2021 Spring Training: A Quick View of Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays made it to the World Series for the second time in franchise history last season. Tampa Bay lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games. The Rays made a questionable decision in Game 6. They had a 1-0 lead and manager Kevin Cash decided to yank starting pitcher Blake Snell out of the ball game.

It started to avalanche after that and it was the painfully wrong decision. They took analytics way too far in this case and in this instance. They usually thrive off of it, but it didn’t work out in Tampa Bay’s favor this time around.

It will be hard for them to get back to the World Series because the Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Yankees are going to better potentially this season. However, Tampa Bay will be better than the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles. Both of those ballclubs are rebuilding.

The Rays still think they are in a win-now mode, but it will be tougher for them to make it to the playoffs once again this season.

Starting Rotation

Tyler Glasnow, Ryan Yarbrough, Chris Archer, Michael Wacha, and Josh Fleming. Glasnow will be the true number one starting pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays. Without Blake Snell and Charlie Morton, it is going to take a big-time hit. Archer is back in Tampa Bay after being traded from here to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Bullpen

Nick Anderson (Closer), Diego Castillo, Pete Fairbanks, Ryan Thompson, and John Curtiss. This could be a very good and solid bullpen for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Projected Lineup

(C) Mike Zunino, (1B) Ji-Man Choi, (2B) Brandon Lowe, (3B) Joey Wendle, (SS) Willy Adames, (LF) Randy Arozarena, (CF) Kevin Kiermaier, (RF) Manuel Margot, and (DH) Austin Meadows. This could potentially be a very solid lineup for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Arozarena was a breakout star last postseason for the Tampa Bay Rays. He will be the heartbeat of this baseball team moving forward here as well. Randy Arozarena will also prove he is a future superstar in the making.

Adames is only going to get better also at the shortstop position. He could move from the shortstop position whenever number one prospect shortstop Wander Franco comes up to the big leagues. He could be up this season.

Zunino is one of the most underrated catchers in the game of baseball. He can pick up the slack for the Tampa Bay Rays when his number is called upon.

Key Dates

Sunday, February 28th: Spring training opening day against the Atlanta Braves.

Thursday, April 1st: Opening day on the road against the Miami Marlins.

Friday, April 9th: Home opener against the New York Yankees.

The Tampa Bay Rays will be very well looking forward to those dates this upcoming season. Tampa Bay will have unfinished business to deal with this upcoming season. If the Tampa Bay Rays do not get back to the playoffs this season, it will be an ultimate failure.

The Tampa Bay Rays will be floating around .500 for most of the regular season. The question is going to be whether or not can Tampa Bay make it back to the playoffs as a potential wild card in a top-heavy American League.

Do you think the Tampa Bay Rays can get back to the World Series this season? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.

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