The 2015 season will present an entirely new world for Evan Longoria and the Tampa Bay Rays. Will it come with success without manager Joe Maddon?
Sometimes the face of the franchise gets rocked.
It gets rocked to a point where too many natural questions become frightening and prognosticating is an impossible task.
The feeling of the unknown as it refers to the 2015 Tampa Bay Rays is all too real right now.
After spending an eternity leading his rays, manager Joe Maddon is now off to the North Side. The face and unapologetic leader of the Rays is suddenly gone.
Enter Kevin Cash, a guy who has never been in charge of a baseball team in his entire 37-year old life. A guy who is just the next in line who fits the mold of the Mike Matheny prototype so many execs have recently fallen in love with.
There’s no question he’s up against it.
2014 saw the Rays finish with their worst record since the “Devil” was still in their tag-line. 77-wins, lowest total since 66 in 2007. Maddon won two division championships, made four playoff appearances and even has an AL Pennant to his name.
Perhaps Maddon saw the handwriting on the wall?
Cash will look to counter that sentiment this season.
They still have a decent club on paper. While many big names were forced to be shipped out, the new small-market baseball geniuses who reside in the Tampa front office have kept a possible competitive squad intact.
The question will remain whether or not they can truly compete during the obvious “down time” that small market teams will need to suffer through every now and again.
Also now without former front office boss Andrew Friedman (Dodgers), the team will remain in flux until success is evident.
Record: 77-85, 4th in AL East
Playoffs: Did Not Qualify
27th in MLB with 612 Runs
- Evan Longoria, 22 HR
- Evan Longoria, 91 RBI
- James Loney, .290 BA
- Ben Zobrist, .354 OBP
- Evan Longoria, .404 SLG
- Ben Zobrist, 83 Runs
- Desmond Jennings, 15 SB
- Jake Odorizzi, 11 Wins
- Jake Odorizzi, 174 K
- Alex Cobb, 2.87 ERA
- Alex Cobb, 1.14 WHIP
- Jake McGee 19 Saves
Next: Roster Movement