Rays broadcaster Brian Anderson details what Angels can expect from Tampa Bay

Video Details

After pitching in the big leagues himself, Brian Anderson now spends his time in the booth for the Tampa Bay Rays and he chatted with Victor Rojas about what Halo fans can expect during this four-game series

VICTOR ROJAS: A pleasure to welcome in former Angels first-round pick and former Big League pitcher, Brian Anderson, who does the analysis on the Tampa Bay Rays broadcast. I want to ask you a little bit about this Rays ballclub. Because I don't think many folks-- outside of CJ Cron-- know what the Tampa Bay Rays are about and what they're bringing to the table after sweeping the Kansas City Royals.

- Well, I'll tell you what, offensively this was a team a year ago that was-- it was home run or bust. I mean, they set the franchise record in home runs. You had 228 homers, finished 14th in the league in scoring runs. So they completely remade the roster. A lot of trades. Steven Souza Jr., gone. Corey Dickerson-- a lot of different guys. Evan Longoria traded.

And rebuilt this offense to where, you know, you bring in a guy like CJ Cron. He's their big home guy up in the two hole, having a nice season for the Rays.

But it's a-- it's a lineup full of grinders, lot of blue collar guys that use the whole field. They run more than they have in the past. It really resembles an old style baseball team, the way they try to scratch across runs and build innings. They'll take the home runs if they can get them. But they try to build innings. And they try to put pressure on the opposing pitcher and on the defense.

On the pitching side of things, it's been interesting. Because you had-- originally, they were going to go with a four-man rotation and then a bullpen day. And then Nathan Eovaldi at the end of Spring Training gets hurt. So they were, for a time, going with three starters and two bullpen days.

Well, that put an awful lot of stress on the bullpen. So you've got a couple of guys-- Anthony Banda, Ryan Yarbrough-- who have now taken over more of a starring role to go along with Chris Archer, Blake Snell, and Jake Faria.

And then the back end of the bullpen, they got a couple of different styles of guys out there. And Kevin Cash has to get-- you know, it's interesting how he tries to piece thing together at the back end of a game. But it's a fun team to watch. A lot of activity.

- I do want to ask you about Johnny Venters, because obviously as a former Big League pitcher yourself, this guy's been through the ringer, three Tommy John surgeries. And he's having a fantastic year so far.

- You know, his story is so great. The last time-- when he made his appearance with the Rays this season, it was 2012 the NLCS was the last time that he had pitched. It was over 2,000 days. And so he comes up. He has the three Tommy John surgeries, and then he also had a reattachment. So he likes to say 3 and 1/2 Tommy Johns.

But he's been fantastic. You know, his velocity has been sitting 92 to 94 and good movement, a good slider. He does a great job of hiding the ball well. Kevin Cash has used him-- you know, I mean a lefty here, maybe stretch him out to an inning. He's brought up in spots where he can succeed. And he's throwing the ball very, very well.

- Overall, I mean the Rays not-- you look, the record doesn't-- it's not that bad. You're coming off the sweep of the Royals. And you're competing in a very difficult American League East.

- Yeah. And you know what, that's where it got into trouble. Because they started off the season-- they played the Boston Red Sox 10 times in the month of April. I mean, you only play 19 time for the season. You had 10 of them against the Sox in April. They struggled against Boston. They struggled against the New York Yankees, for obvious reasons.

Outside of that, they have played extremely well. They've been, you know, hot and cold. They started off the year very cold, then got into a little eight-game winning streak, you know, nine out of 13. Hit another little rough patch. And now are playing well again, and you know, coming off that sweep on the road in Kansas City after a tough series in Baltimore. And looking forward to seeing, you know, what the Angel team has to offer. Because this team looks like it's-- it's going to be a good test for them.

- All right, before we let you go, I got to ask you about your Cavaliers. You think they'll be able to pull it out against the Boston Celtics?

- I'm going to tell you something, I don't think so. I really don't. I hate to say that. But I watched the Cavs dismantle the Toronto Raptors. And even in that series, you're saying to yourself, LeBron doesn't have a whole lot of help. And now with Brad Stevens and all his young guys with length and athleticism that they're running at them, I don't see how they pull it off, unfortunately.

- BA, always a pleasure. And enjoy your weekend here in Southern California.

- Absolutely will. You better believe it.