After making a promising start to the 2015 Major League Baseball campaign it was imperative that the Tampa Bay Rays kept momentum up into the month of May.
Confidence was high throughout the new look Rays roster and they managed to build on their solid start to the season by recording a record of 14 wins to 15 losses within the month. On paper this doesnâ€™t look impressive but when we look at the standings at the end of May in the American League East the Rays sit tied for first with a record of 26-25!
This is a remarkable achievement given the winter upheaval throughout the club, but I am not sure how much of our success are down to the major underachievementâ€™s from our divisional rivals.
Much had been made about the signings made by the Blue Jays and Red Sox but with both teams struggling it has been the Rays and Yankees who have profited thus far. I do expect both rosters to come good on their potential soon but for now all the Rays can do is keep up the high efforts and just play for themselves.
David De Jesus had a solid month for the Rays batting .368 with 4 home runs and Brandon Guyer also impressed with a .364 average whilst also scoring 11 runs. The Tampa Bay offence has something that has really impressed me this season. There were so many gaps to fill and runs to make up given the lengthy list of departures in the off season but the way in which the new line up has instantly come to the fore is remarkable and is one of the main reasons we sit pretty at the top of the AL East.
The Rays pitching game had always been our strong point and another month has gone by with respectable figures within the rotation. I believe Alex Colome got the best results this month as since returning from injury he has gone 3-1 in May. His ERA was slightly high at 4.55 but put that down to lack of competitive game time.
He is beginning to complement Chris Archer superbly and given the fact that the return of Matt Moore is scheduled for the not so distant future you really get a sense that if everything clicks there is no reason as to why the Rays canâ€™t stay competitive.
As the months go by the season will obviously unveil further but as we enter June itâ€™s fair to say that the Tampa Bay Rays are in a very positive position. The way the team is playing steady baseball is something not to be frowned upon this early in the campaign.
We all know the season pans out to a long and arduous 162 games but for the first 50 or so the Rays are performing well above their expected levels and as a fan long may it continue.