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Entries in Tampa Bay Rays (46)

Tuesday
May032011

InDepth Spotlight: Wade Davis vs. Jose Bautista

>(Click to enlarge)

Tomorrow, Wade Davis will toe the rubber for the Tampa Bay Rays as they square off against the Toronto Blue Jays at home.  Davis has handled Jose Bautista (TOR) fairly well.  Last year, he held the righty slugger to one hit in 10 plate appearances, striking him out once.

As you can see from the above graphic, Davis has some trouble coming in on righties, while Bautista has been nearly impossible to pitch to for RHP.  Last year, Davis kept the ball away for the most part when throwing to Bautista, and it served him well.

Wade Davis vs. Jose Bautista
(Click to enlarge)

The one hit Bautista managed was off a curveball that got a bit too much of the plate. Expect Davis to continue to keep the ball away from Bautista in tomorrow's matchup.

Saturday
Apr232011

Sam Fuld's Selective Aggressiveness

Sam Fuld (TBA) is off to a great start, hitting for a high average and getting on base at a great clip, just what the Rays want from a lead-off hitter.  Through Friday's games, however, Fuld's .395 OBP was based almost entirely on his .366 BA, as he drew just four walks.  Often, a lack of walks indicates a hitter is a free swinger, but that does not seem to be the case with Fuld.

Pitchers try to keep the ball away from Fuld, but they also tend to keep their pitches, mostly fastballs, in the strike zone:

Sam Fuld pitch frequency, 2011.So far, Sam is doing a good job of distinguishing balls from strikes.  His swings tend to be in the strike zone:

Sam Fuld pitch frequency on swings, 2011.The pitches he takes are good pitches to take, out of the strike zone or on the edge:

Sam Fuld pitch frequency on taken pitches, 2011.In fact, Sam is a selective hitter.  Since he doesn't have much major league experience at the age of 28, the opposition rightly assumes he's not that good a hitter.  Rather than pitch him carefully, they challenge Fuld.  With a long minor league career behind him, Sam is experienced, and that is paying off with him killing the fastballs pumped into the strike zone.  At some point, pitchers will realize this is not the way to approach Fuld, and we'll see how he adjusts when he sees fewer fastballs and more pitches on the edges.

Monday
Apr042011

Orioles Pitching Dominating Rays Hitters

The Baltimore Orioles shut down the Tampa Bay Rays offense in their first matchup of the season, allowing 3 total runs, one in each game.  Here's a look at how the O's pitching staff located their pitches over the weekend:

Orioles Pitching (4/1-4/3)
(Click to enlarge)

The Orioles effectively pitched lefties and righties away the whole series.  The result: Rays batters could barely muster any offense.

Rays vs. O's (4/1-4/3)
(Click to enlarge)

Due to injury, Evan Longoria only batted six times the whole series, which certainly hurt the Rays offense.  A fairly potent Detroit Tigers offense comes to Baltimore today.  It will be the first test of the season for young righty Jake Arrieta, and another chance for the entire O's ballclub to show just how much they've improved this year.