The hope is that they all are wonderful. All-Stars. Impact players.
Alas, baseball doesn’t work that way.
In baseball, there will be some players who bounce back from last season’s problems and others who repeat them. If it’s up to the Tampa Bay Rays, however, which of their six newcomers would they prefer to have a good season.
1. Shortstop Brad Miller: A year ago, when the Rays looked at Asdrubal Cabrera, manager Kevin Cash stressed the team merely needed someone who could make the routine plays, the way former Ray Jason Bartlett did. Cabrera did that and more. Now, the Rays turn to Miller to do the same.
2. Designated hitter Corey Dickerson: Dickerson’s offensive numbers of a year ago were impressive when he wasn’t injured, but fans wonder how much of those numbers are because of the Colorado thin air. Dickerson moves to DH for the Rays so Desmond Jennings can play left.
3. First baseman Steve Pearce: Pearce brought some pop to the Orioles. He’ll try to do the same for the Rays, who may move incumbent James Loney to make room for him.
4. Catcher Hank Conger: Conger gives the team an experienced backup catcher, but he’ll have to do a better job with runners on base.
5. Relief pitcher Danny Farquhar: The Rays will spend a lot of the spring trying to find the right slots for their bullpen. With Jake McGee gone, an essential position will be that of set-up man. Whether Farquhar is steady enough for late-inning work, we’ll see.
6. Reserve Logan Morrison: With a crowded outfield, and with Pearce and Dickerson slated to be in the starting lineup, Morrison may struggle for enough at-bats.