The Rays Tank: April attendance, Peralta worries?

Brian Blanco

Michael Lortz is continuing his tracking of the Rays attendance over at Tampa Bay Baseball Market, with the following stats for April:

  • Total April 2014 Tampa Bay Rays home attendance: 277,512
  • Average attendance per game: 19,822.29
  • Highest attendance: 31,042 on March 31 (Opening Day)
  • Lowest attendance: 9,571 on Thursday, April 3rd
  • Highest attended series: 110,786 vs Yankees, April 17-20
  • Lowest attended series: 36,955 vs Twins, April 22-24
  • Competing events: Tampa Bay Lightning home games on April 1, 3, 5, 18

At a glance, attendance exceeded expectations (based on 2007-2013 averages) on four dates: April 4th, 5th, 17th and 18th, and failed to meet expectations 8 times.

My favorite fact from this month's update? "Since 2007, bobblehead promotions have added 21% to average daily attendance." Cue thoughts of last week's Bobblegate...

***

Is it time to worry about Joel Peralta?

His performance thus far this year indicates that the same struggles we saw at the end of 2013 may have carried over to this season.

From September 1st of last year to his appearance Tuesday night against Baltimore he has apperaed in 28 games and in 26.1 innings of work has allowed 18 runs (16 earned) on 21 hits (including five home runs, stuck out 25, walked 15 (one intentional), and hit a batter.  In that span of time the opposition has posted a triple slash line of .214/.325/.388 against him.

Per Joe Smith and Steve Kinsella, Peralta's "percentage of fastballs has decreased each of the last four seasons from 55.4 in 2011 to 37.4 thus far in 14 appearances this year."

His value over the past three years can't be denied, but could the heavy workload be catching up?

In nearly the same amount of work as he had in September of last year (13 innings) he has allowed eight earned runs on thirteen hits including three home runs and has struck out fewer batters (11) while walking fewer (5). The opposition is posting a robust slash line of  .255/.333/.451 against him.

How much longer does Maddon keep Peralta around, or in the words of @sternfan, "When is that old pair of jeans no longer comfortable? #peralta"

***

Good times are (hopefully) on the horizon:

***

Not MLB-related, but thoughts on last night's draft for the Bucs? Joe Maddon was pushing positive thoughts prior:

Links:

- Maddon's had his fair share of ejections over his time in Tampa Bay, and Beyond the Box Score took a look at the managers with the most ejections over the years, and the reasoning behind them, with some proving to be pretty amusing.

- While Dirk Hayhurst may not be the most beloved by Rays fans, he penned an insightful piece for Sports On Earth on the art of mound visits, and the effect they can have on the outcome of games.

- The unsatisfaction of a tie in baseball and the glory of do or die extra inning games, with a strategic look at the broader patterns that occur in games that end up in extras, from The Hardball Times.

- You've already heard, but MLB took an attack on fan-created podcasts this past Wednesday, citing copyright infringement of MLB trademarks and certain clubs. Lucky for us, some have already begun to return to iTunes, but the whole debacle seems pretty silly and unnecessary.

- Despite right-handed pitching prospect Jeff Hoffman needing Tommy John Surgery last month, scouting directors are suggesting Hoffman may still go as a first-round pick, potentially in the top 10 or 15.

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