Countdown to Opening Day: Rays Outlook

Wil Myers

Now that the Tampa Bay Rays have been holding spring workouts, they prepare for their first spring training match-up with the Orioles Friday afternoon.

Their biggest asset is the top of the rotation. After returning from injury, David Price was back to Cy Young form, going 9-4 with a 2.53 ERA. He struck out 102 while walking just 13 in those 18 starts.

Alex Cobb and Matt Moore combined to go 28-7.  If they can perform up to their potential, the entire rotation here is the strength of the team.

The overall defense is also a strong point for them in 2014.

However, along with strengths come weaknesses.

There isn’t really a huge weakness or setback but the offensive “firepower” leaves you wanting more. Besides Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria, it could be argued there isn’t a reliable bat in the order.

Wil Myers only has 88 career games under his belt. Everyone else can be inconsistent and far from perfect.

This season the Rays will be competing against the huge-market Yankees, the world champion Red Sox and the intimidating Orioles. But, once again, they appear ready for the challenge.

If they don’t live up to expectations, Price could be traded in the Summer.

Outstanding defense behind a very good rotation and quality bullpen will limit the opposition and the offense should be able to perform around league average. Fans should Expect 90-plus wins and no worse than an ALDS exit.

For more on this story visit: Matt Snyder, CBS Sports