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The Rays Tank: Cosart reactions, watchability, and Matt Thornton in the AL East

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J. Meric

Well, the streak ends at eight games. The Rays fell to Astros rookie Jarred Cosart in his first major league start. Although Cosart flirted with a no-hitter, I came away not particularly impressed. I'm probably in the minority, though. If you prefer happiness, smiling babies, and sweeter grapes, read the Astros recap instead. And read this for an in-depth discussion of Jarred Cosart from someone who knows more about him.

And if you were starting to think that maybe the Rays were a good franchise, stop. James Essato has been doing a fun series, constructing and ranking major league teams by historic WAR totals. The Rays are last.

Jason Hanselman of Dock of the Rays, has a neat piece up on calculating watchability by looking at win expectancy. It seems like every season we get into arguments here over whether or not the Rays are fun to watch. I think his method is good, and I'd be interested to see how "watchability" translates to ratings or to year-to-year ratings changes across the league.

AL East News

The Red Sox acquired Matt Thornton from the White Sox for close to nothing. Thornton is striking out a career low 6.75 batters per nine innings in 2013, and his fastball velocity average is below 95 mph for the first time in his career, so he may not have much of an impact on the AL East race. But it's tough to forget just how good a one trick pony the Chicago Mariano once was.

Derek Jeter's MRI showed a grade one quad strain. He will rest during the all-star break, after which a decision will be made on whether or not to send him to the DL.

Other Links

There's a fascinating article by Jared Cross up at ESPN (insider, h/t Tango) using PITCHf/x data to rank pitchers purely on stuff. There are no Rays in the top ten, and Matt Harvey comes out as number one. The methodology is not explained.

Jeff Sullivan thinks that Oliver Perez might be a good deadline pickup. Dude should always have been a reliever (Perez, not Sullivan).