Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bad decisions, bad luck add up to bad offense for Tampa Bay Rays

As the Rays autopsy and analyze their season-long offensive impotence, they will find multiple causes for their failures.

The construction of the lineup, as promising as it may have looked in January, February and March and even into April, has to be questioned. Measured by on-base plus slugging percentage, or OPS, they rank in the bottom three of the AL at three positions — first base, catcher and DH — and also would at shortstop had Ben Zobrist not moved over.

The performance, or lack thereof, of several key hitters is obviously a major component, the list led by Carlos Peña (who, at .198, has the lowest average of all qualifying big-leaguers), plus Luke Scott, Matt Joyce, Sean Rodriguez, etc.

Injuries played a big part, starting, of course, with the 85 games they were without their best hitter, Evan Longoria. B.J. Upton, Desmond Jennings, Jeff Keppinger, Sam Fuld, Scott and Joyce were all also on the DL.

Decision-making by the bosses was also a factor. Not making a substantial acquisition to replace Longoria turned out to be a mistake, though it's hard to fault them since no one knew at the time he'd be out that long. Not adding a bat at the trading deadline, not so much.

And the coaching has to be reviewed, though Derek Shelton's work is routinely praised by manager Joe Maddon and the impact of any hitting coach on an entire group can be negligible, especially with a lack of roster continuity, making a change seem unlikely. (And, for what it's worth, all the coaches have another year on their contracts.)

There are myriad ways to measure the degree of failure.

They are 12th in the league in average and OPS, 11th in runs, ninth in on-base percentage and second in strikeouts. (On the positive side, they do lead the majors in walks.)

They have had 71 games when they've scored three or fewer runs (14-57) and 33 games when they haven't had more than five hits (8-25). Also, they have lost 20 times when their pitchers allowed three or fewer runs.

In addition to their usual offseason turnover, they acquired seven position players during the season. And, our favorite, of the 10 hitters who batted cleanup, three were designated for assignment.

Bad decisions, bad luck add up to bad offense for Tampa Bay Rays 09/22/12 [Last modified: Saturday, September 22, 2012 11:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Life sentence for man convicted in killing of brother of Bucs' Kwon Alexander

    Bucs

    An Alabama man who shot and killed the 17-year-old brother of Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander in 2015 was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, the Anniston (Ala.) Star reported.

  2. Rays journal: Black Snell continues roll in win over Cubs (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was still a game in the fifth inning when LHP Blake Snell walked the leadoff batter, then allowed a single. One swing by the Cubs' Ian Happ (22 home runs) could put a dent in the Rays' three-run lead.

    Blake Snell allows just two hits in pitching seven scoreless innings.
  3. Remember him? Numbers prove Ben Zobrist is one of greatest Rays of all time

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first foray back to the Trop by the best manager the Rays have had obscured the second return visit by arguably the second-best player in franchise history.

    Figures.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) takes the field to start the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    One success story of this lost season is the emergence of LHP Blake Snell as the frontline starter the Rays projected. After a rough start and two demotions, he has been rolling, Wednesday's solid seven innings making him 4-0, 2.57 in his past eight starts.

  5. Rays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Orioles

    7:05, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    This is a 2017 photo of Matt Andriese of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)