Description: Rays starter Alex Cobb allowed four runs on 10 hits over six innings in a loss to the Indians on Sunday.
Insight: The 10 hits was a season-high, so Cobb was certainly hoping for a better start to cap off his superb season. Even with the tough Sunday, Cobb was 10-9 with a 2.87 ERA, 149 strikeouts in 166 1/3 innings this year. Cobb posted a 1.78 ERA after July 1.
Description: Rays right-hander Alex Colome earns second victory in final start of season.
Insight: He did so in fine fashion, going 6 1/3 innings, allowing no runs on four hits, and struck out six. Colome finishes 2014 at 2-0 with a 2.66 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. Jake McGee saved his 19th game to seal the win.
Description: Rays righty Alex Cobb had another masterful start on Tuesday.
Insight: He allowed one run on five hits, but up until the eighth inning, it appeared the Rays were going to waste a fifth straight quality start from Cobb. Tampa Bay then scored five runs in the eighth. Cobb is 10-8 with a 2.75 ERA but his ERA is just 1.82 since July 1.
Description: Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run against the Red Sox on Tuesday.
Insight: Zobrist hit a two-RBI double in the eighth inning as Tampa Bay took its first lead of the night, 2-1. Zobrist came around to score on David DeJesus' single as the Rays added three more runs in the frame. The second baseman is hitting .273 with 10 home runs and 50 RBI this season.
Description: Rays starter Chris Archer defeated Hector Noesi and the White Sox 3-1 on Saturday.
Insight: He is now 10-8 after going 6 1/3 innings, including three strikeouts. Archer did not allow a run, and now owns a 3.42 ERA. Jake McGee shut the door for his 18th save, allowing the one earned run in the process.
Description: Rays right fielder Wil Myers continued to struggle on Friday, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Insight: The reigning American League Rookie of the Year had a terrible year full of injuries and hit only .219 with six home runs and 32 RBI. He has hit just .212 with one home run since his return from a fractured wrist.
Description: Rays righty Alex Cobb is simply turning into an ace for Tampa Bay.
Insight: Not only does he have a 0.87 ERA and 0.87 WHIP over his past three starts, Cobb is also 5-1 with a 1.26 ERA during the second half of 2014. Lock him into your lineup, and make sure you target this guy for 2015.
Description: Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar has an enticing matchup tonight against Yankees' right-hander Michael Pineda.
Insight: Not only does Escobar have good numbers against Pineda (6-for12 with 2 HR and 5 RBI) during his career, he also has been on a tear lately. Over the past seven days, Escobar is 9-for-22 with three homeruns and six RBI's. If he is not in your lineup, get him in there for tonight's game.
Description: Rays starter Chris Archer tossed seven innings and allowed one run as the Rays beat the Blue Jays, 6-5, on Sunday.
Insight: Unfortunately, the Tampa Bay bullpen blew the lead, so Archer did not get the victory. Rays second baseman Sean Rodriguez's sacrifice fly in the 10th proved to be the game winner. Archer is 9-8 with a 3.54 ERA and 164 strikeouts in 180 and 2/3 innings this season.
Description: In his first start of the season, Tampa Bay pitcher Nathan Karns threw seven shutout innings, allowed two hits, struck out eight and walked two as Tampa Bay defeated Toronto, 1-0.
Insight: The seven shutout innings came out of no where as Karns has made two other starts in his career and allowed 10 earned runs over five innings. We would hold off on jumping all over the 26-year-old, but we will also keep an eye on him.
Description: Rays third baseman Evan Longoria is a career .417 hitter (10-for-24) against Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda.
Insight: Longoria continues to muddle through with mediocre number for a hitter of his talent. He's hitting .254 with 19 home runs, 83 RBI and a .723 OPS. The good news is he's hit .300 this week entering this favorable matchup.
Description: Rays first baseman James Loney went 4-for-6 with a solo home run in a losing effort against the Orioles on Sunday.
Insight: Loney had a great August, hitting .304 with 13 RBI and nine runs, but Loney came into Sunday's contest hitting .167 in the first week of September. Sunday's 4-for-6 will certainly raise the old batting average. Loney is hitting .286 with eight home runs and 64 RBI this season.
Description: Tampa Bay center fielder Desmond Jennings is out indefinitely due to a bruised knee.
Insight: Jennings has been out with a left knee injury since Aug. 29. Jennings told the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday that his left knee still doesn't feel any better and there is no timetable for his return.
