More than any other team right now the Rays are having to depend on the depth the Front Office has built up over the past couple of years.
Pat Burrell has a neck issue? No problem, the switch hitting team of Ben Zobrist and Willy Aybar(Billy Aybrist?) can fill in. The beautifully average Gabe Gross has also spent time at DH.
Scott Kazmir's quad is acting up? They plug in the top pitching prospect in baseball, David Price.
Akinori Iwamura tears his ACL and is done for the season? Billy Aybrist fills in there as well.
Jason Bartlett, the current best shortstop in the AL, sprains an ankle? Reid Brignac and Ben Zobrist step in.
Backup catcher Shawn Riggans gets hurt? Michel Hernandez fills in just fine.
Brian Shouse strains a shoulder? Randy Choate can come in straight off the LOOGY assembly line.
It's not like the Rays are scraping the bottom of the barrel and replacing their stars with talent that is below league average. Players like Aybar and Zobrist would be starting on a lot of teams in baseball. David Price would have been in many team's rotations to start the season. Reid Brignac would be the top prospect in many organizations. If something were to happen to Gabe Gross or Gabe Kapler the Rays have Matt Joyce chomping at the bit at Durham. Suppose there was another injury to someone in the rotation, how many other teams could bring up 6th and 7th starters as capable as Mitch Talbot or Carlos Hernandez? Don't forget about Wade Davis either.
The Yankees lose A-Rod and are forced to replace him with Cody Ransom and Ramiro Pena. The Cubs lose Aramis Ramirez and have to trade FOR Ryan Freel. No one wants to trade for Ryan Freel, not even Ryan Freel. The Rays lose Scott Kazmir, their starters at DH, second base, and shortstop, yet are seemingly no worse for the wear. I know we kiss Andrew Friedman's @$$ a bit on this site, and I know the team is skidding a bit right now, but imagine where they would be without the depth he's built up.