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MLB Tampa Bay Rays

Starting Pitchers Need to Step Up for Tampa Bay Rays

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Before the season started all the experts kept telling us how great the Tampa Bay Rays‘ pitching staff was, but so far the majority of the starters have been disappointing or worse. Alex Cobb and Matt Moore have pitched well, but the other three have struggled.

First we have Jeremy Hellickson whose earned run average is a run and a half worse than last year. In his last three starts combined he has pitched 16 innings and allowed 12 earned runs for an ERA of 6.75.

Then we have Roberto Hernandez, the former Fausto Carmona, who hasn’t made it through the seventh inning in any of his five starts. In his latest effort he allowed three home runs and picked up his fourth loss of the season.

The biggest mystery of them all is the reigning Cy Young Award winner David Price. He has allowed an unbelievable 54 hits in 44 2/3 innings pitched. In his last start he allowed nine earned runs, a career high.

Put this all together and it paints a pretty bleak picture for the Rays this season. It isn’t too late for the team to bounce back, but they need to do it soon. Price needs to regain the form he had last year while Hernandez probably needs to lose his spot in the rotation. The offense has been performing better than expected early in the season, but it has been wasted so far. The Rays are three games under .500 and 6 1/2 games out of first place in a tough American League East. If things don’t change soon they just might be sellers when the trade deadline comes around.

Darren Pare is a baseball writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter at dpare71, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.