Burning Fantasy Baseball Questions: Tampa Bay Rays

by Nicholas Minnix on January 21, 2013 @ 12:32:43 PDT


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KFFL answers important fantasy baseball questions about each Major League Baseball team as spring training approaches. What must fantasy baseball players know about the Tampa Bay Rays?

Fernando Rodney for really real, yo?

Tampa Bay Rays SP Matt Moore
Expect more from Moore

This right-hander entered 2012 with a lifetime ERA of 4.29 and BB/9 of 4.88. The huge gains he made in the latter have a good deal to do with his improvement in the former. Is this kind of dramatic change possible without the intervention of bribery or sorcery?

It certainly is, but, as the Rays have proven time and again, they have one of the most forward-thinking organizations in baseball. They invest time and energy in their processes, which are always evolving, in large part because they must in order to compete with teams that can afford more talent. But they remain pure at heart and committed to those ideals. ... Well, who knows if that's true. But imagine what other clubs could accomplish, if only. ...

Anyway, Tampa Bay's staff made some suggestions to Rodney about his mechanics that allowed him to get much more from his ability, but he almost certainly exceeded even their expectations in 2012. It's almost a given that he won't repeat his record-breaking performance (0.60 ERA, 0.78 WHIP). He gave up only one more earned run (five) than he did runs on error.

But, for your sanity's sake, hopefully those aren't your standards. There is good reason to believe that the soon-to-be 36-year-old will retain much of the leap forward in his indicating marks, such as his rate of walks per nine innings. He's posted a ground-ball rate of 50 percent or better in each of the past four seasons. He has strikeout stuff, thanks to regularly mid-90s fastball velocity with and a superb changeup. And Tampa Bay's tinkering should help to aid Rodney's quest to avoid injury.

Doubters should do a lot to alleviate interested bidders' worries about Rodney's price point. You determine whether it's enough for you.

How much will Matt Moore mature in 2013?

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About Nicholas Minnix

Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.

The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.

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