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4 RAYS

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OVERALL RANK 9

ENEMY LINES

A RIVAL SCOUT SIZES UP TAMPA BAY

Tampa is going to be rough. They're going to have to pitch their brains out.... I love Chris Archer. He has ace stuff.... Alex Cobb is throwing the ball well. It's been a bad stretch for him. He's pitched better than I thought he would this spring coming off the arm injury.... Jake Odorizzi is a good middle-rotation guy. He could be the next guy traded.... They're not going to score any runs. Let's put it this way—they're counting on Colby Rasmus, who hit .200 for Houston.... There are some rings on Evan Longoria's tree, but he had a very good power year. Can he do that again? For this offense, he'd better.... José De Leon is supposedly really good, but when I saw him, he didn't get anybody out. If he is a bust, that's a giveaway trade. Logan Forsythe was a good hitter and a leader.... Kevin Kiermaier is a terrific centerfielder, the energizer bunny of the AL.... Steven Souza has to have a better year. He hit .240, with power. He's going to have to hit .280, with power.... Matt Duffy has to get back to where he was when he came up with the Giants. Playing in Tropicana Field will help.... Rickie Weeks is a decent veteran with a good bat, but when you put him in the field, you're in trouble.... It would be nice if Tim Beckham put it together. Then they could move Brad Miller back to first. Logan Morrison's there for now, but he's not the answer.... The Rays are like a mini-Baltimore, but without the closer and their bullpen is dreadful.... Can this club advance above the five hole in this division? I don't think so.

MANAGER KEVIN CASH

3RD SEASON WITH TAMPA BAY

B-T BA OBP SLG WAR

CF KEVIN KIERMAIER [TEAM MVP] [DEFENSIVE STAR] [BARGAIN]

L-R .246 .331 .410 5.5

2B BRAD MILLER [RISING]

L-R .243 .304 .482 1.6

3B EVAN LONGORIA

R-R .273 .318 .521 3.8

DH COREY DICKERSON

L-R .245 .293 .469 1.5

SS MATT DUFFY [INJURY RISK]

R-R .258 .310 .357 1.6

LF COLBY RASMUS [NEW ACQUISITION]

L-L .206 .286 .355 2.2

RF STEVEN SOUZA [INJURY RISK]

R-R .247 .303 .409 0.9

1B LOGAN MORRISON [INJURY RISK] [DECLINING]

L-L .238 .369 .414 0.4

C CURT CASALI

R-R .186 .273 .336 0.9

BENCH

B-T BA OBP SLG WAR

IF TIM BECKHAM

R-R .247 .300 .434 1.3

OF RICKIE WEEKS [NEW ACQUISITION] [DECLINING]

R-R .239 .327 .450 -0.1

W--L ERA K/9 WAR

RH CHRIS ARCHER [BARGAIN] [RISING]

9--19 4.02 10.4 1.7

RH JAKE ODORIZZI [BARGAIN]

10--6 3.69 8.0 3.0

RH ALEX COBB [INJURY RISK]

10--9 2.87 8.1 3.9 [2014 STATS]

LH BLAKE SNELL [BARGAIN] [RISING]

6--8 3.54 9.9 0.8

RH MATT ANDRIESE

8--8 4.37 7.7 1.0

SV ERA K/9 WAR

RH ÁLEX COLOMÉ [BARGAIN]

37 1.91 11.3 2.2

RH BRAD BOXBERGER

41 3.71 10.6 0.2 [2015 STATS]

NEW ACQUISITION

2016 STATS

(R) ROOKIE

*2014 STATS

†2015 STATS

TEAM MVP

DEFENSIVE STAR

INJURY RISK

BARGAIN

RISING

DECLINING

MODEST PROPOSAL

Re-signing Logan Morrison, even to a one-year, $2.5 million deal, was a curious decision. The 29-year-old Morrison is a career .245/.325/.416 batter who plays indifferent defense at first base, and he hit .238/.319/.414 last year before a wrist injury ended his season. The Rays would be better off leaving 27-year-old Brad Miller who exploded for 30 homers last year, at first, and giving Nick Franklin (who played all over the field last year) the second base job and just releasing Morrison. If you're going to re-create the 2014 Seattle Mariners, you may as well play the best of the bunch.

BOTTOM LINE

Pitching wins championships, but with this team the question is, Can it keep them from last place?