Sep 28, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throws during the fourth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
2. Tampa Bay Rays – Alex Cobb, Chris Archer, Drew Smyly, Jake Odorozzi, Jesus Colome, Nate Karns, Matt Moore (injured until around the All-Star break)
None of these seven pitchers are over the age of 27. How hard is that to believe? Cobb started 27 games and finished 10-9 with a 2.70 ERA. It is very difficult to look at the Rays’ pitching by the win-loss record because of the lack of offense. Archer had an ERA of 3.33 and was also 10-9. Drew Smyly in his seven games for Tampa had an ERA of 1.75. Matt Moore only pitched two games, and lost both, but had an ERA of 2.70.
While the Orioles were the top team in the division in most pitching stats in 2014, the Rays were usually not far behind them, usually with just Kansas City in between. However, the step the rotation has to take this year is replacing David Price. Price stepped in when James Shields was traded, now the team needs a pitcher to step up and take Price’s spot.
Colome is someone who has been in the Rays’ bullpen and is waiting to break through into the rotation. Karns was acquired from the Washington Nationals in February 2014 for Jose Lobaton. This pitching staff knows how to pitch. But, there may be a lot of close games, a lot of low-scoring games. And for a very young rotation, that may end up leaving them frustrated at times.
Next: A mixed bag of young and old