Yeah, Joe knows it isn’t even April 15 (close), and yes, Joe knows when he is on, Red Sux pitcher Clay Buchholz is one of the dominant pitchers in baseball. Still, this flirting with getting no-hit, if not getting no-hit, is beyond old and Joe points a finger at the Rays’ front office.
As many hosannas as Andrew Friedman gets (and deserves) for developing pitchers — he and his scouts may be the best in baseball at finding and grooming hurlers — Friedman and his staff are just as bad with offense. Essentially, Friedman is the Father Dungy of baseball.
Only defense (in this case, pitching) matters. Offense is trivial.
How else can one explain the Rays’ oversight with guys who make their livings with bats? Aside from Evan Longoria, who was Friedman’s first draft choice, and Desmond Jennings, name a hitter Friedman and the Rays have drafted and developed? Joe’s answer to his own question is zero. And Friedman has been in charge of things for not quite seven years. That’s a disturbing pattern right there for inability (or indifference) to developing sticks.
Again, Joe lauds Friedman for developing pitchers. He’s masterful at finding pitchers. The same cannot be said for hitters. And last Joe checked, if you can’t score runs, it doesn’t matter how dominant your pitchers are. It’s this, and this nonsense of working the count in which hitters paint themselves into a corner, is why the Rays are always a good bet in Vegas for being no-hit.
Shoot, the way the Rays are (not) hitting, Adam Wainwright, a lifetime .200-hitting pitcher, could be the Rays’ designated hitter.
No folks, Joe’s not being knee-jerk here. The past three years has shown a pretty distinct pattern; offense is an afterthought in the Rays organization, or just simply mismanaged. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t be seeing this punchless batting order, punctuated by Southern League Sam Fuld.