If you have been hanging around these parts for a while, you know that the model for this site is to tell you what the Rays have done, what they are doing and try to project what they will do based on what we have learned. Think of RI as “Tampa Bay Rays 101.”
However, for the next 12 days we will step away from the standard, and we present to you 12 “presents” the Tampa Bay Rays should give to their fans. Looking back at last year’s 12 Days of Raysmas, we see that many of our wishes came true. Many did not. If we can get a couple of more this year, the Rays might just win it all.
Without further ado…
On the sixth day of Raysmas, the Tampa Bay Rays gave to us, A SIX-MAN ROTATION IN APRIL…
Normally we hate the idea of a six-man rotation. For one thing, most starting pitchers are creatures of habit and prefer a very set routine. And the number of days in between starts and what they do in between starts is part of that routine.
But every once in a while, a six-man rotation can come in handy. For the Rays that might be in April.
The Rays have had the healthiest starting pitchers in the big leagues the last few years. Part of that is age. Younger pitchers don’t break down as often. But it is also a testament to how careful and calculated the Rays are with their pitchers.
But the downside is, in addition to being healthy, the Rays have also been in the playoffs three of the past four seasons. That means there is a lot of mileage on the arms that have been here a while.
A look at the schedule shows that the Rays only have two off-days built into the schedule in April. And they also have a grueling 10-game road trip after the opening weekend series at the Trop against the Yankees.
Is there a reason to be overly concerned? No. But the Rays are a cautious bunch, and we like it. And while the arms may not need an extra day of rest early in the season, they may have a little extra left in the tank in September and October.