Despite the Curse of LaMar-Naimoli, that has landed several starters on the DL, the offense has been good. Not great, but good. With all the injuries, and B.J. Upton and Delmon Young waiting for their turn down at Durham, this team is showing that it has the potential to be a very good offensive team. The team is only 9th in the AL with a .262 team batting average, but as a whole the team is showing more patience at the plate and lead the league with 60 walks and are 6th with a .355 OBP. More surprising, the team is second in the AL with 19 home runs, trailing only the Detroit Tigers who have forgotten that they are not supposed to be very good. But most importantly, the offense has scored the second most runs in the AL, behind only the New York Yankees that have a lineup that includes 8 All-Stars. The offense has been paced by Jonny Gomes (.300-5-14) and the surprising Ty Wiggington (.293-5-13).
The Curse of Lamar-Naimoli, and early season injuries to four starters, a starting pitcher and a member of the bullpen…The Devil Rays, who were third in the majors last season with 151 stolen bases, have been much more selective this season, with only 5 stolen bases in the first 13 games. The increased patience on the basepaths is coming at a cost as the team has been caught stealing 7 times for a 42% success rate. Last season, the team was successful on 75% of their attempts…outside of Mark Hendrickson’s complete game shutout and Scott Kazmir’s near complete game, the pitching staff has been awful, but we expected that. The team is next to last in ERA giving up almost 6 runs per game (5.84). While the team only has one blown save, they have held a lead in 4 of their 6 losses, and as a team they have given up the most hits in the AL and 4th most walks, while they are last in strikeouts.