After being swept in KC by the Royals, some quick observations about this Rays team.
We are 1/3 of the way thru the season and the Rays are 9 games out of first. That is the farthest that they have been out of first this early in the season since the name change from Devil Rays to Rays.
The highly touted pitching staff has failed to deliver. Chris Archer and Matt Moore have ERA’s well above 5. Drew Smyly is approaching 4.5. Matt Andriese has been good 3-0 and a 2.36 ERA. Odorizzi so-so. Alex Colome has been solid closing. Erasmo Ramirez is starting to lose his sharpness after being used so much. If the Rays starters continue to struggle, this bullpen will be toast come July. The starters just can’t seem to pitch into the 6th and 7th innings consistently. The Rays need someone in the rotation to step up and start pitching the way they are capable of.
If there is an award for hitting home runs with 2 outs and getting RBI’s with the game out of reach, the award goes to..Evan Longoria. I have never seen a guy hit so many HR’s with the game out of reach. If there is a couple of guys on base, Longoria fails to deliver more times than coming through in the clutch.
There is a real absence of leadership on this team. Longoria as the captain needs to be having some player only meetings. 11 errors in the last 3 games is inexcusable. The Rays defense up the middle is horrid since Forsythe went out. The catching with Casali and Conger is one of the worst platoons I’ve seen at the MLB level. Runners get on base and it becomes a free for all. Steal at will. Conger has thrown out 2 runners the last 2 years. Casali is not that much better. They are both hitting well below the Mendoza line.
When you’re pitching is below average, your offense is the worst in the league, and your defense has more holes than Swiss cheese, you will not win many games. The season is slipping away. The Rays have an opportunity this weekend in Minnesota and next week in Arizona to begin to turn this around. The Twins and Diamondbacks are 2 of the worst teams in baseball.
I want to see players play with pride. Have some passion. Hustle and give a good effort. This has been missing now for a while with this Rays team.
I hope the Rays can get this turned around. If not, the countdown is on till the Bucs open training camp.