The Rays surprised a lot of people in week one of the 2017 baseball season (myself included).Alas, in week two, that went down quickly when they went 1-6 on their road trip. There were a lot of highs that happened within the week. However, there were some questionable lows (and some concerns as well). If there’s anything learned from these last two weeks is that it’s going to be one heck of a roller-coaster season for Rays fans.
Logan Morrison: Where did his bat come from?! Last year, he didn’t get his first home-run until mid May. Now already he’s had two home-runs compared to this time last year! If he keeps it up, he might be a big bat in the lineup that doesn’t have a lot of big bats. On Friday, he hit a bases loaded grand slam against last year’s CY Young winner Rick Porcello.
Chris Archer: Now, this is the Chris Archer that Rays fans are used to seeing. After a forgettable 2016 in which he posted a 4.02 ERA, and a 9-19 record (although granted the offense/bullpen could be blamed for a lot of those losses). This year, in three starts he’s posted a 2.21 era with a 2-0 record. Things are looking up for Archer right now. The big question is “how long can he keep it up for?”.
Steven Souza Jr: His bat is actually not mediocre for once, he’s hitting .304 with 2 HR’s, and 8 RBI’s. He’s usually known for his defense (such as his catch during Jordan Zimmerman’s no hitter). However, if he doesn’t get injured and he keeps playing well offensively, he could surprise a lot of people.
The bullpen: I think Colome being the best pitcher out of the pen says all. Literally, besides him; the bullpen is a joke.
The Rest of the Rays offense: Granted the loss against Chris Sale was guaranteed because again it’s Chris Sale and he’s half-man half machine. However, 6 out of the 9 players currently in the Rays lineup have a batting average under .230. Including in that is a sluggish start by Evan Longoria, who has posted a .204 average. Now, with the recent addition of Mallex Smith to the DL, it might be a little harder for the Rays to generate offense. However, stay tuned…
Kevin Cash: I think Most Rays fans wish he was Joe Maddon. The man does not know how to manage a bullpen to save his life. Rays’s fans had their issues with some of Maddon’s moves, but Kevin Cash makes questionable decision after decision when it comes to bullpen management.
Example A. Austin Pruitt.
It’s one thing to put him in if the games 20-1, which is perfectly acceptable for someone like him, or at least take him out when he’s given up more than one run. Leaving him in, will not only give the opposing team a chance to score runs, it will also give that team hope that their team will win. If you’re team is up 10-1 you do not want your team to blow a 10-1 lead like the Seattle Mariners did back in 2001.
It’s a long season and it’s only week three of the season. Will the Rays bounce back? probably. However, they have a lot of work to do in terms of becoming a “contender” for the AL east. Time will tell my friends, time will tell.