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Could the offense of the Rays be better with Corey Dickerson?

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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?

Maybe.

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.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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