Rays News

Rays: 16 Things to Look Forward To in 2016

By Mat Germain
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Oct 2, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Ben Revere (7) slides back to first base as Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Richie Shaffer (36) attempted to tag him out at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 2, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Ben Revere (7) slides back to first base as Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Richie Shaffer (36) attempted to tag him out at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Number Four Thing to Look Forward to: More 1B Power

We know that James Loney remains the 1B for the Rays at the moment, but the emergence of Richie Shaffer as an option in 2015 and the addition of Logan Morrison to the team allow us to expect more power coming from the position in 2016. That will be a critical aspect to what will hopefully be an improved offensive performance and could set the tone to an improved position in the standings.

It’s going to be hard for the Rays to hold Shaffer back if he has a strong spring training, so it’s going to be interesting to see how they split time at 1B/DH if Loney does stick around. We’ll get to the other 1B prospects later, but there is no shortage of options right now at 1B. While we appreciate everything Loney has done for the team, there’s a definite need for a power surge at the position. If our hunch is right, Loney will be moved, Shaffer will man 1B regularly, and prospects in AAA will provide depth/protection.

Next: Number Five Thing to Look Forward to: 1B Prospects

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