By Tyler Ruby on August 5, 2014
The Tampa Bay Rays pretty much folded up their season when they traded David Price to the Detroit Tigers, but they still aren't out of it. Crazier things have happened, and the Rays are only 5.5 games back of a Wild-Card spot. But with a third of the season left, they need to pick up their play now, and with the departure of Price, there is now added pressure on the stars of the team. Here are five Rays who need to step up in August.
Yunel Escobar is actually having a decent year with the bat, but a .255 average and only four home runs should worry Rays fans. He only has 26 RBIs as well. Outside of Evan Longoria, the Rays don't have a huge power bat, so they need Escobar to step up down the stretch if they wish to make the playoffs.
Wil Myers has had a rather disappointing year. He was the prized prospect who the Rays got in return for James Shields, but he is only batting .227 this season while having a WAR of 0.3. He is scheduled back from a wrist injury relatively soon, and for the Rays' sake, they better hope he returns to form.
With the departure of David Price, the pressure now lies with the pitching staff, specifically Jake Odorizzi. He is 7-9 this season with and ERA of over four. That needs to improve dramatically in August because the Rays have no more room for error.
Evan Longoria is the best player in Tampa Bay, and if they have any hope of making the playoffs, then he needs to be on top of his game because if he's not, the Rays are done.
Along with the rest of the pitching staff, Alex Cobb needs to step up his performances in August. He's essentially the de facto ace with David Price gone, and a 7-6 record with a 3.52 ERA is solid, but not great. He needs to be lights-out in August if the Rays wish to make a run late in the season.
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