Apr 14, 2012

The Rays are hurting

by Aaron Giddens

Joe Maddon showing frustration
Joe Maddon showing frustration — Courtesy: @CorkGaines
So far this season, we've had 8 games and 5 of them on the road. At home, we're 3-0. However, on the road we're 1-4. The one win being a miracle come from behind victory against Verlander and the Tigers.

This team is in trouble right now. The bullpen can't get an out to save their lives. The offense starts out promising in the first couple of innings only to go cold and never score another run. The defense isn't good either, to many botched defensive plays this team almost always makes. And probably most scary is the DEEP rotation isn't doing to hot either.

This team is plagued by injuries at the moment and the ones that aren't physically injured are mentally injured and it's showing on the field. The team has scored 28 runs, meanwhile our opponents have score 38 runs. Our pitching staff has a combined ERA of 5.70.

Our two best hitters are none other than Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria. A combined batting average of .400 (20 for 50) with 4 home runs. The rest of the team is hitting .199 (35 for 176). The offense has, like I said, started off strong in a game only to go cold.

I'm not one to be pessimistic, but this doesn't look like a championship team right now. The team is a work in progress. The bullpen needs the most work. Only two or three really reliable relievers in there right now and even they are getting hit around.

The offense will probably straighten itself out when BJ Upton returns. The offense is showing signs of life as Dewayne and BA noted on the postgame today. Luke Scott is back from his hamstring injury and BJ Upton is getting ready to return. Ben Zobrist is heating up as well. If more of the offense can heat up, our offensive woes can disappear.

The thing that worries me most though is the starting pitching. We're eight games in to the year and only one of those starts I would label a quality start. That would be Jeremy Hellickson vs. the Yankees. The starting pitching is leaving a lot to be desired especially considering how they've been billed as one of the best starting rotations in baseball.

This is still plenty of hope though, it's only 8 games of a 162 game season. Things are looking up with people getting ready to return and players heating up. But until they do, this team is hurting in every position. The thing that needs the most work is the Bullpen and I'm hoping Maddon and Friedman can work some magic, either interally or externally.

We can still do this but this team needs to shape up and do it now. Prove you critics wrong, prove me wrong. Prove @sternfan10 wrong. Let's do this. This is our year. Get some!

**Statistics based on statistics heading in to play on 4/14/12, except the record which has been adjusted to include play on 4/14/12**

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