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Tampa Bay Rays: Looking At What The 2023 Season

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The Tampa Bay Rays come into the 2023 season after a good season in 2022. The Rays won 86 games in 2022 after having a 100-win season in 2021. This comes on a very low payroll as Tampa Bay is known as a small-market team in MLB. They are also having issues with getting a new stadium deal. It was just announced that the city of St. Petersburg has decided to call home where the Rays are which is Tropicana Field. For them to rebuild on the site many say that it might make the city of Tampa get their bid in for the stadium. From what I hear on local radio, many want the stadium in Tampa not in St. Petersburg. That is why the Rays have such a big problem with attendance. So far, Tampa Bay has made small moves during the offseason.

With 86 wins, the Tampa Bay Rays finished 3rd in the AL East. Tampa Bay has a low payroll compared to the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox who have some of the highest payrolls in the MLB. The Yankees won the division and the Red Sox finished last in the AL East. The problem that the team had last year was scoring runs. It showed when they lost in the wild card series against the Cleveland Guardians. The Rays scored a total of 666 runs in the 2022 season. I heard an interview on 620 WDEA The Sports Animal as Erik Neander the president of baseball operations. He said they focused on what has made the Rays so good and focused on pitching. Baseball fans know that pitching and defense win championships. As far as the need for an offense they are working on deals. 

He did not share what moves are being made but hopefully, it will lead to more scoring in 2023. One of the best offensive players in Yandy Diaz got a three-year $24-million-dollar extension. He, along with Randy Arozarena and Wander Franco, will have to pick up scoring runs in 2023. The Tampa Bay Rays fans are hoping to see Wander Franco stay healthy since he has been hampered by injuries. There were two players tied at 20 home runs for the Rays that was Arozarena and Isaac Paredes. Yandy Diaz had the best batting average in 2022. The Rays saw fan favorites Ji-Man Choi and Kevin Kiermaier leave the team. Choi signed as a free agent with the Pittsburg Pirates and Kiermaier signed with AL East rival the Toronto Blue Jays. 

When it comes to pitching, the ace of the staff Shane McClanahan will be back along with hopefully Tyler Glasnow. Glasnow had Tommy John surgery in 2021. He returned in 2022 for a short stint but did very well. Both Jeffrey Springs and Pete Fairbanks both got extensions and Neander said there are more extensions for pitching. The Tampa Bay Rays also signed Zach Eflin. There are some Tampa Bay sports announcers that believe the Rays may trade Glasnow because they are heavy on pitchers. The Rays have also implanted the bullpen day where they start their bullpen pitchers and use normally three to four pitchers and now the rest of the MLB has established it for their teams. 

The Tampa Bay Rays will once again be a contender for the AL East. We will all have to sit back and watch what Erik Neander does as spring training is right around the corner. The Rays will be at two locations for spring training. The Rays normally play in Port Charlotte, Florida but it was damaged by hurricane Ian. They will now play at the Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World. The other half is where they play during the regular season at Tropicana Field. Fans are hoping that the new stadium deal will happen soon. If the Rays can score runs, they should have no problem making the playoffs and advancing to the World Series. The previous two times they have been beaten by the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers. I am looking forward to a great 2023 season for the Tampa Bay Rays.

What are your thoughts on how the 2023 Tampa Bay Rays season goes? Leave a comment below

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