Thursday, August 25, 2011

Season 15 Previews: Oakland East Bay Rays

And lastly, we turn to the East Bay Rays. They've never won the NL West and finished in the basement last season. Can they turn it around after two straight last place finishes?

Oakland East Bay Rays

Last season: 65-97 (last in NL West, missed playoffs)
Offense: 15th in NL
Pitching: 15th in NL

Key additions: SS Gustavo Contreras (FA-Vancouver), C Rick Anderson (FA-Boston), C Rodney Rando (trade- New Orleans), P Shane Simms (trade-Cincinnati)

Key losses: SS William Satou (trade-Chicago), P Billy Spencer (FA-Boise), P Harry Lee (FA)

Analysis: If not for New Orleans this would have been the worst offense, so this was the first thing addressed. They upgraded at SS with Contreras and C with the Anderson/Rando combination and they could have a deep lineup when combined with sluggers 2B Virgil Vega, 1B Bob Zambrano, and RF O.T. Wagner. The team is expecting more from 3B Marcus Goldman and talented CF Roscoe Rigby.

Pitching is where this team is likely to struggle again. B.C. Macias is a good start, but he needs help. Dealing for Simms was a good start in rebuilding the staff, but they had to bring back Pedro Hernandez (who was pedestrian last season) and Don McConnell (who was beyond awful last season) just to eat innings. The bullpen is even more unsettled than the rotation.

Outlook: I can see them overtaking Boise and maybe even Salem for second place. They'll need a telescope to see Salt Lake City, however.

No comments: