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December 22nd in Rays history: The DH of the Future!

The Rays Tank! Your source for Rays History, Trivia, and the Countdown to Opening Day, plus Links from around baseball!

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Welcome to the Rays Tank

Where Players Underperform & Hellickson Does Well


This Date in Rays History!

In 2004, the Rays signed former top 50 prospect, Josh Phelps to a one year deal, but could control him after the year thanks to his rookie contract still being active. Phelps was just three years removed from being the top prospect in the Blue Jays system and two year removed from being a Rookie of the Year candidate. Unfortunately his career took a nosedive and two organization had already given up on him.

Enter Tampa Bay who would attempt to have Phelps be their everyday DH with some time at first base. ZiPS certainly liked the signing as it projected Phelps to hit over 25 home runs and have a slugging percentage over .500. That didn't happen as Phelps labored through two months and was designated for assignment in early June and outrighted to Durham, then released following the season.

Below is what ZiPS predicted with the actual results.

ZiPS .257 .331 .508 27 435
Actual .256 .328 .424 5 158


Trivia Time!

The answer to yesterday's question was Wil Myers, answered correctly by Brian Andersbot & jtmorgan

Wrong answer included James Loney, Sean Rodriguez, and Joel Guzman

Today's prospect:

"[Prospect] stays inside the ball well and his swing path keeps the bat head in the zone for a long time. He projects to hit 35-plus home runs in the majors. He generates natural loft and raw power already. He’s also a future Gold Glover as a first baseman."

Hint: he was once the top prospect in his organization.


There are 103 days until Opening Day!

That's the same number of runs allowed by Jeremy Hellickson during the 2013 season.

Just two of those runs came during this splendid start against Toronto.



- Former Rays prospect Kyle Lobstein is headed to Pittsburgh. he was previously traded to Detroit for C Curt Casali.

- While last season wasn't actually a huge year for pitcher injuries, the Rays got hit hard. Jeff Zimmerman took a look at the whole league, and visualized it along with data for Tommy John recovery.

Zimmerman also looked at Zach Britton's slider. Really, he's a one-pitch reliever with another pitch that's hugely effective in a small sample. That sounds a bit like Jake McGee if McGee could command his curve just a touch better, right.

- Want to (a) feel warm fuzzies or (b) get riled up (depending on your personality type)? Watch Joe Maddon accept the Manager of the Year award.

Joe Sheehan used to be a really good baseball analyst/writer. Now he's the Blue Jays' Director of Analytics (h/t Tango). This is why it's tough for the Rays to get that extra 2% for any period of time. Everyone with any brains is hiring guys with brains.

- We all hate the Red Sox, but baseball fans should love Wade Boggs and Boston has finally decided to retire his jersey number (#26). The Rays beat them by about 15 years as they retired his #12 in 2000.