Rays Staff Through 25 Starts

By Dustin Staggers

I was perusing some stats this morning, and while I knew our staff was dominating, the numbers from our 5 starting pitchers are almost

laughable. All 5 guys have 5 starts thus far so lets take a look at them all.

I’m going to go in the order that I consider our pitchers, essentially ace to number 5.

Matt Garza
4 Wins, 1 Loss, 2.06 ERA, 35 IP, 8 ER, 34K, 13BB
I’ve been claiming for two years that this is by far our best pitcher, and he is showing it right now. His numbers are incredible even though he got shelled for 5 runs in 5 IP in his 4th start. He’s equally dominating both left handed and right handed hitters and has a remarkeable 1.56 ERA on the road. Cy Young caliber potential if he keeps this up. He’s first in the AL in W’s and 7th in ERA.

James Shields
3 Wins, 0 Losses, 3.38 ERA, 32 IP, 12 ER, 33K, 10BB
Technically our worst pitcher thus far by ERA standards, James Shields is quietly putting together another great season. He has the ability to strike guys out at any time with one of the better changeups in the league. If he would stop giving up the long ball (7), his ERA would be in the 2 range like the rest of the staff.

David Price
3 Wins, 1 Loss, 2.34 ERA, 34.2 IP, 9 ER, 27K, 10BB
I am surprised at how far Price has come in one season. He showed little control and thus, little ability to go far into games in 09, but has completely reversed that trend this season. He is averaging 6.2 IP per start. His almost 3:1 K/BB ratio is much better than I anticipated as well.

Wade Davis
3 Wins, 1 Loss, 2.79 ERA, 29 IP, 9 ER, 22K, 16BB
Davis has battled some control issues but continues to fight through them and pitch at a high level. He just completed his best game of the season yesterday, a 7 IP 3 hitter, allowing 0 ER. This guy has started 11 games in his young career with a 5-3 record and a 3.38 ERA for his career. When he turns half of those walks into K’s, watch out, as he could vault himself to the 2nd best pitcher on this list.

Jeff Niemann
1 Win, 0 Losses, 2.76 ERA, 29.1 IP, 9 ER, 18K, 9BB
Niemann continues to produce at a high level even though his K/P9 leaves something to be desired. There are plenty of good pitchers in the MLB though who are not known as K artists, and Niemann is developing into one of those guys. He has a paltry 1.02 WHIP which helps his ERA out even though he isn’t striking out a ton of guys.

In all that is 25 starts, 14 wins, 3 losses, 159.3 IP, 46 ER, 2.88 ERA, 134K’s, 57BB.  Leaving out the fact that at this point we have the best hitting team in the league, if you get starts like that from all 5 of your SP’s, you are going to be a dominant force, and through 25 games we are just that, dominant.  We are on pace for 116 wins.