Despite their abundance of pitching, the Tampa Bay Rays finished 10 games below .500 last season. With a pretty quiet offseason, the Rays hitting needs to improve dramatically to make any waves in the AL East in 2016. Even though they will be without Nate Karns, Tampa Bay’s rotation is stacked and had the AL leading ERA in 2015 with 3.63. Chris Archer is quickly becoming the darling of the franchise with his 95mph fastball and charismatic personality. Drew Smyly was out for more than 100 games due to a bum shoulder, but excelled in September. Jake Odorizzi and Erasmo Ramirez both has solid 2015 outings with the promise of greatness in 2016. In the bullpen, the Rays have an assorted bunch who may or may not pan out. Brad Boxberger had 41 saves last season, yet also suffered six walk-off defeats plus many blown saves. Other guys in the mix will be Danny Farquhar, Steve Geltz and Alex Colme. At second base, Logan Forsythe should continue to add to this club both in key stats and with his glove while newcomer Brad Miller, who came over in the Karns deal, will replace Asdrubal Cabrera at shortstop. Evan Longoria seems to be in a few year slump with his bat, yet defensively his .976 fielding percentage led the AL at third base in 2015. Center fielder Kevin Kiermaier is a defensive stud and at right field sophomore Steven Souza Jr. will need to step it up at the plate.
Overall, the 2016 roster for the Rays will need to come in bats swinging, literally to climb out of the cellar in the AL East. With a stellar pitching rotation, it would be nice to back it up with some offense this season. Fans and Tampa Bay Rays ticket holders are ready for this club to get to the next level, so be sure to come on out and support these guys and grab your Tampa bay Rays tickets for this upcoming season.
Known as “The Trop”, Tropicana Field home to Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays. The field was known formerly as Florida Suncoast Dome and then known as the Thunderdome 1993-1996. The facility is owned by the City of St. Petersburg and has a seating capacity of up to 42,735 with a total of 70 luxury suites a total of 2,776 club seats at Tropicana Field. At a cost of $130 million this domed stadium is currently the only domed stadium in MLB that is not retractable and Tropicana Field is the smallest MLB stadium by seat capacity.
Florida is known for their love of a great social time so Tropicana Field has many in-house clubs namely one of the main attractions at The Trop is The Home Plate Club. This club was sponsored by Kane’s Furniture until 2007, the club features its own entrance, recliner seats and premium buffet with in-seat service. The second club called the Hancock Bank Club, featuring its own buffet and premium seating also. The left field party section is aptly named “162 Landing” making reference to Evan Longoria’s walk-off home run in the 162nd and final game of the regular season game of the 2011 season that ball landed in that section. The right field party section known as “Papa John’s Bullpen Box” the infield features the “Tbt Party Deck”, a small-capacity seating area above the left field outfield seats and offers its own concessions inside.
Tropicana Field’s main attraction is The Rays Touch Tank, just over right-center field fence is a 35-foot, 10,000 gallon tank filled with cow nose rays and admission is free for all fans attending home games.
Tampa Bay Rays Histroy
The Rays are currently an American professional baseball team that is based in St. Petersburg, Florida. Tampa Bay competes in the Major League Baseball East Division of the American League. Since inception, home field has been Tropicana Field. The Rays do not currently have a manager, however GM and President of Baseball Operations is Matthew Silverman. The Rays do not have any World Series titles they have 1 AL Pennant from 2008, two East Division titles in 2008 & 2010 and two wild card berths in 2011 and 2013.
The Tampa Bay Rays’ chief rivals are the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. Rays players David Price, Evan Longoria, Carl Crawford and Rafael Soriano were named to the American League team in the 2010 All-Star game. Price was named the starting pitcher for the AL. October 2014 saw the end of an era when manager Joe Maddon used an opt-out clause to resign early from his post as manager of the Rays. Rumors reported that Sternberg has been so frustrated with the building efforts or lack of them has since had discussions with Wall Street about moving the Rays to Montreal, which has been without a MLB franchise since the Montreal Expos moved to Washington D.C. in 2005.