We’ve started our annual Depth Chart Discussions, re-branded as Playing Time Battles for 2016. You can catch up on every team we’ve covered in the Playing Time Battles Summary post or following along using the Depth Chart Discussions tag.
Things did not go well for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2015, but it would be difficult to pin too much of that on their pitching staff. With a 3.74 ERA and 3.91 FIP, the Rays’ pitchers weren’t exactly world-beaters, but they weren’t the team’s biggest problem, either. They ranked in the middle third of the league in pitcher wins above replacement, walk rate, ERA, and FIP-. They just kind of were.
The issue, in some cases, was timing. The Rays ranked sixth in strikeout percentage as a whole, but their rotation was much better (fourth) in that regard than a bullpen lighter on gas. That bullpen posted 87 meltdowns, sixth-highest in baseball, which served to squander a bit of what a fringe-top-10 rotation was able to manage, and that bullpen lost lefty Jake McGee, to boot. That could be an iffy area again in 2016, one the .500-bound Rays didn’t see fit to invest a ton in.
The rotation, by the way, only had to go nine-deep a year ago. If it can stay relatively healthy once again, even getting a late-season reinforcement back from the disabled list, the Rays could have one of the better cost-effective rotations in baseball.
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