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Philadelphia Phillies State Of The Union For 2014

The club was one of the premiere franchises from 2007 - 2011, with 5 straight NL East Titles, 2 World Series Appearances, and taking home the big prize in 2008.  The Phightins have been battling old age, the injury bug, plus the management not knowing whether to pull the plug on the core talent of this squad - or to give it one more go at it.  Charlie Manuel was finally the fall guy last month when he was let go from his managerial duties.  Ryne Sandberg had the team playing better to end the year, but has had issues already with Veteran players.  Will it be enough for the organization to back him beyond this season.  Will the franchise play good enough for another kick at the can in 2014?  .

The club was one of the premiere franchises from 2007 – 2011, with 5 straight NL East Titles, 2 World Series Appearances, and taking home the big prize in 2008. The Phightins have been battling old age, the injury bug, plus the management not knowing whether to pull the plug on the core talent of this squad – or to give it one more go at it. Charlie Manuel was finally the fall guy last year when he was let go from his managerial duties. Ryne Sandberg had the team playing better to end the year, but has had issues already with Veteran players. Will it be enough for the organization to back him beyond this season. Will the franchise play good enough for another kick at the can in 2014? .

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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Last year was the 1st losing campaign for the Fightins in over a decade.  It was a mediocre season to be sure, and followed the 3rd straight year of regression.

Since Ryan Howard went down in a heap of pain during the 2011 playoffs, it has ravaged through the fans perception of the club.

2013 wasn’t going to end nicely, however the aging veteran Chase Utley gave the brass and fanbase a nice exiting thought by inking a 2 YR deal.

Ryan Howard has not recovered to his former status, and now makes $25 MIL year. Read the rest of this entry

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Current Odds Over/Under Wins For All 30 MLB Teams In 2014: Best Bets On The Board

The regular season over/unders have been updated yet again.  While most of them are right in the realm of where they should be - about 20% of the numbers scream out for me to bet some cabbage on.

The regular season over/unders have been updated yet again. While most of them are right in the realm of where they should be – about 20% of the numbers scream out for me to bet some cabbage on.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Yes these are my predictions for the current state of the MLB.

Right beside the wins and losses, is the over.under totals and odd.

Next to that will be whether that would make it Over/Under based on my selections.

If I think an odd is worthy of plunking down some pesos, I will highlight it. Read the rest of this entry

Master List Of All Free Agents Signed In 2013 Winter – Heading Into 2014 MLB Year

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It has been a record setting year for contract $ doled out for players.  When you factor in the player extensions, we are talking about 7 contracts registering in the top 50 Player contracts in the history of the game.

Robinson Cano, Clayton Kershaw, Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Freddie Freeman, Shin-Soo Choo and Homer Bailey have inked deal for between $105 MIL to $240 MIL.

Now there is word the Angels are working on an extension with Mike Trout, to the tune of 6 YRs/$150 MIL,  from 2015 – 2020.  This would be the 22nd highest contract in MLB History.

For the record, Trout’s deal for 2014 is already set at $510 K, and any extension wouldn’t have Luxury Tax Ramifications until his new deal would start in 2015. Read the rest of this entry

Tampa Bay Rays Organization: 2014 Depth Charts + Rosters, (MLB + MiLB)

Joe Maddon has a career Record of 704 - 644 (.522), but is 552 - 421 (.567) over the last 6 years  from 2008 - 2013.  He runs his offenses like the Angels used to, with a NL style built on speed and contact.  He may be the best AL Skipper when it comes to utilizing players versatility and matchups. Maddon is also great at working in Rookie players.

Joe Maddon has a career Record of 704 – 644 (.522), but is 552 – 421 (.567) over the last 6 years from 2008 – 2013. He runs his offenses like the Angels used to, with a NL style built on speed and contact. He may be the best AL Skipper when it comes to utilizing players versatility and matchups. Maddon is also great at working in Rookie players.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org. Depth Chart Expert)

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The Tampa Rays have been the model franchise in the AL for the last 6 years.  Of course the St. Louis Cardinals club would be the team of the National League.

