The problem with rainouts and other miscellaneous weather problems causing a game to be postponed is the potential havoc it can wreak upon a pitching staff. Starting pitchers in particular seem to be creatures of habit, needing their routine and to go in their accustomed place in the rotation. With that in mind, Marc Topkin had the following tweet about what the Rays planned on doing with their pitching staff in the wake of last night’s rainout:
He followed up with this explanation:
The theory behind this move makes sense. Why throw off the entire pitching staff because of one day? This way, the rotation can remain settled, and the Rays can hopefully start the series with Price pitching at the level he did last year.
Last season, the Rays defensive struggles were one of the main reasons why the failed to make the postseason. However, it appears as though those struggles may just be an aberration, as the Rays defense, as Bill Chastain pointed out, appears to be much improved. Bringing in players such as Yunel Escobar and James Loney, who have earned reputations as solid defensive players, has certainly helped. Likewise, having a healthy Evan Longoria manning the hot corner is a boost to the defense, but what may be overlooked is the outfield. Desmond Jennings has seamlessly transitioned to center, while Sam Fuld and Matthew Joyce have yet to make an error. Since they began contending in 2008, the Rays have been known for their pitching and defense, and may be back to that formula again this year.
Brazelton may have never been able to live up to his lofty draft status, but at least he has found a way to keep himself occupied outside of the game.