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. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  2. Bucs journal: Few complaints about Jameis Winston's play

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It wasn't enough to pull out a win Sunday at Buffalo, but a week removed from a shoulder sprain, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns against the NFL's No. 2 pass defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes (24) signs autographs for fans before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  3. Lightning's Jon Cooper uses unusual tactic to create mismatches

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Tyler Johnson is about to swing his left leg over the boards for his next shift alongside linemate Alex Killorn and … who else?

    Stamkos? Kucherov? Point?

    Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper argues the called as his team gets a faceoff violation, leading to penalty and #Caps PP goal, during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (10/09/17).DIRK SHADD   |   Times
  4. A buzz-worthy look at the Astros-Dodgers World Series matchup

    The Heater

    Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel is congratulated by Jose Altuve after scoring during the fifth inning of Game 7 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) TXMG170
  5. Florida, FSU try to ignore death threats, angry fans

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Frustration over uncharacteristically down seasons at Florida and Florida State has started to spill over from message boards and start crossing real-world lines.

    Fans watch the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville, Fla. At the half, Florida was up 10 to 3.