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What's Gone Wrong with the Tampa Bay Rays Lineup?

B.J. Upton

Predicted line*:  .276/.382/.437

Actual line**:  .171/.320/.220

What's gone wrong: Upton's rust at the plate is apparent. His contact rate is way down, and his groundball rate is up. He's fast, but he's not aiming well enough to amass anything higher than a .280 BABIP. That's nearly a hundred points lower than his career average. At least he's walking.

Will it get better/worse?: Better by default. No idea how long though. Could be a week or longer.

Carl Crawford

Predicted line:  .292/.337/.445

Actual line: .284/.325/.365

What's gone wrong:  Crawford's striking out at a career high rate. To his credit, the walk rate has quietly crept above career average, and could be heading for a career high. Not too much credit yet, though, because Crawford is still hacking at pitches out of the zone and making less contact with pitches inside of the zone.

Will it get better/worse?: Who knows. Contact rates usually stabilize relatively quickly unless there's a bigger issue at play. He's been a lot better lately, and you have to figure he'll hit a few doubles and triples eventually.

Evan Longoria

Predicted line: .265/..344/.483

Actual line: .375/.423/.734

What's gone wrong:  In retrospect, the money donated to preserving our environment should've been donated to cloning machine technicians on the black market. Can you imagine nine Longorias? Scott Hatteberg step down, step down.

Will it get better/worse?:  Worse, only because Evan isn't Albert Pujols or Barry Bonds.

Carlos Pena

Predicted line: .252/.378/.503

Actual line: .243/.329/.629

What's gone wrong: Well, he's not walking as much, but the added power has been a saving grace thus far. Blame a .225 BABIP for the batting average.

Will it get better/worse?: Double-edged sword. Pena's probably going to hit less homeruns and more singles/doubles as this season goes. Push, maybe?

Pat Burrell

Predicted line: .243/.371/.452

Actual line: .250/.377/.339

What's gone wrong: The power. It's not there.

Will it get better/worse?:  Better. Even if you aren't a fan of Burrell for silly reasons like his splits against the AL, there's about a 0.000000000000001% chance his power skills decayed from four consecutive seasons of .500+ SLG to that of a singles hitter.

Dioner Navarro

Predicted line: .259/.330/.377

Actual line: .190/.203/.293

What's gone wrong:  What's went right?

Will it get better/worse?: Can it get worse?

Gabes

Predicted lines: Gross .246/.343/.410 Kapler .272/.324/.423

Actual lines: Gross .214/.389/.357 Kapler .222/.300/.407

What's gone wrong:  Gross has a BABIP far below career norms, but he's walk crazed.  Kapler is striking out a lot more than you would expect for someone making contact on 86% of his pitches and not chasing out of the zone.

Will it get better/worse?: Almost certainly better.

Akinori Iwamura

Predicted line: .268/.347/.383

Actual line: .302/.371/.413

What's gone wrong: Nothing at all, despite increased strikeout rates.

Will it get better/worse?: Worse. Go figure Aki goes nuts when he's moved to the bottom of the order. That's just poor luck.

Jason Bartlett

Predicted line: .273/.334/.363

Actual line: .365/.412/.508

What's gone wrong:  Not much.

Will it get better/worse?: Worse.

*A rough average of CHONE and ZiPS projections.

**Entering Sunday.