MLB - AL EAST
Stadium: Tropicana Field
Manager: Kevin Cash
2021-2022 TEAM LEADERS
Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay Rays Summary
The Tampa Bay Rays are coming off a great 2021 season where they went 100-62 and won the AL East Division championship. They would go on to the postseason but would lose to the Boston Red Sox in four games. Tampa Bay has also made the postseason the last three years in a row, with them winning the Al East back-to-back times in 2020 and 2021.
For 2022, the Rays will look to keep up their streak of postseason appearances. They will be going into 2022 with the return of pitcher Chris Mazza, who signed a minor league contract with the team. But with injuries to a lot of their pitchers, some of them starting pitchers, Tampa Bay might not begin the season very well.
Some pitchers might be available for the beginning of the 2022 season, but others won’t be available until much later in the season or not even at all.
Tampa Bay Rays History
The Tampa Bay Rays have a very short history in MLB. They were part of the MLB 1998 expansion teams for that season. Originally named the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, they would drop the Devil part in 2008, opting for a complete rebrand. This rebrand into the Rays would have them adopt a ray of sunshine since the team resides in the Sunshine State of Florida.
In their short history, the Rays have retired three numbers on the team. Those numbers are 66, worn by former Rays coach Don Zimmer, 12, worn by former third baseman Wade Boggs, and 42, which is retired by all teams in MLB in honor of Jackie Robinson.
The Rays have a fan base of retired professional wrestlers that have done events for the Rays in the past. The list of wrestlers includes Hulk Hogan, Brutus “The Butcher” Beefcake, and The Nasty Boys. All of these wrestlers are natives of the Tampa, Florida, area.
2022 Key Stats
The Tampa Bay Rays are coming off a 2021 season, ranking seventh among the 15 AL teams with batting average. Leading the way for the Rays offense was Randy Arozarena, who had a batting average of .274 and 69 RBI’s for the team in 2021. Behind Arozarena will be Austin Meadows, who had a 2021 season with a batting average of .234 with 106 RBI’s.
On the pitching side, the Rays have many pitchers dealing with injuries before the season even starts. Relief pitchers Colin Poche, Nick Anderson, Ryan Thompson, Jalen Beeks, and Jeffrey Springs are all currently injured, with Anderson and Thompson expected to miss extended time.
Starting Pitcher Tyler Glasnow will miss the 2022 season due to his need for Tommy John surgery. In the 14 games he played in 2021, Glasnow was 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA for the season.
Championships Won by the Tampa Bay Rays
Since 1998, the Tampa Bay Rays have won a few championships in their short history. Even though they haven’t won a World Series, the Rays have two World Series appearances.
The Rays have won the AL Pennant two times, and they have won the AL East Division title four times. Their two AL Pennants would come in 2008 and 2020, while they would win the AL East Division title in 2008, 2010, 2020, and 2021.
Important Team Events
The Tampa Bay Rays have some interesting team events during their season. Since 2006, the Rays have held a “Turn Back the Clock” night where they would play their home game in retro jerseys. During this event, the teams they would face would occasionally wear throwback jerseys.
Another event that the Rays have held in the past is the “Legends of Wrestling” night. This event would feature wrestling matches after the game. The event would see the Rays outfielder Jonny Gomes get involved, helping out The Nasty Boys in their matches. The event, unfortunately, had a short lifespan, only being used two times in 2007 and 2008.
The Rays also have an interstate rivalry with the Miami Marlins known as the Citrus Series. For the 2022 season, the Rays will face the Marlins for two series, one being in May and the other coming in August. Going into the 2022 season, the Rays hold the overall win record at 71-58.
Some of the best players of the past for the Tampa Bay Rays include Aubrey Huff, Toby Hall, Jorge Cantú, Jonny Gomes, and Carl Crawford. Crawford is the most notable of the group in Rays history, leading the American League in steals and triples during his time with the Rays. He was also the second-ever player in MLB history to record 100 triples and 400 steals before the age of 30.
For 2022, the Rays will be looking to players like Joshua Lowe and Austin Meadows in the outfield to shine for the team. Lowe is playing his first full season in MLB in 2022 and hopes to help the Rays in their 25 man roster. He could be someone to look at on the offensive side of things for the Rays.
Meadows will be coming into 2022, leading the Rays in RBI’s last year. He was a crucial player in scoring situations and looks to continue with this for 2022.
When Tampa Bay Rays fans think of past coaches, the first person that comes to mind is Joe Maddon. Maddon was the first Rays manager that took the Rays to the postseason, where they would win their first AL Pennant and also appeared in their first-ever World Series in 2008. Maddon quickly turned the Rays origination from perennial losers to a team in contention for a postseason spot nearly every year.
For the 2022 season, the Rays will look to Kevin Cash to take the Rays to a fourth straight postseason appearance. Bench coach Matt Quatraro will back up Cash for the 2022 season, marking his fifth year with the team.
Also returning is hitting coach Chad Mottola. With these coaches coming back for 2022, it looks like the Rays could have some smooth sailing for the new season.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Rays have an AL East rivalry with the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. They also have an in-state rivalry with the Miami Marlins.
The Rays have yet to win a World Series. However, their last World Series appearance was in 2020.
The 2021 season saw the Rays win a record number 100 games for the season.
Joe Maddon currently has the most wins as a Rays manager with 754.
The Rays had many nicknames when they were the Devil Rays. This list includes The D-Rays, The Manta Rays, The Eagle Rays, and The Devil Dogs.