Besides the New York Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays have won more games in the last 6 years.

The teams record is 552 -421 during this time span, including 4 playoff spots and 1 AL Pennant.

The key to the teams continuous consistency is their Minor League System.  From 9 years of drafting high from 1998 – 2007, to then making smart trades, the Rays have have been able to sustain their club by using the farm.

Wil Myers 2013 Highlights

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The Tampa Bay Rays Starting Pitching Is Not As Strong As It Was In 2012: They Miss James Shields!

The Tampa Bay Rays came into 2013 off of a great 2012 campaign. They finished third in the East but they did end the season with 90 wins. Doing so, they were expected to win the American League East this season. Picking up Wil Myers from the Royals for James Shields was a huge move for them. Was it a mistake now that we look back and the Rays pitching is falling apart without Shields' 200 innings.

The Tampa Bay Rays came into 2013 off of a great 2012 campaign. They finished third in the East but they did end the season with 90 wins. Doing so, they were expected to win the American League East this season. Picking up Wil Myers from the Royals for James Shields was a huge move for them. Was it a mistake now that we look back and the Rays pitching is falling apart without Shields’ 200 innings?  Tampa has many teams nipping at their heels for the 2nd Wild Card Spot in New York (2.5 Games back), Baltimore (3.0 Games Back), Cleveland (3.5 Games Back) and the Kansas City Royals are 4.5 Games Back.  They must correct their pitching for the final 3 weeks.

Ryan Ritchey (Featured Baseball Columnist): 

The Tampa Bay Rays rely on their pitching and defense more than any aspect of the game. Having great young pitchers is what they live by, and it has worked for their team.

But, it has been the complete opposite in 2013.

Injuries to multiple guys in the rotation has set them off track and now have to catch up to the Red Sox in the division. David Price and Matt Moore are the studs of their staff, but David Price struggled early and also went on the Disabled List along with Moore.

It is going to take a lot for them to win the division, but there is always the Wild Card, and when you are in the playoffs you never know what can happen.

Alex Cobb Hit In Head By Line Drive: Parental Guidance Advised!

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MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 17

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Sunday July.21/2013

The Cardinals are the big benefactor of an early July swoon by the Pirates.  Will this team make some moves at the deadline - to aid the young Starting Rotation Innings?  Will Chris Carpenter be able to make an impact for the club at some point this campaign?  They sit perched back up upon the MLBR Power Rankings for now.

The Cardinals are the big benefactor of an early July swoon by the Pirates. Will this team make some moves at the deadline – to aid the young Starting Rotation Innings? Will Chris Carpenter be able to make an impact for the club at some point this campaign? They sit perched back up upon the MLBR Power Rankings for now.  The Cards have made 7 out of the last 12 NLCS showdowns – holding a 3 – 4 record in those years – and a 2 – 1 mark in the World Series.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

The Tampa Bay Rays are making a huge statement.  Even as I write this post, they have a commanding 4 – 1 lead on the Toronto Blue Jays, which would make the 58 – 41, and no worse than 1.5 Games Behind the Boston Red Sox heading into play tomorrow.

The Rays will head to Fenway Park right after this for a four game series – before concluding a 10 game Road Swing at Yankee Stadium.  They could end up in 1st place in the AL East by next week.

With their pitching strength – and new underrated offense, would anyone pick against them for the rest of the season?  I have slotted them 7 positions higher than the previous week.

Chris Carpenter 5 months ago, He is now rehabbing in the Minor Leagues with a chance to come back in 2013 – Amazing!

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Top MLB Teams 1 – 30: Monthly Rankings + (Top 200 Stats For Reading And Fantasy Baseball)

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Thursday July.11/2013

The Giants have gone 9 - 23 in their last 32 Games and are in danger of having a brutal campaign just one year after capturing the World Series.  Key injuries and overlogged pitchers have been the main point of contention. They lost 8 Ranking Spots.

