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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.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
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:
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