The Tampa Bay Rays finished 10 games below .500 in 2015, despite having one of the best pitching rotations in baseball. With a subdued offseason, they will need to see significant improvement at the plate to make any waves in the AL East this season. Despite dealing Nate Karns, the Ray’s rotation is stacked and is coming off an AL leading ERA of 3.63 last season. Chris Archer is emerging as the “it” guy of the franchise with his 95mph fastball and sparkling personality. Drew Smyly missed over 100 games due to an injured shoulder, but glittered in September. Jake Odorizzi and Erasmo Ramirez should stay the course and excel for Tampa Bay in 2016. The Rays have an interesting mix in the bullpen who may or may not pan out this season. Brad Boxberger had 41 saves last season, however also gave up six walk-off defeats plus many blown saves. Some other relevant bullpen guys will be Danny Farquhar, Steve Geltz and Alex Colme so be sure to keep an eye on them. Logan Forsythe at second base, should continue to elevate the roster both in key stats and defensively while Brad Miller, who was acquired in the Karns deal, will do a decent job replacing Asdrubal Cabrera at shortstop. At third, Evan Longoria has experienced a slump the past few seasons at the plate, yet his .976 fielding percentage led the AL at his position last year. Center fielder Kevin Kiermaier is a star with his glove and at right field sophomore Steven Souza Jr. needs to get his bat swinging in 2016 to help out this Ray’s team.
In order to emerge from the AL East basement, the 2016 Tampa Bay squad will need to make a significant jump offensively. Tampa Bay Rays ticket holders are very supportive and are ready for this franchise to get to the next level. Be sure to secure your Tampa bay Rays tickets for this upcoming season and watch it all unfold.