Description: Rays starter Alex Cobb continued his dominating second half, pitching seven scoreless innings against the first-place Orioles on Friday.
Insight: Cobb received the no-decision and his record is only 9-7 but in 10 of his last 11 starts, Cobb has pitched at least into the sixth inning and allowed two runs or fewer in each start. Over those 11 starts, Cobb's ERA has dropped from 4.28 to 2.83. The 26-year-old is starting to prove that this isn't just a hot streak, but the beginning of something special to come from him in the future.
Description: Rays third baseman Evan Longoria went 2-for-3, scoring the go-ahead run in the eighth as Tampa Bay beat Baltimore, 3-0.
Insight: One of Longoria's hits was a double. The third baseman has five hits in his last 11 at-bats, including a home run and three RBI. For the season, Longoria has been a little disappointing though, hitting .256 with 18 home runs and 81 RBI.
Description: Tampa Bay center fielder Desmond Jennings is a lifetime .409 (9-for-22) hitter against Toronto starter Mark Buehrle.
Insight: Jennings has been out with a left knee injury since Aug. 29, so owners might be reluctant to insert him so quickly back in the lineup on Thursday. That's if he is even in the Tampa Bay lineup. Jennings told the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday that his left knee still doesn't feel any better. Make sure Jennings is in the lineup if you want to play the percentages against Buehrle.
Description: Tampa Bay center fielder Desmond Jennings is just 2-for-18 with six strikeouts when facing R.A. Dickey's knuckleball.
Insight: Jennings hasn't played since Aug. 28 while dealing with left knee soreness. It is unclear when he will return. Fantasy owners, and Rays fans, are still waiting for Jennings to blossom into the "next" Carl Crawford as was advertised when he first came to the big leagues.
Description: Rays right fielder Wil Myers has gone 9-for-46 (.196) with one homer and three RBI since he returned from a fractured wrist.
Insight: That includes a three-hit game Monday against Boston. Myers has had a terrible sophomore slump this season, hitting .221 with six homers, 28 RBI and a .646 OPS in 244 at-bats one year after winning AL Rookie of the Year.
Description: Rays starter Alex Cobb allowed one earned run on seven hits, struck out six and walked one in a loss against the Red Sox on Sunday.
Insight: The loss was Cobb's first since June 23. Cobb is still pitching at an extremely high level despite the loss and his average 9-7 record. He hasn't given up three runs in a start since Independence Day. In July, he went 4-0 with a 2.23 ERA and even though Cobb posted a 2-1 record in August, his ERA in the month was an amazing 1.49.
continues his hot streak by extending his scoreless innings streak to 15 1/3 frames. He has also won his last seven decisions and over that span has an ERA of 1.99.
Description: Rays third baseman Evan Longoria went 0-for-3 against the Red Sox on Sunday.
Insight: Longoria went into Sunday's game on a five-game hitting streak. Even with the 0-for-3, he is batting .364 with a home run in his last six games. Longoria, however, has been overall disappointing this year. He is hitting just .254 with 17 home runs and 76 RBI.
Description: Tampa Bay starter Jake Odorizzi served up four dingers Monday at Baltimore.
Insight: He allowed eight runs on 11 hits in four innings. The right-hander had given up one homer in his previous 22 2/3 innings and 13 homers in 136 1/3 innings this season prior to Monday. Odorizzi has given up 13 home runs and posted a 5.61 ERA on the road this season, compared to a 3.18 ERA and four home runs at home.
Description: Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar won't be traded to the Athletics, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Insight: The A's claimed Escobar off revocable waivers, but the Rays have pulled him back. Escobar's offense has been in decline for years and he also has a negative UZR at shortstop for the first time in his career. As a result, he's been worse than replacement level this season (-0.1 WAR).
Description: Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria is a career .433 hitter with five home runs against Baltimore starter Chris Tillman.
Insight: That's the most home runs by any hitter off Tillman. Longoria continues to produce below expectations and its time to admit he's not going to reach last year's totals and will probably never reach the levels we expected when he exploded onto the scene as a rookie in 2008.
Description: Rays starter Chris Archer has recorded a 1.99 ERA and 39 strikeouts over 31 2/3 innings this month.
Insight: Archer walks a lot of batters (3.43 BB/9), but he has given up just six homers all year and struck out 147 batters in 157 1/3 innings. The right-hander held the Blue Jays to one run on six hits and struck out six over seven innings Sunday.
Description: Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson has recorded a 2.61, a 1.08 WHIP and a 33/9 K/BB over 38 innings since he returned from elbow surgery.
