Tampa Bay Rays Midseason Thoughts

Trop TalkContributor IJuly 13, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 19:  Ben Zobrist #18 of the Tampa Bay Rays fields the ball against the New York Mets on June 19, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

With the All-Star break starting I have decided to look back on what was the first half of the season for the Tampa Bay Rays.


The Rays Are Now a Legit MLB Team

They have shown that last year wasn’t a fluke, and that the Devil Rays are long gone. This team proves that youth ball can win and it is not all about the huge payroll like the Yankees or Red Sox.



FiveAll-Stars this season with one starting. This team use to only send one to the game for the fact that you had to be represented in the game. Also, second year running a Ray is in the Home Run Derby.



We all know what Ben Zobrist has done this season. Lets be honest—who in their right mind would of thought Zorilla would do what hes doing?

When we acquired Jason Bartlett last season for Delmon Young, I was completely heated. I thought it was the worst trade and killed the future of this team in the offensive catgory. Fast forward to today: J.B. is the best shortstop at the break, no one knows what Delmon is doing, and I look like a complete idiot.

Lets not forget how valuable Jeff Niemann has been to this team. So far he is arguably the best starter on the team. At least the most consistent. He keeps this up and the Rays should have the Rookie of the Year two years running.


Question Marks

We all know Pat Burrell, Scott Kazmir, and Dioner Navarro have had a rough first half, but we know what they are capable of. Kaz and Navi were All-Stars last season, for crying out loud.

Also the play against poor teams has killed the Rays. Its a great thing when you beat the top teams but you need to smash the weak ones too.  Teams like the A’s and Indians should never stand a chance against the Rays.


Where They Are Now

Tampa is 6.5 games back in the AL East and 3.5 back in the wild card. You cannot rule this team out of anything yet, knowing all the talent that's on this ballclub.