The first half of the Rays’ 2012 season was a tale of injuries. The Rays were simply a team that could not catch a break, battling through injury after injury to keep themselves afloat in the tough AL East division.
"Disappointment" could be a word used to describe the first half of the year, but considering all the adversity and misfortune surrounding them, the Rays’ could have been in a much worse position than they are now at the All-Star break. Fourteen players have spent time on the disabled list this season, including seven out of the nine hitters in the starting lineup (and Jeff Keppinger), two starting pitchers and their 2011 closer (Kyle Farnsworth).
The Rays got off to a hot start in the first quarter of the season, but then quickly faded in the second quarter as their numerous injuries started to catch up with them. The were hit with a huge blow when team leader Evan Longoria went down with a hamstring injury, and have obviously not been the same team offensively or defensively ever since. Then Matt Joyce—the team’s second-biggest run producer—hit the DL nearly three weeks before the All-Star break, weakening the offense to an even worse situation.
At the end of the day, the Rays aren’t exactly too thrilled with where they’re at in the standings at the midseason point, but they have to be pretty satisfied with their position considering the fact that they currently stand only a half-game out of a playoff spot.
There’s still plenty of regular season ahead of us, and if anybody can make a second-half turnaround, it’s the Rays.
Let’s take a look at some surprises, disappointments, numbers and team awards from the first half.