Category: Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa’s Lance McCullers Pitches in Game 7 of the World Series

According to a recent source http://www.tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/Tampa-s-Lance-McCullers-ascends-to-sports-ultimate-stage_162222895, a local Tampa pitcher named Lance McCullers will be pitching in Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday night. Lance McCullers has been one of the top pitchers for the Houston Astros this season and will be looked upon to help the team win its first ever World Series championship. McCullers will be in the spotlight as he will look to keep the Astros in the game and allow them to prevail in this decisive Game 7. Lance is used to the spotlight as he was a highly renowned pitcher in the Tampa area during his high school years. He pitched for a local Jesuit school in Tampa and was a standout star. McCullers is now looking to add to his legacy by pitching in the World Series.

By taking the big stage in baseball’s championship round, McCullers will be in position to prove to the nation that he is one of the elite pitchers in the sport. What has made him one of the top pitchers for the Astros this season is his curveball that regularly strikes out batters. He developed this pitch from his father Lance Sr. who pitched in the majors as a reliever for a number of years. However, Lance Sr. was unable to have a long career due to chronic shoulder problems. Lance Jr. will be looking to make his father proud by pitching well in tonight’s Game 7 of the World Series.

Pitching in tonight’s game will mark a first ever scenario for Tampa locals. Nobody from Tampa has ever pitched in Game 7 of a World Series. However this will change tonight as Lance McCullers will represent his city as well as the Houston Astros. During the postseason, Lance has performed very well. He has pitched six innings against the Yankees where he allowed only two hits in six innings. McCullers also closed out the ALCS in Game 7 by pitching four scoreless innings. During the postseason, McCullers has established a good ERA of 2.95. His quality play has given the Astros hope of winning tonight’s do or die game in Los Angeles. By taking the mound in Game 7, Lance McCullers will look to further establish himself as a local Tampa sports hero.

Tampa Rays Planning Rotation for Next Season

For the past decade, one of the most interesting teams in Major League Baseball has continued to be the Tampa Bay Rays. While the Tampa Bay Rays do not always have the payroll budget and other resources to compete with the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and other major-market teams, they still manage to do their best to always put a very competitive team on the field. In that time, the team has made several playoff appearances and has looked like a World Series favorite several seasons.

During the 2017 Major League Baseball season, the Tampa Bay Rays ended up finishing third in the American League East Division with a record of 80 wins and 82 losses. While this was not good enough for the team to make the playoffs, the team had plenty of talent on their roster and has many reasons to look forward to the coming year. Some of the leaders on their offense included Logan Morrison, Evan Longoria, and Corey Dickerson. These three players should continue to be a cornerstone of the offense and starting lineup for years to come.

While the starting lineup appears to be in pretty good shape for the coming season, the starting pitching rotation is still up for grabs (https://rayscoloredglasses.com/2017/11/01/tampa-bay-rays-candidates-2018-rotation/). As the 2017 world series comes to a close, the Tampa Bay Rays are already starting to think about their starting rotation for the following year and have already started to identify who could and may not be among the five starters in the pitching rotation.

During the 2017 season, the Tampa Bay Rays starting pitching rotation was led by starting pitcher Alex Cobb. Alex Cobb ended up winning 12 games and led the team in ERA. While he was a star for the team, it is very unlikely that he will be back next year. Cobb is a free agent and will likely win a big deal from a team in one of the major markets. While he will be missed, there are other pictures on the team that will have the opportunity to take a step forward. One of the most exciting players on the team is starting pitcher Chris Archer. Last year he had nearly 250 strikeouts and will once again be a leading pitcher in the rotation.

Tampa’s Teams Joining Hands To Fight For A Noble Cause

At the front side of the Hillsborough County Courthouse there sits a monument that constantly reminded people of the Charlottesville tragedy. Recently in Tampa, Florida, three teams came together and decided to join efforts in assisting to get rid of the monument that they all did not think agreed with their culture. The three teams that were involved were MLB’s Rays, NFL’s Buccaneers and NHL’s Lightning. These teams came to together as they made their statement of joining hands in walking together past the tragedy that occurred in Charlottesville. They so a need to be united in the midst of diversities so that they could heal. They volunteered to contribute their own money as they raised funds towards moving the monument.

None of the teams revealed how much they had contributed towards this cause. The Hillsborough County Commissioners Board had suggested that the monument could be moved to a different city and stored on private property. There was, however, need to raise 150 thousand dollars from private sources or individuals so that they could cover the costs that were to be incurred in moving the monument. A sort of campaign began to raise these funds. Tony Dungy, the former Buccaneers coach, together with his wife contributed five thousand dollars and went public with it on Twitter. His contribution triggered a further contribution from other local teams and individuals. Bob Buckhorn, Tampa’s Mayor, donated a thousand dollars towards this cause because he believed it was morally right to move the monument.

