Now that the Tampa Bay Rays’ 2009 season has been completed, here are some facts and figures from the season, including the good, bad and completely miserable:
- Record: 8478 (Third place)
- Home Run Leader: Carlos Pena (39)
- Stolen Base Leader: Carl Crawford (60)
- Best Starter ERA: Jeff Niemann (3.94)
- Batting Leader: Jason Bartlett (.320 Franchise Record)
- Best Bullpen ERA: J.P. Howell (2.84)
- RBI Leader: Evan Longoria (113)
Longoria also led in runs scored (100). B.J. Upton was second in stolen bases (42). Matt Garza finished just behind Niemann in ERA (3.95). Howell led the team in saves (17), but also in blown saves (8).
- Pat Burrell: .221, 14 HR in 122 games
- Dioner Navarro: .218, 8 HR, 18 walks in 115 games
- B.J. Upton: .241, 11 HR in 144 games
- Andy Sonnanstine: 69, 6.77 ERA in 22 games (18 starts)
- Grant Balfour: 54, 4.81 ERA (1.50 in 2008)
- Scott Kazmir: 87, 5.92 ERA with the Rays in 20 games; 22, 1.73 ERA with the Angels in six games
- James Shields: 1112, 4.14 ERA
So without six busts and a mediocre season from Shields, this team probably would have made the postseason. Every one of those guys could have done much better, as they have before. Thankfully, they were aided by the surprising Ben Zobrist (.297, 27 HR, 17 SB) and Bartlett (30 SB, 14 HR; one HR in 2008).
- Five players (Pena, Upton, Longoria, Burrell, Zobrist) struck out more than 100 times, while Crawford reached 99. Bartlett had a careerhigh 89 in 137 games. This is actually down from last season, when seven players reached triple digits.
- Crawford stole his first 32 bases consecutively, but ended up being caught 16 times. He claims he was safe on half of those, and I can recall at least one (in New York) where he was indeed safe.
- Troy Percival remained on the payroll the entire season, despite posting a 6.35 ERA in 14 games before going home in May. He still earned $4 million.
- Lance Cormier and Randy Choate were the antiPercival, pitching surprisingly well after signing minor league contracts. Cormier held down a 3.26 ERA and Choate 3.47.
- Longoria hit 8 home runs with 26 RBI against the Red Sox.
Those are some random bits of information to close this out. Join me again soon for Part Two: Honest Opinions. Until next time, go Rays… and anyone who beats the Red Sox, Yankees and Phillies.