Tampa Bay Rays: Clearing the Hurdles, 2019 Retrospective Part One

By Seth Carter
Kevin Kiermaier (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
Kevin Kiermaier (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) /
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Jose Alvarado (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) /

Setbacks and Hurdles

Rays dealt with several disappointments in 2019 and yet found a way to overcome them. Here’s a rundown of several hurdles the Rays had to clear before they improved upon their 90-win 2018.

Blake Snell followed up his 1.89, 21-win, Cy Young Award-winning season, with a much more mediocre 4.29 ERA, 1.27 WHIP. They aren’t terrible numbers, but it’s tough to overcome an ace not pitching like an ace. While it’s likely that these numbers can be partially attributed to his elbow issues in which he had mid-season surgery to remove loose bodies, it was no doubt a hurdle the Rays had to clear.

Jose Alvarado – Heading into the season, the expectation was that Alvarado would take the next step and represent the Rays in the All-Star game. Instead, of Rays’ relievers with 14 or more appearances, Alvarado had the highest ERA on the team.

Daniel Robertson has had quite a roller coaster of a Major League career thus far. He went from a .308 OBP in 2017 to .382 in 2018, and back down to .312 last season. In 2018 Robertson posted a 2.6 WAR but followed that up with a .2 in 2019. Over 707 at-bats in his career, Robertson has slugged .340. The Rays were certainly expecting more out him last year, hopefully, we get the 2018 version this season.

Joey Wendle – After hitting .300 in 139 games during 2018 Wendle fell flat in 2019. Despite only hitting seven homers in 2018 he smashed 33 doubles and six triples in 487 at-bats, helping himself to a .435 SLG. Last season he slugged nearly 100 points worse. His OBP plummeted from .354 to .293. After showing so much promise in 2018, like Daniel Robertson, Wendle didn’t pan out for the 2019 Rays.