As much as some people in the region are against this monument’s move, it has gained enormous support from the politicians and business leaders locally. Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s President gave a donation of 70 thousand dollars towards the campaign. The joint effort from individuals, teams and the Chamber of Commerce, it is almost correct to affirm that the move was going to happen. The amount of money raised in the campaign would go a long way. Tampa is one of the cities that managed to get rid of the Confederate monument. The constant reminder of the Charlottesville tragedy will no longer be there. It was a great win for the teams and Florida as a whole.

Tampa Bay Ray’s Fastballs

Over the last decade, Tampa Bay Rays have recorded more strikeouts than any other pitching staff participating in the American League. Jim Hickey has been their pitching coach for all that time. The coach has an experience of two decades as a coach and pitcher in the minors.

Hickey got to experience how the hitter’s view of a rising fastball in 2004 after joining Houston Astros. He stood against Roger Clemens in the batter’s box, at Clemens’ request. From his position, Hickey could see his challenger zoom through the finish line. According to him, Clemens would turn burn and boom! It was his first time, and he thought that the trajectory would be a ball low.

Fastballs do not rise. However, some of them defy gravity for a longer time than others, making them look like they are rising. Such fastballs usually are not the ones thrown with maximum effort, but the ones that spin the most. According to Jake Odorizzi, Rays’ right-hander, this kind of fastball is usually referred to as the ‘invisiball’. Even though you might be seeing it, it is often challenging to hit it.

Odorizzi and most of his teammates can perform the move. Last season, none of the hardest throwers pitched for Tampa Bay, yet a study by Fangraphs in March indicated that the Rays threw over 60 percent of their fastballs (four-seam) up in the zone. According to Rays’ starter Chris Archer, the players will have to pitch to their level best as it continues to be the team’s edge. Watching the Rays pull the ‘invisiball’ move remains to be the most enjoyable part of the game.

The Rays’ Move in New Acquisition

The Rays made a significant move that eventually lead to their success when they acquired Chaz Roe. Due the unclaimed through waivers and a lat strain, Roe has recovered after a long DL stay. He will go to Triple-A Durham, where the Rays will confirm his ability of what he demonstrated during the previous five seasons in the majors. Kevin Cash; the team’s manager said it was going to be a great mix since they were not used to throwing several balls in the bullpen, something that Roe has the experience to do.

With the top target being Justin Wilson of Detroit LHP, the Rays are consulting with many teams concerning bullpen help while casting a wide net, some rentals like Pittsburgh LHP Tony Watson and Pat Neshek of Philadelphia RPH are included. This calls for a high acquisition cost that includes Hunter Strickland of San Francisco and a right-handed bat that they are looking for. They have clarified that they feel good about the new members and are interested in their options that will be there in Durham.

The 30-year-old Roe previously played for Yankees, Diamondbacks, and Orioles, and the Rays will made great achievements by acquiring him. Meanwhile, Logan Morrison was honored to be selected by the MLB Players Alumni Association as the winner of the Rays’ Hustle and Heart Award, embodying the game’s traditions, values, and spirits. According to him, however, his focus his not on the award but that the Rays should win more games as he plays harder.

Will Rays Trade for Bullpen Help?

Tampa Bay is only a couple of games out of first place in the AL East, and right on their heels are the New York Yankees. With the race for the division crown red hot, the Bronx Bombers have put a huge amount of pressure on both the first place Red Sox and the Rays with their trade that brought slugging third baseman Todd Frazier and pitcher David Robertson (2.70 ERA, 13 saves) to the team. The pressure is now on Tampa Bay to try and do something to bolster its roster for the stretch run.

One area the Rays are looking at is their bullpen. Yes, Alex Colome has 28 saves, but his 3.71 ERA is a bit high for a closer. Tommy Hunter has done a tremendous job paving the way for Colome with a 1.88 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 28 innings. The rest of the bullpen, however, is suffering from sky high ERAs.

So who can help? One possibility is Philadelphia’s lone All-Star Pet Neshek. He’s 3-2 with a 1.17 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 38 innings. He’s also being targeted by Boston, so Tampa Bay may have to be quick to pull a trigger on any deal for Neshek.

Another pitcher in Tampa Bay’s sights is Justin Wilson. The Detroit closer is 3-3 with a 2.29 ERA and ten saves. With their recent trade of J.D. Martinez to Arizona, the Tigers have shown they are in fire sale mode and willing to deal their top talent. Your text to link…

No doubt one or both of these pitchers will help Tampa Bay’s bullpen, and perhaps give them the edge in the American League East race. The question is, who must the Rays give up to get them?

Tampa Bay Rays on the Rise

The Tampa Bay Rays are on the rise once again. While other teams wonder who they are, the Rays know. As a matter of fact, they have known their identity for most of the last decade which has led to a consistency when other teams ride highs and lows. It is also the reason they are once again battling the powerful Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees in the American League East. With a modest $70 million payroll, they are smart because they know who they are and stay within themselves.

Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports has them moving into his Top Ten MLB Power Rankings this week ahead of the Yankees. He explains his reasoning in this video clip https://sports.yahoo.com/mlb-power-rankings-surprise-al-east-contender-172241269.html . It’s easy to agree with the points he makes.

Chief among his reasons is their consistent and powerful offense led by Logan Morrison, Steven Souza, Jr, and Corey Dickerson. Morrison has 26 home runs, Souza has 18, and All-Star starter Dickerson has 17. They make a combined $6 million or so and have 61 homers not a hundred games into the season. Their pitching rotation features Chris Archer, Alex Cobb, and Jake Odorizzi. It has the second best ERA in the American League behind the Houston Astros. They play solid defense, don’t hurt themselves, win more than they lose, and keep themselves in the pennant race against the behemoths in the division.

The Rays are rising by knowing who they are. They pay their players what they can, create a consistent culture, embrace their identity, and remain true to themselves. They aren’t flashy but they are good. And while everyone else had their eyes focused on the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays are on the rise once again.

Tampa Bay Rays acquire reliever for the stretch run

The Tampa Bay Rays find themselves in the somewhat unfamiliar position of being buyers at the trade deadline. The franchise, which was moribund when it first came into the league, then a contender under Joe Maddon had been going back to being mostly an also ran until this season. The Rays are currently second in the AL East and just two games out of first place. The team sits at 50-44 entering Tuesday’s play. The Rays are also in first place when it comes to the AL Wildcard race.

Because they are indeed poised for the post season, the team has made a trade for a reliever in order to help them with the stretch run. Tampa acquired Char Roe from the Atlanta Braves and the Rays didn’t even have to give up much of anything to get him. In exchange for Roe, the team sent back cash considerations.

Before he does help the team in the stretch run, he’ll have to believe he belongs in the major leagues. Roe was not on the Braves major league roster before the trade and Tampa has said he will be added to their AAA Durham Bulls roster. While he might be having to fight his way back to the major league roster this year, when he’s been able to get people out, he’s really been able to get people out.

In 2016, over a very small sample size of just 60 right handed batters, he mowed through them as though he were a hot knife through butter. The Rays have said this isn’t likely the kind of move that is going to put them over the top, but it might be one that adds some depth. If Roe could find the thing that made him so successful in 2016, he could be a sleeper.

Rays Continue Playoff Push

So far during the 2017 MLB season, the Tampa Bay Rays have been one of the most surprising teams in the league. The Rays came into the season looking like they would have a rebuilding year. This was largely due to the very competitive AL East division, which includes the Yankees and Red Sox. While the Rays were not expected to do much this year, they have surprised a lot of people who now believe this could end up being a very big year for the team (http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/martin-chronicles/is-this-a-special-rays-season/2330857).

Through the first half of the year, the Rays are sitting in second place in the division with a record of 51 wins and 44 losses. They are currently two games behind the Red Sox and a few games ahead of the Yankees. While the Rays will have a lot of work to do the rest of the year, they have a lot of opportunities to take over first place in the division and advance to the playoffs. If they are not able to win the division, they also look like they could be in good shape to win one of the two Wild Card spots. The Rays are currently 2.5 games up in those standings.

Much of the reason for the good season that the Rays have put forth so far is due to their young talent. Logan Morrison has proven that he is one of the top young stars in the game. He currently has 26 homers and more than 60 RBIs, each of which put him in the running for the league lead. They also have some great pitchers, which include Alex Cobb and Chris Archer. Both of these pitchers are looking as if they would help the Rays win a playoff series if they are able to advance that far.

Rays Beat Blue Jays With Homers

The Tampa Bay Rays did what they have done so often this season in the opening game of their series with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Rays hit home runs to eventually seal an 8-1 victory. The team is quickly becoming known as one of the most powerful teams in baseball with a lineup that pitchers should be very cautious of. Taylor Featherston got the fireworks started right away by blasting a home run to start the third inning. Logan Morrison continued his transformation into one of the most feared hitters in the game by hitting homer number 18 on the year.

 

One of the most pleasant surprises for the Rays this year was the starting performance they got from Jacob Faria. He shut down the Blue Jays bats in only the second start of his career. He gave up just a single run while pitching six innings. Rays manager Kevin Cash could not have been happier with this young starter. Cash praised Faria’s composure because he did not show any nervousness.

 

Marco Estrada did not have as good a time on the mound for the opposing team. He continued to struggle as he has all season. His ERA is around 4.50 and he has failed to keep the Jays in many of his starts. Estrada failed to get out of the 4th inning against the Rays. This is his shortest start of the year so far. Despite his very poor outing, Estrada was not dejected when he was interviewed after the game. He said that he is confident that things will turn around for him this year.

 

Rays manager Kevin Cash said it is always a good thing to get a win in the first game of a series when you are playing a good team on the road. He has been pleased by the way his team has been playing as of late. He expects his team to have a dynamite second half of the season.