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Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) , starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53), Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Drew Smyly (33) and starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi (23) watch from the dugout against the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field.
There have been a lot of changes to the Rays’ roster since the trade deadline, raising plenty of questions about the team in general.He pitched effectively enough to keep the Rays in games and let their offense and bullpen do the rest.While Sonnanstine was far from dominant, he pitched nearly 200 frames in 2008, eating up innings and keeping the bullpen rested. Matt Garza: 11-9, 3.70 ERA, 128/59 K/BB in 184.2 IP – He may not have had the most talent or overall stuff, but with a nice slider and great curve, Garza proved an effective pitcher for the Rays throughout 2008.He ranked third on the staff in both ERA and innings pitched. Edwin Jackson: 14-11, 4.42 ERA, 108/77 K/BB in 183.1 IP – Jackson is your average pitcher who fell into a good situation in 2008.It may seem unfair to compare this young rotation with the best the Rays have ever had, but after prolonged success 2008-2013, expectations have been raised.Especially with questions on the offensive side, the Rays need their starters to be as impressive as ever for this team to contend.
Looking back at the better rotations in Rays history takes us first to 2008, when the Rays found a way to reach the World Series behind a strong rotation, a solid bullpen, and a scrappy offense. James Shields: 14-8, 3.56 ERA, 160/40 K/BB in 215 innings pitched – Shields’ fastball wasn’t the most impressive, but his changeup was excellent while his cutter and curve showed good movement.
He made quick work of many batters in 2008, which made him a star pitcher as the club reached the playoffs. Andy Sonnanstine: 13-9, 4.38 ERA, 124/37 K/BB in 193.1 IP – This was by far Sonnanstine’s best year.
Among them is the following: how good is their rotation compared to previous successful starting staffs?
While it’s a bit early to lock down the Tampa Bay Rays rotation for 2015, it will likely look something like this.
#1 Alex Cobb #2 Chris Archer #3 Matt Moore (expected to return in June from Tommy-John surgery) #4 Drew Smyly #5 Jake Odorizzi Since Moore is not ready to return, out-of-options pitching prospect Alex Colome is currently the favorite to take his place in the rotation, with Smyly moving up to #3 and Odorizzi to #4.
There are also talks that the Rays could bring in a veteran like Alexi Ogando or Scott Baker to hold down their number five spot.