Welcome to the Summer edition of the Rays Nation blog! It has been a very fun time for our squad and more recently a weird, sad time for ourselves in Rays Nation. Plus I got an interview for you guys with Jonah Keri, a New York Times Bestselling author that writes for Grantland now.
Good news first, the team has performed to the expectations we had heading into the season. Our pitching staff even though it isn’t complete has performed very outstanding. David Price, Alex Cobb, Jake Odorizzi, Chris Archer throughout the months of May, June & July have very good stats. Brandon Guyer, Kevin Kiermaier and Logan Forsythe have been phenomenal contributors as well. In bad news, David Price got traded to the Detroit Tigers. In return, the Rays got LHP Drew Smyly, INF Nick Franklin and SS Willy Adames. Our future is still bright and these additions are surely going to allow our ball club to continue on contending for years to come.
Kevin Kiermaier- He batted .311 with 8 HR, 25 RBI, and 4 SB.
Jake Odorizzi- He has pitched to a 6-5 record with a 3.00 ERA on 90 IP with 107 K.
Sean Rodriguez- He’s become mainly the guy to come off the bench and spark the offense in a way. S- Rod has a .263 AVG/.333 OBP/.421 SLG split as a pinch hitter with a home run and four runs batted in.
The amazing back end
Brad Boxberger and Jake McGee in the month of July became in many fans eyes as the official 8th and 9th inning guys respectively. Their stats rightfully prove that they should be given that role and hopefully someday they receive the official title.
Boxberger went 1-0 with a save and 20 K. He did not allow a run in any of his appearances throughout the month of July.
McGee went 9-9 in save opportunities and got 20 K as well.
Welcome to our team!
Drew Smyly- He had a 6-9 record with the Detroit Tigers this season with a 3.93 ERA and 89 K.
David Price- Price owns some very impressive stats in the 7 years he was with the club.
82-47 3.18 ERA 1065 K 4 All Star app. 1 Cy Young (2012)
I cannot thank him enough for everything he did for not only our team but the amazing community of Tampa Bay in general. His spectacular performances on the mound can easily be compared as spectacular to his off the field work. I’m thankful I got to see him do what he loves to do at the Trop, meeting him in person and meeting Tiffany, Astro, and David’s parents has also been an honor and something I’m really grateful for. David Price will forever be one of my favorite baseball players of all time and I can’t wait to someday tell my kids about one of my role models.
Interview with Jonah Keri:
1.) Does someone have to step up and be the leader of the rotation for the rays or will they guide themselves to getting the job done every 5 days? If someone does who?
--No. Good pitching is good pitching.
2.) The big asset you think the rays have that no other team has
--None. They do a lot of things well, but I wouldn't say there's anything that's completely unique.
3.) Do you see nick franklin eventually taking over Ben Zobrist's role in the team?
--That's what the Rays want to have happen. I'd bet against Franklin being quite that good though.
4.) Who's rotation would you take the postseason if you could choose any right now?
--Once Sanchez is back healthy, Tigers.
5.) If Montreal got a team next season what league and division would you want them to join and why?
--Montreal isn't getting a team any time in the foreseeable future.
Getting to know Jonah Keri
6.) Favorite music artist & song?
--I don't really have one. Eclectic music taste.
7.) Favorite mlb ballpark?
--Current: AT&T Park. All-time: Tiger Stadium.
8.) 2nd favorite sport & player if you'd like?
--Baseball is my second-favorite sport. Favorite is basketball.
9.) Favorite part of doing what you do?
--Freedom to cover any topics I want.
10.) Something about the expos many folks don't know about? Could be anything
--One of the original proposed names for the team was Nationals.
To wrap it up, expectations for this team never get lower from my perspective and I hope they keep pushing for the wild card spots and hopefully even the division title. But until then, just like Joe Maddon and we hear the players say, we gotta take it one game at a time. Stay tuned for the August and September edition of this blog!!
Take care Rays Nation
@RaysNation_ on twitter
Opening Week for Tampa Bay Rays Baseball
Hello Rays Nation hope you all had a great opening week. I know I did! I got the opportunity to go to Opening day and to go the Wil Myers bobblehead night. The opportunity to see my favorite player Mr. David Price pitch twice was honestly an honor. Rays pitching and hitting was very good both games and we got the W against the Blue Jays and Rangers, respectively.
The Rays right now sit in first place with a record of 4-3. We have scored 31 runs in these 7 games. So far we are just 1-0 in one run games which in this game is really important. So far the Rays lead the league in OBP with a .357. The Rays fielding is doing awesome so far as well. One error through 7 games and they lead the league in putouts with 189. The Rays pitching has a .211 BAA and an ERA of 2.57 which is very solid. Players wise, Matt Joyce has a .412 Batting Average leads the team in RBIs with 5. David Price leads the team in strikeouts through 7 games with 12. Just note these are all early stats but I am stating them because it’s just the beginning there’s many amazing things to come.
The Rays spring training was also a success. Many players made a name for themselves and one player I am really happy he did was Outfielder Brandon Guyer. He played his heart out during the spring and got rewarded with an Outfielder spot. His base running skills, bat and defense are going to come in handy for Joe Maddon throughout the season. The Rays ended up in first place in the Grapefruit League standings with a record of 16-7 and a winning percentage of .696. Longo, Moore and Sands led the team with 3 Home Runs and not a surprise, David Price led the team with 20 strikeouts. Overall the team got much needed readiness for a season that we all have exciting expectations for.
I got the much appreciated opportunity to interview Mr. Vince Belnome that got called up for a game this week for when Sean Rodriguez had to be on a paternity leave for his newborn baby. Congratulations to Sean by the way.
Rays interview with INF Vince Belnome
1.) Describe the expectations you had for spring training coming in
-“I expected to compete and learn a lot. I figured I would be back in AAA but ya never know”
2.) What blew you away from spring training like something you learned, a teammate’s talent?
-“Playing vs. all these guys you watch on tv that are the best players in the game. It was very humbling.”
3.) How was it playing for Joe Maddon?
-“Joe is awesome very laid back and just asks that you play hard! Great to play for”
4.) What are the things you really want to improve on this season?
-“Want to improve my defensive side and base running part of my game.. But you can always improve on everything”
5.) Funniest teammate in spring training? And a joke if you want to say
“Kevin Kiermaier is one of the funniest people I know.. Always in a good mood and that boy just makes me laugh”
6.) Someone you think is a stud but no one recognizes him enough
-“Again Kevin probably because there’s a difference in being drafted in the later rounds and you have to succeed at everything to advance!”
Getting to know Vince Belnome
1.) Favorite movie and actor?
-“Movie- Tombstone & Actor- Clint Eastwood”
2.) Favorite music artist right now and of all time?
-“Now- Brantley Gilbert”
-“All time- Hank Williams Jr”
3.) Childhood favorite baseball player?
4.) What has motivated you to become what you are today and want to be later on?
-“My family, friends, and beautiful fiancé and being able to provide for her.. It’s been my dream since I was young and it keeps me motivated”
Again I appreciate you looking through my blog. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment on here. You can give me a follow on my Rays twitter account for daily updates about our beloved squad. @RaysNation_
Have a good one and Go Rays!
I am an avid sports fan, and my favorite sport of all is baseball. Baseball is my true love and passion. The rays have become my favorite team for the dedications the organization has to become successful. All the players and coaches and executives of the organization are people I look up to and someday I hope to become a MLB general manager for any of the 30 teams. I hope everyone that reads my blog enjoys what's on it and if there are any questions, comments or concerns. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org