AL East Preview: Tampa Bay Rays

Ryan GaydosSenior Analyst IMarch 11, 2009

Last year was definitely a phase. They Rays will not make it back to the post season and will have to wait an extra year for players like David Price, Jeff Niemann, Andy Sonnanstine, and Evan Longoria to fully meet their potential. All I'm saying is last year was a fluke.

Keep an Eye on: Grant Balfour, rp
Balfour is a good reliever that could go for those long innings when others are tired. Last year he was made known in the post season for his dominant performances against the Red Sox in relief.

Projected Lineup
1. Akinori Iwamura, 2b
2. B.J. Upton, cf
3. Carlos Pena, 1b
4. Evan Longoria, 3b
5. Carl Crawford, lf
6. Matt Joyce, dh
7. Dionner Navarro, c
8. Gabe Gross, rf
9. Jason Bartlett, ss

Projected Pitching Staff
1. Scott Kazmir, lhp
2. James Shields, rhp
3. Matt Garza, rhp
4. Andy Sonnanstine, rhp
5. David Price, lhp

Projected Bullpen
Troy Percival
Dan Wheeler
J.P. Howell
Chad Bradford
Grant Balfour

Top Prospects
1. David Price, lhp
2. Tim Beckham, ss
3. Wade Davis, rhp
4. Reid Brignac, ss
5. Desmond Jennings, cf

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