Can Rays’ pitching win enough games?

by Gary Shelton on March 2, 2016 · 2 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Wednesday, 6 a.m.

The questions are like apples in a tree. If you don't find one you like, hang around. One will hit you on the head.

For most teams, spring training comes with three, maybe four questions. Will the new free agent catch on quickly? Can the injured star heal? Can the new ace deliver? Is the rookie ready? And there you have spring training, the search for a few answers.

In Tampa Bay, it is different. Every position comes with a question that will help determine the fortune of this team. Can Brad Miller play every day? Will Desmond Jennings be healthy enough to play any day? Can Steven Souza hit a Buick if you drive one across the plate? Is catching a lost cause? Is there room for James Loney? Can Longo return to being a great player?

You know, like that.

Of all the questions, however, including those about Steve Pearce and Logan Morrison and Brad Boxberger and Corey Dickerson and Kevin Cash, mine centers around this.

Can the pitching staff win?

And does it matter?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Cecil DeBald March 2, 2016 at 8:12 am

Teams have to have wins – it’s the only stat that counts 100% of the time. The question to me is how important is it for the starter wins compared to bullpen wins? KC seems to have won with average starters and an outstanding bullpen; NYY this year opted to create a massive bullpen with average starters, too, bullpen arms being cheaper than starter arms I guess (the new, thrifty Yanks). Our Rays have, hopefully, outstanding starters and maybe an average bullpen so yup! For us, the starters have to be the horses. GO RAYS!



Gary Shelton March 2, 2016 at 8:41 am

Obviously, it doesn’t matter who gets the win in the grand scheme. But the Rays are built on starting pitching. Most of the years I discussed, when five starters had winning records, there weren’t a lot of 20-game winners like the old Orioles. Starts would win a little over 60 games a year. Last year, that was down to 44. Not enough on this team.


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