3 Reasons Rays Will Be Back Next October

Kevin Kiermaier #39 of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts after Alex Verdugo #99 of the Boston Red Sox was called out at third in the eighth inning during Game 4 of the American League Division Series at Fenway Park on October 11, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts.
(Picture by Winslow Townson/Getty Photos)


The Tampa Bay Rays misplaced the ALDS to the Boston Pink Sox 3-1, however they received’t go away anytime quickly.

There are loads of causes to imagine the crew will once more be within the thick of issues in October subsequent yr.

Listed here are three of them.


3. Unbelievable Participant Improvement

It’s not a secret that the Rays are maybe the American League’s premier group relating to participant improvement.

They might not have the payroll of different powerhouses, however they greater than make up for it with top-notch ability enchancment professionals throughout the group.

Whereas different big-market groups store for the massive fish, the Rays not often spend giant sums of cash on a free agent.

As a substitute, they construct from inside, make savvy trades, and use free company for high-upside lottery tickets and to fill particular roles.

They’ve a myriad of sources accessible to assist these lottery tickets, and likewise their very own gamers, get probably the most out of their potential.

They work individually, figuring out issues to right and work on, to assist each minor and main leaguers attain their ceiling.

This season, for instance, they turned Andrew Kittredge right into a prime reliever (1.88 ERA in 71.2 innings) after years of obscurity.

They turned Shane McClanahan and Shane Baz into official main league pitchers, they made Dietrich Enns a usable bulk reliever, they helped Mike Zunino attain 33 homers, and so they made Joey Wendle a 2.6 WAR (Wins Above Substitute) participant.


2. A Sneaky-Good Offense

Tampa Bay usually will get acknowledged by its good, deep pitching, and rightfully so.

They misplaced star pitcher Tyler Glasnow, but managed to get glorious seasons from McClanahan, Drew Rasmussen, and others.

However their offense shall be actually scary in 2022 and is an enormous purpose why this crew received’t go away.

Brandon Lowe responded to the specter of shedding time to the Rays’ glorious prospects Vidal Brujan and Josh Lowe by hitting 39 homers and main the crew with 5.2 WAR.

Zunino hit 33 blasts, and Randy Arozarena, who was glorious within the playoffs, had a 20-20 season with a .274/.356/.459 line this yr.

Maybe most significantly, shortstop Wander Franco confirmed he belongs within the present.

He had a vivid exhibiting within the playoffs regardless of Tampa’s early exit, and hit .288/.347/.463 throughout the common season.

Brujan and Josh Lowe are able to contribute from the beginning of 2022, and we will’t neglect Austin Meadows’ highly effective lefty bat.

This offense led the majors in runs per sport throughout the common season, with 5.3.

There isn’t any purpose to assume they are going to decelerate in 2022.


1. Analytics-Heavy Strategy

The identical managing type that led supervisor Kevin Cash to drag Blake Snell in 2020’s World Collection begin after simply 73 pitches when he was about to face the Los Angeles Dodgers’ lineup for the third time is what took the group to the Fall Traditional within the first place.

You possibly can argue an identical factor in regards to the determination to face Kike Hernandez as a substitute of Rafael Devers on Monday evening.

Tampa makes use of numbers to be a step forward of every part: lineup development, bullpen utilization and administration, pinch-hit selections, and even huge league call-ups.

Greater than a managing type, it’s a manner of doing issues that extends by means of the entire group.

The Rays haven’t received a World Collection, however there’s loads of luck concerned within the playoffs.

They need to get there ultimately, so long as they preserve embracing their very own type.

They’ve , deep group that regularly feeds them high quality gamers.

The long run is vivid in Tampa. | 3 Causes Rays Will Be Again Subsequent October


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