It's only 8 games into a 162 game season and NO reason for some to panic, concern yes, panic no! But there are glaring problems that have to be addressed ASAP......First, the injuries Farnsworth, a major key to the bullpen, Scott, a major key to the offense (looks like he's back), Lobaton, a key to the catching as Molina can't catch every day and of course the one that hurst this team more than most are willing to admit, the loss of BJ!......I have said all along, and so have some of the "experts" that BJ changes the entire dynamics o0f this team and he is missed big time.......When he returns in about 7-10 days watch the entire team pick it up!
Giminez, who I think can be a diamond in the rough, has been recalled to take over for Lobaton and starts today, Cobb has been brought up as well to be added to the pitching staff, but I doubt it will be in the bullpen, so I have a feeling a deal may be in the works with a starter going elsewhere.
Sean and Reid are a major disappointment at SS and maybe it's time to make a change, but right now with BJ out, Zo has to play RF, Joyce has to play LF and Keppinger just isn't solid enough for SS, so that change may have to wait a week or so......We NEED a RH bat off the bench and don't have one and that hurts big time.....As long as the Bush case is going on Guyer will NOT be in Tampa Bay, his best place is in Durham for now, but the need for a RH bat is paramount.
As for the starters, the only one I have a real problem with is Price. Instead of being "Mr. Goofball" in the dugout, get serious and learn how to pitch, not just throw. He has all the tools to be a Cy Young pitcher, but so far has shown nothing to indicate that talent.....The rest of the starters will be okay, I have no doubt in my mind about that, but Price is the key to the staff and right now I have little faith in his ability to be a winner.
As for the bullpen, first McGee needs to be sent down, he is another with talent, but doesn't take to coaching and his fastball is a home run waiting to happen, Peralta seems to have lost it for whatever reason and I hope he can find it.....soon! JP has been hit and miss, he has shown flashes of his old self at times, other times, meh!....Davis has been surprisingly good in the pen as has Rodney, Badenhop has not been what was hoped for but I still feel he can right the ship and be what was expected......Right now the bullpen is a problem and hopefully can get straightened out.
As for the offense, Pena, Longo, Zobrist have carried this team so far, with help from Scott who is hopefully, back everyday.....Even with just those 3 or 4 the Rays have scored enough to win and could be 6-2 instead of 4-4, but a troubled pen has been a major part of the losses....Desmond has been a bust, Joyce has been a bust and the Sean, Reid, Molina trio have contributed nothing.The Rays have the potential to have a very potent offense, but it won't happen with just 3-4 guys carrying the entire load.
Can all these problems get worked out? Hopefully they can and if they do the Rays could become a very dangerous team......With all that said, it is only 8 games in and the Rays are 4-4, last year they were 1-7.....April is a tough schedule and if the finish the month at .500 or a game or two over I will be very happy!.....The Rays know what their problems are, now it is up to them to solve them and be the team we all feel they can be........So concern, yes, panic, no!
Hey Art- Thanks for your thoughtful overview of where the Rays are right now. If a trade is in the works, I hope it's a trade that I've been calling for since January: namely better offense at SS.
Sean and Brignac may be a disappointment to you, but I've always posted they just don't have the ability to hit well in the bigs. As you recall, I suggested Hanley for pitching w/ the Marlins picking up 2/3, 1/2 and 1/3 of his remaining 3 years of his contract. While that is a long shot, it becomes more of a possibiulity as the Marlins begin to realize they don't have sufficient pitching to get to post season(in their new stadium year).
Hey, it doesn't have to be Hanley. But we need more offense (in addition to BJ) . The Rays have what most teams need: pitching. So let's trade for what we need: more offense.
Regarding the bullpen, Rodney and Peralta look like a solid closer and set up guy respectively. Badenhop looks like a one out or one inning reliever, After that it's batting practice. JP is inconsistent. Davis looks like a solid long relief guy.
I hope Stu makes the big trade. You know my dream trade-but I'll take anything that gives the Rays much more offensive production from a short stop.
Agreed, SS is our most important question mark. Bullpen will be patched when Farnsworth returns.
Possible solution for SS, Maddon needs to choose Sean or Reid. I doubt it would matter which one, but with regular playing time we will probably see more production from one of the two.
I told you they need to move Longoria to short and play S-Rod at 3B ... Keppinger or Zobrist at 2B can rotate with Zobrist playing the OF when the starters on the other team do not match up with our OF people. Catching pretty much vaccuums throughout the league. Brignac can play pine person just in case.
Joyce needs to take a trip to Durham ... EJ Johnson probably as well ... We have all sorts of pitching, trade some for a decent back up OF. Sheesh.
Putting Zobrist at SS improves offense,assuming he can handle the position, I'd try it. The Rays just can't repeat the disaster of BJ at SS. Also,we still can find a high OBP RH DH to improve offense.
But you smell a possible deal in the works. Let's see if it involves the Marlins. (hope springs eternal).
I don't think Zobrist should play SS but simply switching Srod and Longo makes no sense.
I think Yoda needs to sit back and listen to my buddy art and absorb the game from the master instead posting looney tooney ideas.
Longo isn't a better SS and switching their positions doesn't improve the offense at all.
This guy art seems to know what he's talking about. I'd listen to him. He makes sense...unlike others.