The Giants have gone 9 – 23 in their last 32 Games – and are in danger of having a brutal campaign just one year after capturing the World Series. Key injuries and overlogged pitchers have been the main point of contention. They lost 8 Ranking Spots this past time.  Should they also become sellers at the Trade Deadline,  Tim Lincecum and Hunter Pence could fetch a few players in return.  The Giants are currently 40 – 50 and 6.5 Games behind the NL West Leading DBACKS – but are in last in the NL West.

 

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

The time has come for the July Power Rankings with Stats Edition.  There will be one each for May, June, July, August, September – and then a special playoff edition Power Rankings will be done in October.

I will not do a weekly Power Rankings during these weeks, because in essence, these are the weekly rankings done on a much larger scale.

These Reports are done with a heavy thought to how the teams project by the end of the season – along with how the clubs have fared so far.

I will point out who has had great months for the all 30 MLB Teams.  I reward the good performances in these rankings – and leave the poor ones for the Podcasts or future articles. CLICK THE READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON or scroll past the video and picture.

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2 And A Hook Podcast Ep #9: LAA, SD, MIA And SEA Chat With Great Guests

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Friday, June.28, 2013,

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast.

’2 And A Hook’ is an expression from Baseball:  ‘Throw the guy 2 Fast balls and then a Hook’ (AKA Curve Ball, Wiggly one, Chair etc..)

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran )

Guests On The Show

On today’s podcast, brought to you by MLB Reports ( www.mlbreports.com ) & yours truly The Bench Warmers Show, I talk to the boss man Chuck Booth as he returns to do his segment!  8 Minutes and a 18 Segment

Chuck makes a HUGE announcement about MLB Reports & then we talked about contract stuff like arbitration, Super 2, & service time…

Also we talk about these guys Wil Myers, Yasiel Puig & Chris Archer on why they should have been up in the major leagues since the beginning of the season!

Then I talk to LAA correspondent Joshua Jones (34 Minute Mark and a 18 Minute Segment) about the Angels season & what might or might not happen…

Next up was Bernie Olshansky (53 Minute Mark and a 13 Minutes Segment)  about the padres & what moves they might make for the future…after that i talked to Mariners/Marlins correspondent.

The last guest of the show is the 2nd longest active writer on the MLB Reports website Sam Evans (1 HR and 12 Min Mark and a 25 Min Segment) ( @RJA206 ) as we get into the mariners/marlins & whats been going on with both of these teams!

I then get into everyone’s favorite segment Stats & Facts (29, Minute Mark (5 minutes) 1 HR, 7 Min Mark ( 5 Minutes ) and, 1 HR 37 MIN (20 Minutes) -  so go check it out & SPREAD THE WORD!!! Thanks Read the rest of this entry

Tampa Bay Rays Organization: 2013 Team Payroll, Depth Charts + Rosters, (MLB + MiLB)

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Thursday, June.20/2013

The Rays had a horrible string of seasons from 1998 - 2007 in terms of Won - Loss Record.  Because of their futile showings, they were able to draft high.  Since 2008, they have posted a winning record every season since, have made the playoffs 3 times, and have turned over the Roster several times.  They are competitive, cost effective and play in the vaunted AL East with powerhouse teams like the Yankees and Red Sox

The Rays had a horrible string of seasons from 1998 – 2007 in terms of Won – Loss Record. Because of their futile showings, they were able to draft high. Since 2008, they have posted a winning record every season since, have made the playoffs 3 times, and have turned over the Roster several times. They are competitive, cost effective and play in the vaunted AL East with powerhouse teams like the Yankees and Red Sox.  The brass of the organization has done a commendable job.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

You guys are all in for a treat.  Jeff Kleiner recently contacted me about a partnership merge for the website.  He has developed a site (prosportsrosters.com) that covers all organizational affiliates in the Minors for all of the Major League Baseball Clubs.  We are going to combine efforts to bring you the best look at salaries, current 25 Man Player Rosters and Depth Charts for all 30 teams. 

