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Rays Your Voice: Historical Build-A-Lineup with Jim Turvey

By forgetting a DH, I was able to afford Ben Zobrist’s 2009 season... oops!

Baltimore Orioles v Tampa Bay Rays
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 6: Ben Zobrist #18 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates in the dugout after scoring off of a sacrifice fly by Evan Longoria during the third inning of a game against the Baltimore Orioles on September 6, 2014 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

When baseball returns, you’ll hear me gripe and praise (sometimes simultaneously) the lineup decisions made by Kevin Cash every week on this show. It’s part of baseball.

Brandon Lowe should hit second! Give Meadows more games in the leadoff spot! Send Joey Wendle back to Durham! (These aren’t necessarily my opinions, but I’ll definitely shout stuff like this at my TV throughout the year.)

Needing someone to debate lineup decisions with while we still have no baseball, I invited Jim Turvey back on the podcast this week to do just that. Back in December Jim built an all-time Rays lineup, with their dollar value equal to the WAR they accumulated in a Rays uniform. Then a couple weeks ago, he came back and put together another lineup, but based on the single season performances of Rays players.

This one caught my eye, so I put together a lineup of my own and got Jim back on the show. I must preface this by saying Jim and I are putting together our favorite, not necessarily best Rays lineups of all time, based on single-season performances with a budget of $35. $1 equals 1 win above replacement (using rWAR).

I’m pretty sure Jim was throwing most other statistical measures out of the window when he built his lineup to just focus on players that were personal favorites, but the competitive side of me came out in this exercise and I tried to find every advantage I could get to not only build a lineup of some of my favorite players, but one that I thought would make a pretty competitive baseball team. I even cheated by omitting a designated hitter, which allowed me to add Ben Zobrist’s 2009 season, where he accumulated 8.6 wins above replacement, the highest total of any Rays player, ever. Oops!

If you’re a subscriber to Rays Your Voice and the DRaysBay Podcast feed, you were treated by two new episodes of the Hit Show last week. They’ve returned with an All-Time Rays bracket, trying to crown the most beloved player in franchise history. Reminder that if you subscribe to our podcast feed you’ll have episodes of this show as well as that one directly downloaded onto your device. You can do that on any major podcast platform, including Apple and Spotify.