By Spencer Impellizzeri @Spence_I on April 21, 2014
The Rays have been plagued by injuries this season, as Jeremy Hellickson, Alex Cobb and Matt Moore have all been sidelined by injuries. Moore is a big concern as he was coming off a 17-4 season, but now needs Tommy John surgery. The Rays are off to a slow start and the numerous injuries are a big factor.
David Price has been a bit uncharacteristic this season, giving up four or more runs in two of his four starts. He sits at 2-1 with a 4.39 ERA, which is too high for the 2012 AL Cy Young award winner. Price has posted an outstanding SO:BB ratio at 9.33, which is very encouraging. Expect him to straighten things out and have a great season like he always does.
Alex Cobb was off to a solid start to the season, going 1-1 with a 1.89 ERA through his first three starts, but unfortunately ended up on the DL. He should return in the near future and should slide into the No. 2 starter role when he returns.
Chris Archer is coming off a breakout 2013 season and has posted solid numbers to start this season. So far, Archer is 2-1 with a 3.65 ERA, sporting a 4.20 SO:BB ratio. With Cobb, Moore and Hellickson sidelined, Archer has a big opportunity and the Rays need him to step up. Archer has proven that he is fully capable of the task at hand.
The other piece acquired in the James Shields trade, Jake Odorizzi made the Rays' starting rotation after injuries opened a couple spots. He has had his ups and downs in the role. He is 1-2 with a 5.83 ERA on the season, but those numbers don't accurately reflect how he's pitched. With Moore out for the year, expect Odorizzi to keep his rotation spot.
With all the injuries to starters, Eric Bedard has been called up to join the rotation. He has started one game, posting a 6.35 ERA on the outing. Bedard and Cesar Ramos will see starts until Cobb and Hellickson return, but neither have much of a shot of sticking around after that.
Grant Balfour has been an excellent addition to the Rays' bullpen, going a perfect 4-for-4 in save opportunities while posting a 2.35 ERA. Joel Peralta and Jake McGee have also been solid. Peralta has hitters hitting just .091 off him and McGee has a 1.29 ERA. Heath Bell has not been what the Rays were looking for when they signed him in free agency as he is 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA, but the bullpen as a whole is in good shape.
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