In years past, you wondered if their bats were big enough.
There was an impotence to the offense of the Tampa Bay Rays. They were never going to score enough runs, and good pitching was always going to let them down. The last two months of last season were an aberration. Often, you simply couldn’t count on the Rays scoring enough.
Could that be changing with this off-season?
The Rays have brought in Corey Dickerson, a career .299 hitter, who they expect to be a middle-of-the-order hitter. They’ve brought in Steve Pearce, one year removed from a .293 average. And Logan Morrison, who hit 17 home runs last year. And Brad Miller. Also, they have young players in Mikie Mahtook and Richie Shaffer who have the potential to add pop. They have incumbents Kevin Kiermaier and Steven Souza Jr.
Yes, one key for the Rays would be if the players who dipped last season can bounce back. Another is if the pitching can hold up, especially the bullpen.
But the offense of the Rays has promise for a change. If the Rays are going to compete in the AL East, it will have to.