The win last night over the Orioles was the 82nd of the year for the Rays. But it was also win number ten for Jeff Niemann. And that is a telling achievement for the Rays organization.

Niemann’s tenth win gives the Rays five pitchers with ten wins this season. That is an impressive feat for any team. But for the Rays, it is just par for the course, and part of the master plan.

Just last year, the Rays had five pitchers with at least 12 wins. And in 2008, the Rays had five pitchers with at last 11 wins.

In fact, in the last four seasons, the Rays have now had 18 pitchers win at least ten games, including nine different pitchers…

  • Andy Sonnanstine (2008)
  • David Price (2009, 2010, 2011)
  • Edwin Jackson (2008)
  • James Shields (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)
  • Jeff Niemann (2009, 2010, 2011)
  • Jeremy Hellickson (2011)
  • Matt Garza (2008, 2010)
  • Scott Kazmir (2008)
  • Wade Davis (2010, 2011)

In the first ten years of this franchise’s existence, Devil Rays pitchers only combined for ten 10-win seasons.

We don’t talk about wins for pitchers around here very often. There are certainly better stats by which to judge a pitcher. But this is a significant achievement for the Rays in that it shows the level of depth and talent among the Rays starting pitchers.

And maybe more importantly, it shows that Rays starting pitchers have remained amazingly healthy.

We question the moves of Andrew Friedman and Joe Maddon from time-to-time. But we try to give them the benefit of the doubt with the rotation as often as possible. Whatever it is they are doing, it is keeping the most important players on the field and off the DL.

And a healthy rotation, as much as anything, is why the Rays can compete in the same division as the Red Sox and Yankees.



  1. mj says:

    I was just thinking this earlier today when reviewing the pitching woes of Red Sox and the Yankees. Doesn't matter how much you pay or how good a pitcher is if he isn't healthy enough to get on the bump every 5 days.

    • Beth says:

      And I don't want to jinx anyone, but the Rays starters have been pretty healthy. Both WD 40 and Niemann have had minor stints on the DL, but Price and Shields have never missed a start. (Cobb's injury is the exception) Indeed, I can't remember Shields missing a start at any time in his career. Luck? Good trainers? Limiting innings for young starters? I don't know the answer.


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