Jeff is going to provide the documents in form of spreadsheets and I am going to accompany the posts with deep analysis of what the numbers tell us from my perspective.  If you can’t wait for all of my assessments for each club, go and visit Jeff’s website over at http://www.prosportsrosters.com.

In Speaking with Jeff, he is one of the more passionate fans I have come across towards the game of baseball.  He spends enough time in updating his MLB Facts for it to be a Full-Time Job.  So after the usual Video Clip and READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY button, you will find some serious &*!@?!#!

Jeff updates this page below on a daily basis.  After you click on it….Bookmark it.  There is a 3 year salary forecast and stats not listed here on this page.  Jeff updates these pages daily and these changes include any Roster moves!

For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Rays Organization click here

David Price 2012 Highlights – Rays Song:

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The Pittsburgh Pirates Roster Tree Part 2: The Hitters

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Monday, June.17/2013

McCutchen is signed for about an average of 8.5 Million Dollars a year until he hits FA in 2018.  If he can be amongst the running for NL MVP every year like 2012, this will bode well for the Pirates value in his salary.  He is the best player the franchise has drafted since Barry Bonds.

McCutchen is signed for about an average of 8.5 Million Dollars a year until he hits FA in 2018. If he can be among the running for NL MVP every year like 2012, this will bode well for the Pirates value in his salary. He is the best player the franchise has drafted since Barry Bonds.

Chuck Booth (MLB Reports Owner/Lead Analyst)

Neil Huntington has done a great job assembling this Pirates team – and has spun some great trades in order to see his club actually be competitive over the last few years.

At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Bucs – and how they assembled their current rosters.  It will work in a six degrees of separation like format.

Once we figure out the origin of how many trades going back in time it takes to see w here the tree started, it will be time to dissect how the team fared on the deals.

If a player has never left the organization at all, the tree will be easy – as it will just be the year they were drafted.

Listed Below is Part 1 of the Roster Tree

Pittsburgh Pirates Roster Tree Part 1: The Pitchers

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Pittsburgh Pirates Roster Tree Part 1: The Pitchers

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Sunday, May. 12/2013

What 3 current Pirates players can be traced back to Ricardo Rincon?  Read this article and you will find out how all of the players have arrived in a Bucs uniform - and we dissected the Pirates brass for each move.

What 3 current Pirates players can be traced back to Ricardo Rincon? Read this article and you will find out how all of the players have arrived in a Bucs uniform – and we dissected the Pirates brass for each move.

By Brad Cuprik (Pirates Correspondent) and Chuck Booth (MLB Reports Owner/Lead Analyst

Neil Huntington has done a great job assembling this Pirates team – and has spun some great trades in order to see his club actually be competitive over the last few years.

At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Bucs – and how they assembled their current rosters.  It will work in a six degrees of separation like format.

Once we figure out the origin of how many trades going back in time it takes to see where the tree started, it will be time to dissect how the team fared on the deals.

If a player has never left the organization at all, the tree will be easy – as it will just be the year they were drafted.

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MLB Power Rankings – Apr.29/2013

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Monday Apr.29/2013

Papa Grande had led the AL in Games Finished during each of the last 2 seasons (70 in     2011 and 67 Last Year.  he also led the AL in Saves in 2011 with 49.  It was a Sept/Oct swoon   of a 5.02 ERA that started his troubles - before giving up 6 Earned Runs in 1 combined Inning Pitched between the ALCS and the World Series.  He remained unsigned by everyone until the Tigers gave him an incentive laden 1 Year Deal.  Valverde nailed down 2 Saves this week and the Tigers have won 4 out of 5 games - including sweeping the Atlanta Braves

Papa Grande had led the AL in Games Finished during each of the last 2 seasons (70 in 2011 and 67 Last Year.) he also led the AL in Saves in 2011 with 49. It was a Sept/Oct swoon of a 5.02 ERA that started his troubles – before giving up 6 Earned Runs in 1 combined Inning Pitched between the ALCS and the World Series. He remained unsigned by everyone until the Tigers gave him an incentive laden 1 Year Deal. Valverde nailed down 2 Saves this week and the Tigers have won 4 out of 5 games – including sweeping the Atlanta Braves in Detroit this past weekend.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

With it coming up to the 4 week Report, the biggest mover this week where the Detroit Tigers.  Jose Valverde came back to the club, looked trimmed down – and more like his 2011 self compared to when we last saw him.  The Motown Boys pasting the Braves over the weekend speaks volumes about their talent.

