and have played two of the best teams in baseball, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.
So we cut the Rays a bit of a break, as the Red Sox own the best record in the majors at 7-1 and lead the league in pitching with a 2.09 ERA. Six of those games have been against the Rays with one more to follow tomorrow.
Going intro the season, we thought the strength of this team would be the pitching. Overall, the pitching has been a disappointment so far in the young season. Before giving up 10 runs today, the Rays were 16th in MLB with a 4.16 ERA. To say Jacob Faria has been a disappointment would be an Understatement. Faria was lit up for eight runs in less than two innings of work today while walking five.
The ace of the staff Chris Archer has been mediocre sporting an ERA around 6 and giving way to the bullpen way too early in his starts. The bullpen has struggled save for Yonny Chirinos. In two outings, Chirinos by far has been the Rays best pitcher so far this season. In nine innings of work, Chirinos has one walk to go with seven strikeouts and has not given up a run. Chirinos should be given an opportunity to move into the rotation as the fourth starter. The three starters with two bullpen days is not going to get it done and is not a recipie for success, regardless of what the saber-metrics say.
The offense has been dreadful posting a .188 average before today’s three run outburst. In our season preview, we stated that we thought the offense would be the weak link on this ream and that is proving to be the case.
The Rays have seven players batting below the Mendoza line, and their best player still on the roster from the off-season purge Kevin Kiermaier is hitting .077 and did not play today.
I thought the best this team could do would be to win 70 games and it‘s looking like that will be a reach for this team. Right now there is really nothing the Rays can do and will do to improve this team. This is what happens and what kind of product you put on the field when trade your best players in a salary purge in the off-season.
The Durham shuttle will probably get started next week, and then we will get to look at Hunter Wood, Adam Kolarek, Anthony Banda, and Ryne Stanek in the bullpen. Not exactly names that will strike fear in the heart of opponents.
In the midst of what will be the Rays worst season since the early years, the business leaders in Hillsborough and Pasco counties will try to drum up support from the local businesses to get them to commit hundreds of millions of dollars to help build the Rays a new stadium in Ybor City. That my friends will be a tough sell.