As FOX Sports Florida’s Andrew Astleford mentioned in his MLB team preview, the Rays’ bullpen ranked 18th in big-league ERA (3.59) compared to their Top 10 rotation which posted a 3.81 ERA last season. However, when you combine the starters with the relievers, the Rays held opposing hitters to an American League-best .240 batting average.
Each starter in the rotation is going to land on a fantasy roster in each league this season. On the flip side, I only see three start-worthy bats on the roster in 2014.
Longoria’s 30-90-90 potential ranks him within the top three fantasy third basemen, which includes Miguel Cabrera in most leagues.
After playing in 88 MLB games last season, Myers – the prospect the Rays acquired in the James Shields-to-the-Royals trade – continues to work his way into the Top 10 fantasy outfielders conversation. If he can post 20-plus homers with 80 RBI and 80 runs along with a .275 BA / .350 OBP, his fantasy stock will soar heading into 2015.
Cobb took a line drive to the head and missed about 10 starts recovering. Fantasy owners and MLB fans missed out on the next ace of the staff if David Price relocates to a larger market. AC is 25-14 in the big leagues with a 3.39 ERA and 7.50 K/9 rate that, according to the last two seasons, is on the rise to 8.50.
Odorizzi was 9-6 in 22 Triple-A starts last season and posted a 3.33 ERA and 8.98 K/9 rate. With Jeremy Hellickson on the mend (elbow), Odorizzi will start the season in the bigs and if Hellickson returns, but Price moves on, would remain a piece of the Rays’ rotation puzzle.
Jake Odorizzi (SP)
Hak-Ju Lee (SS)
Yunel Escobar is the band-aid until Lee is ready for the show. The speedy shortstop swiped 37 bases at Double-A in 2012 and missed all but 15 Triple-A games last season as he recovered from knee surgery. It’s a big year for the 23-year-old as the Rays are desperate for a new option atop the lineup. No offense, Mr. DeJesus. Enjoy reading into and placing emphasis on specific words in that previous sentence.