The worst week went to the Giants – who plummeted from #1 to #11.  It has to be concerning for the fans that Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong do not look right. Decent start by Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito have been wasted.  The club may be lacking the hunger to repeat.  I see the whole team having up and down campaigns.

The Toronto Blue Jays may not have plunged down the rankings that much this week, however they have free fallen the most out of any franchise from the start of the year.  The projected AL favorite – have started 9 – 17 and are looking up at 4 good teams in the AL East now. 

I am predicting they will have a good second half, yet they will not make the playoffs now based on the Jose Reyes injury mostly.  John Gibbons also has to be on the hot seat. 

Papa Grande’s Contract is purchased

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The Pitching Artist Formerly Known As Fausto Carmona Needs To Be DFA’d!

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Sunday, Apr.28/2013

Through five outings Hernandez is 1-4 record with a 5.28 ERA in just over thirty innings of work. His kryptonite this season has been the long ball in almost every start Hernandez gives up at least one long ball.The long ball has been a big issue for Hernandez this season, giving up eighteen earned runs in a little over thirty innings this season. One good spot is that even though the sinker baller is not getting many of those groundballs he is used to, he has been striking hitters out at a good rate.  In three out of his five starts, Hernandez has struck out seven batters and in the other two he struck out at least four per start. While only walking an average of three per start.

Through 5 outings, Hernandez is 1-4 record with a 5.28 ERA in just over 30 IP of work. His kryptonite this season has been the long ball.  In almost every start Hernandez gives up at least one long ball – giving up 18 ER in his time thus far in total.  One good spot is that even though the sinkerballer is not getting many of those groundballs he is used to, he has been striking hitters out at a good rate. In three out of his five starts, Hernandez has fanned 7 batters and in the other two Game Starts – he punched out at least four per start. He is also walking an average of 3 hitters per start.

By Jake Bullington (Rays Correspondent): 

Roberto Hernandez,  ( AKA Fausto Carmona), was supposed to be insurance for the Tampa Bay Rays this year.  The club was supposed to have Jeff Niemann re-assume his spot in the Starting Pitching Rotation – along with David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, Alex Cobb and  Matt Moore to round out the top 5.

James Shields and Wade Davis. were dealt away to acquire Wil Myers on the basis of this assumption.  However, Niemann was been hurt – and we are still a few weeks away before Chris Archer is brought up for good.  Thus the club has had to use the beleagured ex Indians chucker.

Roberto Hernandez lone good start for Tampa Bay:

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The Rays Need To Call Up Wil Myers Pronto!

2 And A Hook Podcast Talks About Calling UP Wil Myers – 25 Minute Mark

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Thursday Apr.18/2013

Myers ascended onto the PCL scene last year and ripped out 24 HRs in just 99 Games at Omaha. The Rays will be counting on him for their offensive future for many years to come. The club has featured a futile attack with the bats - hitting for a 3 Slash Line of .204//284/.588. They have scored only 39 Runs - while allowing 59 Runs through 13 Games.

Myers ascended onto the PCL scene last year and ripped out 24 HRs in just 99 Games at Omaha. The Rays will be counting on him for their offensive future for many years to come. The club has featured a futile attack with the bats – hitting for a 3 Slash Line of .204//284/.588. They have scored only 39 Runs – while allowing 59 Runs through 13 Games.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

First off, I wanted to say that I completely respect the Tampa Bay Rays – and especially am an avid supporter of the head office – including GM Andrew Freidman.  I will get to all of this in this article.

