The All-Star Break Cannot Come Soon Enough

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Will Rhymes #10 of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts after striking out with the bases loaded in the seventh inning during a game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 21, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

The month of June has not been kind to the Tampa Bay Rays. Rather, I should say, the Tampa Bay Rays have treated the month of June like the month of March and thanks to all of the injuries the look of the roster has surely backed that notion up.

When the month of June started the Rays were tied with the Baltimore Orioles at the top of the AL East with a 29-22 record but have since gone 11-14 in the month of June including four straight losses coming into today. They now sit at 40-36 and 6.5 games out of first place.

One of the main reasons the Rays have fallen so far off is the lack of offensive production in the month of June. Their 80 wRC+ is second last in the American League and their 13 homeruns are dead last in the American League and the second-to-last team, the Detroit Tigers, have 20.

To say the Rays offense has been awful would likely be an understatement especially when you consider the team BABIP for the month was .282. The Rays also only had a 68% stolen base success rate and a -0.3 BsR. They could not seem to do anything correctly on offense.

Rays fans have had to watch some sad performances in the month of June:

Hideki Matsui .159 .227 .217 .205 26 75
Will Rhymes .100 .176 .100 .140 -19 34
Sean Rodriguez .181 .234 .264 .226 40 79
Luke Scott .053 .100 .053 .091 -53 20
Carlos Pena .174 .327 .267 .282 78 107
B.J. Upton .200 .270 .290 .247 54 112
Desmond Jennings .198 .258 .267 .248 55 93

Ouch! Not mention Rich Thompson was on the roster (going 0-3) and thanks to Interleague play the Rays had the luxury of batting their pitchers who hit a combined .095/.174/.095 with a .115 wOBA and -22 wRC+ in 25 plate appearances. That looks bad but it was actually the 6th best mark among American League teams which only makes the Rays wRC+ for the month of June look even worse when compared to the other American League teams.

Matt Joyce was lost to the disabled list and Evan Longoria is still sitting on it. The Rays did get Jeff Keppinger back but he has only had 25 plate appearances in the month of June. The Rays hitting has also been progressively getting worse:

April .254 .339 .429 .332 113
May .227 .310 .366 .302 92
June .222 .306 .328 .284 80

We cannot simply blame the offense, although it has been so bad it could stand alone in blame. The Rays fielding, one of its strengths for many years, has been awful in June with a -1.4 UZR which is the sixth worst mark in the American League

The Rays fielding woes have not simply been a June problem. They have posted the sixth worst UZR in the American League at -5.5 which is only -0.2 from becoming the fourth worst mark in the American League. Okay, you do not care much for UZR, what about RZR?

RZR is a stat that shows the rate at which outs were made in a defender's zone. Basically, the easy plays. Guess where the Rays rank in the league? Go ahead, guess. Dead last not only in the American League but in the entire Major Leagues. And their 66 errors are second to last in the game to the Baltimore Orioles 67 errors.

The Rays need a break. They have a monthly declining offense, pathetic overall defense, constant injuries, and a current stretch that has the Rays playing 20 games in 20 days in five different cities. With Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce coming back after the All-Star break and a potential lineup of Jennings, Pena, Longoria, Joyce, Zobrist, Upton, Scott, Johnson, and Lobaton the break cannot get here soon enough.

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