Tampa Bay Rays Grades: Assessing early season performance from position groups

With right around one month of the MLB season in the books, here are some grades for the position groups on the Tampa Bay Rays.
Tampa Bay Rays v Chicago White Sox
Tampa Bay Rays v Chicago White Sox / Griffin Quinn/GettyImages
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Starting Pitching Grade: B-

The starting pitching story for Tampa Bay has been the great beginning to the season Ryan Pepiot has had. He has tossed a 3.12 ERA in 34.2 innings of work and has 38 strikeouts over that stretch with a great WHIP of 0.87. He has been the main catalyst to a rotation that continues to battle the injury bug, and has stepped up to become the big arm so far.

Zack Littell has been pretty good as well with an ERA of 3.27, and has 35 strikeouts over 33.0 innings on the mound. He has been really gods in particular at keeping batters from drawing walks, as he only has allowed five this season. Him and Pepiot both average 9.0+ strikeouts per nine innings.

Unexpectedly, these two have overshadowed the other two big name arms in Zach Eflin and Aaron Civale. Civale has an ERA of 5.06, as he has given up almost a hit per inning of pitching, but he is continuing to put up good strikeout numbers with 34 in 32.0 innings. Eflin's ERA sits at 4.08, and he continues to do what he does best: not allow walks, as he has only surrendered four in 35.1 innings of work.

Overall, the Rays' starting pitching has been doing well enough to compensate for the extensive injuries that they continue to harbor.