It is time to call up Wil Myers to the big club! 

The club is mired in a slow start at 4 – 9 and are already 5 Games Behind the AL East Division Leaders ‘Boston Red Sox.

The team traded away Veteran Pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis to Kansas City in order to acquire the top hitting prospect.

Here is why the time makes sense.

Service time for Super 2 Arbitration Status and Free Agency Year aside, this clubs current offense is abysmal despite having great pitching ability.

Wil Myers Highlight Reel:

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Tampa Bay Rays Player Roster In 2013 Part 2 – The Pitchers: State Of The Union

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Sunday, Mar.03/2013

The Rays led the Major Leagues last year in ERA (3.19) and were 3rd in team SO.  They also converted 50 of 58 Saves.  Even more impressive was that they were 45-31 with a 2.60 ERA after the ALL-Star Break.  They traded veterans Wade Davis and James Shields away for top level prospects.  Will they be able to duplicate their 2012 numbers with their young talented pitchers improving the club internally?

The Rays led the Major Leagues last year in ERA (3.19) and were 3rd in team SO. They also converted 50 of 58 Saves. Even more impressive was that they were 45-31 with a 2.60 ERA after the ALL-Star Break. They traded veterans Wade Davis and James Shields away for top level prospects. Will they be able to duplicate their 2012 numbers with their young talented pitchers improving the club internally?

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

The Rays are a team built on their strong pitching and timely hits.  The majority of their hurlers are homegrown.  The unfortunate part about all of this is that the Rays have a Stadium problem.  Tropicana Field just doesn’t bring in enough revenue in order to pay their pitchers once they become eligible to be Free Agents.  Let’s face it, when you can’t bank on a pitcher being healthy for the duration of his contract, the management will be hard pressed to sign a pitcher to a long – term, 9 figure contract.

The Tampa fans had better enjoy seeing David Price for the next 3 years – because he is on a path to the kind of dollars that will see him leave town.  The Rays have made their investment in their franchise player already in Evan Longoria.  So here continues the continual revolving door.  The good news is that the organization has stockpiled the kind of talented Minor League System that should be able to brunt the force of such a catastrophic loss forthcoming with the reigning AL CY Young winner.

Price might just be the premier Left Handed Pitcher in the MLB right now.  After him in the Starting Rotation is Jeremy HellicksonMatt Moore, Alex Cobb and Jeff Niemann.  The team alsoadded Roberto Hernandez (Don’t call me Fausto,) for added insurance.  There are 2 highly touted prospects with both Chris Archer and Mike Montgomery possibly seeing some time up with the big club.  They also could see Jake Odorizzi challenge for a spot in the rotation.

David Price Highlights in 2012:

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The Tampa Bay Rays: The Pitchers 1998-2012: Part 3 Of A 5 Part Article Series

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Friday, December.28, 2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history.  2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of  my archived articles section here.

James Shields ALL-Time so far. David Price may not take very long to surpass all of is Franchise Records James Shields has been the teams best chucker of ALL-Time so far. David Price may not take very long to surpass all of his Franchise Records with Shields heading to KC  now

James Shields  enjoys most of the Teams  ALL-Time Pitching Records so far.  David Price may not take very long to surpass all of his Franchise Records with Shields heading to KC now.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

The Rays had several lean years of pitching before a starter really made his mark.  Out of the gate, Roberto Hernandez had helped the team with closing at least.  In the early years, the best pitching was done by Rolando Arrojo, followed by Victor Zambrano, before he was traded for Scott Kazmir.  The Mets/Rays trade was the foundation for the pitching staff finally evolving.  Soon James Shields was up with the big club.  In 2008, the teams 5 starters towed the hill for all season in what would be an eventual World Series Birth.  Newly acquired Matt Garza, joined Shields, Kazmir, Edwin Jackson and Andy Sonnanstine for double-digit wins and winning records.

