Earlier this season I took the stance that the Rays need to just keep doing what they were doing after a rough start through the first ten games of the season. The Rays managed just 24 runs in their first ten games and it was looking like the remade offense wouldn't put runs on the board that many have hoped to see.
The results weren't good, but there were things they were doing well and if they continued to do well the results would follow.
The Rays have come alive over the last 25 games
Over the last 30 days which covers 25 games and misses one game between the first ten and the last twenty five which was a seven run outburst against John Danks.
The Rays have been really productive over the last month. That line places the Rays second in wRC+ and third in wOBA in the American League over that time period. That 4.40 runs per game is helped by last night's thirteen run onslaught of the Blue Jays.
The Rays are improving
The results have dramatically improved, but has the team actually improved?
The walk rate has dramatically improved as it has gone from the bottom of the league to twelfth. The strikeout rate remains the same and continues to lead the league.
The BABIP has regressed closer to a more reasonable number, but being below average is to be expected with a high infield fly rate and home run rate. You'd also like to see a few more line drives, which would help the BABIP, as long as they stay away from hitting them toward defending third basemen.
The Rays should continue launching
The Rays are hitting the ball incredibly hard as they lead the league in hard contact percent and fly ball percent, and the Rays are hitting even more fly balls, with many of those are leaving the yard -- 32 of the 42 homers the Rays have hit are via a designated fly ball.
|Steven Souza, Jr.||13||0.125||0.462||1.692||1.230||99.2||336.8|
As a team the Rays rank second in batting average and lead the league in slugging, isolated power, average exit velocity, and average distance for the last month, despite being seventh in BABIP.
The usual suspects are among the leaders are Logan Forsythe, Steven Souza, Jr, and Evan Longoria, while Steve Pearce, Curt Casali, and Corey Dickerson are smoking the ball for a lot of damage.
Brad Miller, Kevin Kiermaier, and Brandon Guyer are doing their part in adding to the damage inflicted to baseballs.
Only starters Logan Morrison and Hank Conger are struggling when the ball is airborne, and both are platooned parts of the line up.
We should not overreact over one great offensive game, that performance has been long overdue, but across the board the runs are starting to flow.
The Rays need to continue hitting the ball hard and in the air and the runs will follow. If the pitchers can step up and do what has become expected this team could go on a run and tighten the gap in the division.