Monday, March 28, 2011

Arms Race.

With opening day almost upon us I thought I would highlight the Rays probable rotation. Tops of the pile is David Price,shown here on a gold bordered Bowman 2010. Price finished second in the Cy Young race in 2010 and Rays fans are hoping he goes one better in 2011.
Number two in the rotation is my guy James Shields. He had a down year in 2010 going 13-15 with an ERA over 5. This year I expect him to knock at least on run off his ERA. Shieds is a proven innings eater so expect him throw 200+ again this year.
Third is Jeff Niemann, the 6'9" hurler had a solid year in 2010 going 12-8. If he can stay healthy and improve his pitching with runners on first, he was easy to steal off last year. I think the big guy could have a break out year. He has all the tools to become a star.
Wade Davis will be fourth in the Rays rotation this year. Wade was 12-10 last year. He has had a pretty rough time in Spring Training, but expect a solid year from the big righty. Another who needs to stay healthy. Like Niemann he was another high draft pick who is finally seeing his potential realised.
Fianlly we have the great hope for the Rays pitching staff. Jeremy Hellickson is a highly touted prospect who is going to fill the cleats of the departed Matt Garza. A brief stint in the Majors last season where he went 4-0 with a 3.47 ERA. Much is expected of the Young Mr Hellickson, but as with David Price in 2009 it will be a big learning curve for him. I fully expect him to hit his full potential in 2012. He should be ready for the opening of the season after a hamstring problem shortened his spring training.

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