MLB Preview 2011: How the Tampa Bay Rays Can Rebuild Their Depleted Bullpen

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MLB Preview 2011: How the Tampa Bay Rays Can Rebuild Their Depleted Bullpen
J. Meric/Getty Images

There is good news and bad news for the Tampa Bay Rays.  Most agree that there is much more bad news, considering that the Rays lost four pitchers who accounted for 226.1 of the Rays 454 relief innings: Rafael Soriano, Joaquin Benoit, Dan Wheeler, and Grant Belfour.

This is a sharp blow for a team that won the AL East last year, based almost solely on strong pitching and dominant defense.

Rafael Soriano led the AL in saves.  Joaquin Benoit had a 7:1 strikeout to walk ratio for 2010.  Dan Wheeler's ERA has been between 2.21 and 3.35, not counting an off-year in 2007.  Balfour posted a 2.28 ERA and 1.08 WHIP last season. 

Now for the good news:

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