David Price was next to join the staff in 2009 and he has not looked back since. Jeff Niemann, Wade Davis, Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore joined the pitching staff in the next few years after that.  The stable of bullpen relievers keeps coming and going. J.P. Howell has been the biggest mainstay there.  Even with departing starters of Davis and (the Franchise Leader in several pitching categories) Shields, the team is not bare at the kitchen cupboard.  The Rays finished 1st in Team Pitching ERA last year for all of the MLB.  The next closest team in the AL was the Oakland – at almost a third of a run more. 

The Rays have been blessed with some great years recently out of lower salaried closers.  Whether it was Troy Percival, Kyle Farnsworth, Rafael Soriano or Fernando Rodney, Andrew Friedman has had a knack for gluing together a bullpen on a  shoestring budget.  With David Price winning the Cy Young Award in 2012, the best pitching may be yet to come for the AL East Team.  Honorable Mentions went to these players, but they were not the same caliber as everyone else:  Esteban Yan, Andy Sonnanstine, Kyle Farnsworth  SP/RP  Rick White RP  Lance Cormier and RP Jim Mecir.

Scroll Down past the Franchise Links for the Pitchers or click on the Read The Rest Of This Entry Icon just past the Video Clip.

Franchise Series Links:

Franchise History: The Tampa Bay Rays: The Franchise 1998-2012: Part 1 Of A 5 Part Article Series

The Hitters  The Tampa Bay Rays: The Hitters 1998-2012: Part 2 Of A 5 Part Article Series

2013 Team Payroll Part 4 of 5:  Tampa Bay Rays Payroll 2013 And Contracts Going Forward: Updated for Myers Trade Dec.11/2012

Tropicana Field Expert Part 5 of 5:  An Interview with Tropicana Field Expert Kurt Smith

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The Tampa Bay Rays: The Franchise 1998-2012: Part 1 Of A 5 Part Article Series

Thursday, December.20, 2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history.  2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5. The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of  my archived articles section here.

The many Rays Logo's over the years.  Is the best of this franchise yet tom come

The many Rays Logo’s over the years. Is the best of this franchise yet to come?

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

The Tampa Bay Rays Franchise can be summarized into two different categories:  “The Devil Rays Days” and the “Rays Days.”  The Devil Rays endured 10 straight losing seasons to start the club’s history.  From 1998-2007, was a complete gong show (645-972) and last place finishes in a tough AL East every year, except for 2004, when they finished 4th, although they did stockpile several top Draft Picks based on their horrid regular seasons.  In 2008, all of that changed when the ‘Devil’ was literally and figuratively knocked away from the Tampa Bay team.  Their young stars finally saw their potential realized and they appeared in the 2008 World Series versus the Philadelphia Phillies.  The Franchise would lose in 5 hard-fought, weather fulfilled games, however the team was now one of the model clubs in baseball.  From 2008-2012, the club has gone 458-352.

The Rays have made the playoffs in 2010 and 2011 since, plus featured two other over .500 records in 2009 and 2012.  The club has now had 5 winning seasons in a row.  There is still a long way to go as they feature the worst winning percentage in MLB History, with a 1103-1327 Franchise Record (.454).  The next worst team is the Padres at .463.  The Arizona DiamondBacks were the NL Expansion cousins of the Rays and they feature a Win Percentage of (.498), which is second overall for the Expansion teams.  The Arizona DiamondBacks also have made the playoffs 5 times and won the World Series in 2001.  Still if you asked anyone right now, the Rays would gladly be the team everyone picked.

Franchise Series Links:

The Hitters:  The Tampa Bay Rays: The Hitters 1998-2012: Part 2 Of A 5 Part Article Series

The Pitchers:  The Tampa Bay Rays: The Pitchers 1998-2012: Part 3 Of A 5 Part Article Series

2013 Team Payroll:  Tampa Bay Rays Payroll 2013 And Contracts Going Forward: Updated for Myers Trade Dec.11/2012

Tropicana Field Expert:  An Interview with Tropicana Field Expert Kurt Smith

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