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 Rays Notes - Astros Series 6-24 to 2-26

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PostSubject: Rays Notes - Astros Series 6-24 to 2-26   Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:59 pm

Well it was a heck of the series for the Rays. They outscored the Astros 26-13, and if not for a wild game today that stat would have looked a lot more ugly. It was a sweep of course, and the offense really got it going throughout the series as did the pitching up to today. Just a few things I want to share from my prospective after actually getting to see all three games live.

Shields- He continues to be dominant and has my vote for the A.L. All Star Starter.

Davis - Davis has not had a great year but has had a decent year and should keep us in most games he pitches.

Rays W/RISP - I know that everyone has talked about this, RG2 from the MLB site has really been all over it. I was completely with everyone as we seemed to be terrible with W/ toRISP. However, I think that you have to look at how many people we get on base. Our hitters really work the count and we have a lot of guys that can get on base. We can't get them all in, and I believe that's why our W/RISP is so low. We just get so many guys on base and some of the times we get them on with two outs. For example, we scored 14 runs today. However, we left NINE guys on base. NINE. Even though we scored 14 runs. When you look at that you have to realize we won't get them all in. I believe our offense is light-years better than last year's. I haven't seen a team like this since our '08 team, and I think, PERHAPS, we even have a BETTER offense this year than in that year. However, that is going to have to continue. In '08 it was the Red Sox that were good as well. In '10 it was the Yankees. This year, it's BOTH. Meaning we will have to work even harder to make the Playoffs.

Niemann - I really like Niemann. I really do. He is a great guy, I even got his autograph along with Elliot's. However, he's not cutting it. Five runs in just three innings of work today, and it has been the same story all year long. He did throw six shutout in his last appearance, which made me think maybe he was back, but after tonight those hopes were dashed. I believe this will be the same Niemann we will see all year, and if he keeps this up we will have to do something about it. We got lucky today that our offense stepped it up, but we can't score 14 every game he pitches. I say give him a couple of more starts, or maybe make a decision at the all star break, but this isn't cutting it. I hope he comes back stronger than ever, but he may need to be sent down or sent to the bullpen to do so.

Which brings me to something else I want to bring up. Our Pitching Rotation. I believe that it should be changed after the All Star Break. Here is how I would like for it to be:

1. Shields - David earned this last year, but he isn't earning it this year. Shields has proved he is our ace, at least for this year.

2. Price - David does deserve to be our number two, he can still be a dominant pitchcer, but he has not been Shields this year and shouldn't stay in that top spot in my opinion.

3. Jeremy Hellickson - I haven't been completely satisfied with the year he has had, but he is a ROTY candidate and has had a solid year. I feel like he deserves to be in the three hole unless he proves otherwise.

4. Wade Davis - Davis has had a decent year, but I feel like in the end Jeremy will have a better one. I think Davis should be put in the fourth spot.

5. Jeff Niemann/Someone else - Niemann is having another rough year, and needs to be in the final spot, or if he is replaced which may happen, that pitcher should stay here for the time being until he proves otherwise. Having Niemann anywhere but the five spot is ridiculous, as he has been our worst starter so far this year.


We have an excellent pitching staff, and it should continue to improve, but a pitching rotation is big to me. Once the Playoffs roll around (if we're there) you want these guys 1-2-3. They give you the best chance to win. During the season it doesn't matter as much, but I still feel like the rotation should be changed to show Shields he is appreciated for what he is doing and the others who are moved down that they need to step up.

I believe that's about all I have. This was a great series. The rays entered down 3.5 games, and left down only a two for the division and a game and a half for the Wild Card. They need to keep this pace up though, as the Red Sox and Yanks will.

GO RAYS!
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PostSubject: Re: Rays Notes - Astros Series 6-24 to 2-26   Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:18 am

Great post!!! Surprised You make a lot of good points, especially RISP and pitching line up. I agree Shields is the Ace so far! Price and Hellickjson #2 and #3 for sure. Davis could be #4 or 5 depending on series, and maybe give Jeff N one more shot and then try Cobb again and use Jeff in the pen. He has proved before that he can come back and pitch well after mechanical issues, just with his size it takes longer. I am 6'7''
and used to pitch when I was 10-17 and it does make a difference being that tall with getting all the right parts in place and aligned. I think he can still be a valuable piece to our staff. The PEN is where we have problems, and I look to the management to address the issue before July 31 one way or the other. Cheers. Monk:)
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PostSubject: Re: Rays Notes - Astros Series 6-24 to 2-26   Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:47 pm

monk1954 wrote:
Great post!!! Surprised You make a lot of good points, especially RISP and pitching line up. I agree Shields is the Ace so far! Price and Hellickjson #2 and #3 for sure. Davis could be #4 or 5 depending on series, and maybe give Jeff N one more shot and then try Cobb again and use Jeff in the pen. He has proved before that he can come back and pitch well after mechanical issues, just with his size it takes longer. I am 6'7''
and used to pitch when I was 10-17 and it does make a difference being that tall with getting all the right parts in place and aligned. I think he can still be a valuable piece to our staff. The PEN is where we have problems, and I look to the management to address the issue before July 31 one way or the other. Cheers. Monk:)

Thanks for the insight, I never looked at it like that. I agree that we should give him one more shot, as in a couple of more games. One game can't tell the tale but if he plays the next couple of games and pitches the way he did against Houston let's put him in the 'pen. All of the "experts" keep saying our surprise has been the bullpen this year. Um, what??? From what I see it's not a good 'pen. I like Peralta a lot, talked to him during this past series (told him to WIN the World Series) and he's a real nice guy but he didn't cut it at Houston. Same thing with Howell. I LOVE Howell, but he isn't the same since the surgery. He was one of my favorites and a great eighth inning guy, but just hasn't pitched the same. Farnsworth is our only bright spot. Now guys have done things here and there that have been good, but for the most part they haven't cut it. Cruz did well in this series, Peralta has had some good games, Russell is alright at points, but all struggle at some point as well. McGee is the biggest disappointment and HE was supposed to be our bright spot this year! So I don't believe it's been the biggest surprise. It was supposed to take a hit this year and it did. We have $2 mil we got back from Manny and a few million that we didn't spend from our projected payroll so I say get some good relief pitchers at the trade deadline. We have a good closer, but we need a permanent seventh and eighth inning guy. When we're winning by ten runs it's fine to use these guys from the 'pen, but when we are in one-two run ball games which we will be A LOT this season we need someone that we can count on each time out, we just don't have that.

If Niemann could get it together in the bullpen maybe he could be one of those guys, but you know they won't listen to us.. There's many people I thought should go to the bullpen that they never put there, but just look at Shields. I admit, last year, I said the same thing about him. Bring up Helly put him in the 'pen, now look. I'm eating my words. So it is certainly possible that will happen again with Niemann.
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PostSubject: Re: Rays Notes - Astros Series 6-24 to 2-26   Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:52 pm

TBraysfanforever wrote:

Our Pitching Rotation. I believe that it should be changed after the All Star Break.

Great points from both of you, no real argument from me. Just looking to gain some insight. I don't understand why changing the rotation is that important at this point. The rotation can be adjusted along the way to allow for certain matchups as needed. I'm pretty sure Shields knows he's appreciated by now. It seems likely he'll pitch at the All Star game(even if for only 1 or 2 innings), so it would seem like starting the 2nd or 3rd game of the second half would be better to allow his arm to rest and maintain his routine. A lot can change in the second half, so I'd wait to think about changes a couple weeks prior to us going to the post season. Just trying to see the "why" since knowledge of pitching is my weakest park of the game. Neutral Thanks!
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