Tampa Bay Rays must keep their core hitters together with future at stake
The Tampa Bay Rays have one of the more intriguing group of hitters in baseball and have reaped the benefits in 2017.
Evan Longoria, Steven Souza, Logan Morrison, and Corey Dickerson have put Tampa in position to fight for a playoff spot, thanks to their outstanding display of power and flair for the dramatic.
Tampa currently sits 2.5 games out of the second wild-card spot, behind Baltimore, Seattle, and Los Angeles.
It’s important that the Rays front office takes a step back and understand that they cannot afford to waste a chance of success in Tampa Bay.
Normally the Rays aren’t a factor come postseason time and they constantly let potential stalwarts within their organization leave to go play or coach elsewhere.
Although it can be understandable at times, Tampa has been highly productive this season and have shown improvement under manager Kevin Cash.
Under Cash, the 2017 Rays pitching staff has a 4.02 ERA. In 2016, the Rays pitching staff posted a 4.20 ERA.
Their offense in 2017 currently holds a .247 BA and the 2016 Rays offense posted a .243 BA, however, neither compares to Tampa’s .252 average in 2015.
If the Rays want to become a winner and not just a club that idly stands by while other teams make moves to contend, then they must open up the checkbook.
Morrison has launched 32 homers and has driven in 74 runs this season; Souza has 28 dingers, 75 RBIs, and 13 stolen bases; Longoria currently holds 17 long balls and 71 ribbies; Dickerson has a .291 average with 25 homers and 58 RBIs.
Dickerson is scheduled to be a free agent in 2020; Morrison will be a free agent after this season; Souza will hit the free agency pool in 2021, so Tampa has time to add more to their supporting cast(that includes adding some arms to their pitching staff).
Now’s the time for the Rays to really show their fan base and the baseball universe that they’re committed to getting another shot at a World Series title. If they don’t then the Tampa Bay Rays may cease to exist in the not-too-distant future.