We know the Rays offense is struggling and it's pretty easy to identify who is struggling. B.J. Upton, Pat Burrell, Dioner Navarro have all been below their career norm, but how does the Rays lineup stack up to the American League average lineup?
The answer as expected is pretty awful. The Rays are underperforming at most positions while far exceeding league averages at a few. Here are the league average slash lines by position:
And here are the primary Rays slash lines. Note I left Gabe Kapler in centerfield with Ben Zobrist and Gabe Gross in right field.
Now the side by side comparison
*Combined B.J. Upton and Gabe Kapler
**Combined Ben Zobrist and Gabe Gross
Please note that these numbers are not perfect. Ben Zobrist is classified as a right fielder, but has played all over so all his numbers are not all as rightfielder, but you still get an overview of what I'm trying to get at.
Dioner Navarro is really, really, really bad right now. Overall, the production in centerfield has been anything but productive, but a healthy and ready B.J. Upton goes a long way in fixing that. No surprise that Carlos Pena, Evan Longoria and MVB Jason Bartlett are well above their league averages as they have been the Rays best performers. The platoon situation in right field seems to be working thanks mostly to Ben Zobrist's power and Gabe Gross's on base skills.
The team is also getting below average production from second base, left field and DH. However, I don't think many of us expect Aki Iwamura, Carl Crawford and Pat Burrell to be below average and in the cases of Crawford and Burrell, I expect them to exceed the average numbers before it's all said and done.
It has been said before here, but the Rays lineup is simply underperforming. Once we get some more production from catcher, second base, centerfield, left field and designated hitter, maybe the cosmos will realign and the Rays will actually score runs on a consistent basis