Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Price is Wrong, Bitch!

I've enjoyed hearing every "expert" say that the Tampa Bay Rays are going to repeat as AL East and AL champions. Reason #1: The pitching will only improve because of the addition of young phenom David Price to the rotation.

Well, it turns out that young Mister Price will start his season in Durham along Nuke LaLoosh. The Rays management feels that this will allow them to more effectively limit his innings considering he pitched only 139 1/3 in 2008. I can't say that I disagree with this innings limit, but couldn't the Rays try something like the Yankees are doing with Joba, i.e. skipping his turn ever so often?

Rays vice president of baseball operation Andrew Friedman said Wednesday Price should be called up later in the season.

I expect this to be around June. Any time earlier than that and Price would become a "Super Two" player, meaning that he would become arbitration eligible at the end of his 2nd season in the Bigs rather than his 3rd as is typically the case. Despite the innings reason that the Rays gave, I believe that this "Super Two" prevention is the real reason for the move. The Rays are notorious cheapskates despite the new ownership group's assertion to the contrary. Just ask Delmon Young, whose withholding from Major League service in order to prevent "Super Two" status resulted in his stunted development.

A Note To The Rays: If you want to play with the Big Boys (i.e. the Yanks and Sawx), you are going to have to consistently put your best players on the Diamond.

Any Rays "fans" out there care to comment on the matter?

"Experts": Do you still think the Rays will beat out both the Yanks and the Sawx?


  1. They're doing something similar to the Joba rules I believe. Maddon's explanation that they want him to bring down his high pitch count while starting makes sense. We could see him up in June.

    I personally still think they're the team to beat - no reason to think otherwise.

  2. I think the Rays are going to come back down this year.(PUN INTENDED!!)

    Last year, their top 5 starters took the ball in something like 154 out of 162 games. That is a miraculous percentage of the time, and they would have to be extremely lucky to repeat that feat this year. They also dealt Edwin Jackson for OF Matt Joyce, which isn't going to help with rotation depth when Kazmir, Shields, Garza or Sonnanstine go down. Hammel is a marginal 5th starter at best so fuck him.

    I think they are good for somewhere between 84-89 wins, but would guess that would put them in 3rd place in the division. They had a great year last year, but it was because everything sort of fell into place.

  3. down to earth...

    Fuck. I hate how you can't edit comments.

  4. While I think they have the talent to repeat, we've seen young teams (DET, COL) come back to the pack after a first, long run into the WS. Expecting a linear progression for the entire rotation is foolish.

    They have an incredible offense and defense, but I'd be concerned that the arms don't hold up quite the way they did last year. And their bullpen? Percy & Izzy? No thanks. Maybe Wheeler can save them but that's a really serious weak link.

  5. Great point about the Tigers and Rockies.

  6. And the Rays bullpen.

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  8. +2 on the Tigers/Rocks comment.

    Though I like their bullpen, just not the ones you mentioned. Wheeler, JP Howell, and Grant Balfour are no joke.

  9. I don't think their pitching will repeat at the same level- esp their 4 & 5- Sonn and Hamell? As mentioned they have no depth and they have some fragile dudes. Their offense should be better though- adding Pat the Bat as DH and both Bossman Jr. and Crawford should rebound after some very down years. But it comes back to their pitching. If they can score 5-6 runs a game they'll be in good shape.

    I hope this not to be the case of course. I like our pitching a lot more.