Insight: Hellickson missed the first three months of the season and he didn't make it out of the fifth inning in his first three starts, but he's looked sharp in his last four. In that span, he's gone 1-1 with a 2.22 ERA and a 0.78 WHIP. He struck out a season-high eight batters and allowed two runs on three hits over 6 1/3 innings Saturday at Toronto.
Description: Tampa Bay 2B Logan Forsythe is in the lineup Saturday against the Blue Jays.
Insight: He's hitting .245 with a .658 OPS, five homers and 20 RBI in 241 at-bats this season, but he has a .773 OPS against lefties and is 5-for-7 (.714) with two doubles and a walk against Toronto starter Mark Buehrle. Ben Zobrist, the usual starting second baseman, is in right field, Brandon Guyer is in left and Sean Rodriguez is at first base while Matt Joyce, Kevin Kiermaier and James Loney are out of the lineup.
Description: Tampa Bay second baseman Ben Zobrist has hit a bit of a rough patch -- 8-for-42 (.190) in his last 10 games -- but he's hitting .359 with a .920 OPS against lefties this season and .381 in his career against Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle.
Insight: Despite the poor average in the last two weeks, Zobrist is still batting .343 in his last 26 games.
Description: Tampa Bay center fielder Desmond Jennings is hitting .421 with a double in 19 at-bats against Toronto starter Mark Buehrle.
Insight: Jennings is hitting .264 with five homers and an .861 OPS against lefties this season while batting .234 with five homers and a .646 OPS against righties. His excellent numbers against Buehrle and Buehrle's struggles over the past two months make Jennings a solid option in the outfield on Saturday.
Description: Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria went 3-for-4 with a double, a homer and three RBI Friday at Toronto.
Insight: Longoria has just 38 extra-base hits (16 HR) in 560 plate appearances this season, an extra-base hit rate of 6.8 percent. In his first six seasons, Longoria had an extra-base hit in 10.9 percent of his plate appearances. He's hitting .254 with a .725 OPS.
Description: Rays right fielder Wil Myers went 1-for-3 with a solo homer, two walks, two runs and a steal Friday at Toronto.
Insight: Myers missed nearly three months with a fractured wrist before returning on Aug. 20 and he went 0-for-6 with four Ks in his first two games back in the lineup. It's been a rough second year for the 2013 AL Rookie of the Year -- he's hit .222 with six homers, 26 RBI and a .668 OPS in 207 at-bats.
Description: Rays right fielder Wil Myers (wrist) has been activated from the 60-day disabled list.
Insight: Myers fractured his right wrist on May 30 when he collided with Desmond Jennings. Prior to the injury, the 2013 AL Rookie of the Year hit .227 with five homers, 25 RBI and 52 Ks in 198 at-bats.
Description: Tampa Bay second baseman Ben Zobrist is a career .111 hitter against Tigers starter Max Scherzer.
Insight: Not many players hit Scherzer very well, but Zobrist is just 2-for-18 against the 2013 AL CY Young Award winner. One of those hits is a home run though. Zobrist had three straight 1-for-4 games against the Yankees over the weekend.
Description: Rays right fielder Wil Myers (stress fracture in his right wrist) could return as soon as Tuesday but possibly not until Friday, according to a Tampa Tribune report.
Insight: Myers suffered the injury on May 30 when he collided with Desmond Jennings. The 23-year-old reigning AL Rookie of the Year has already taken 21 at-bats in his rehab assignment includinh a pair of home runs.
Description: Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria is a career .429 hitter (9-for-21) against Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda.
Insight: Longoria's season as not been up to expectations. He's batting .253 with 15 HR and 64 RBI, but after 74 extra-base hits last season he's managed just 36 in 2014 and we've seen his OPS drop from .842 to a mediocre .716. He is on a six-game winning streak and this is a favorable matchup so could be worth a shot.
Description: Tampa Bay center fielder Desmond Jennings has been upgraded to active for Friday's game against the NY Yankees, batting leadoff, while dealing with a sore left shoulder.
Insight: Even if he is ready physically, he's a career 1-for-11 (.091) against Friday's starter Brandon McCarthy, so fantasy owners should probably stay away for one more day. Jennings slammed into the wall shoulder-first after making a running catch Tuesday.
Description: Tampa Bay center fielder Desmond Jennings is questionable for Friday's game against the NY Yankees due to a sore left shoulder.
Insight: Even if he is ready physically, he's a career 1-for-11 (.091) against Friday's starter Brandon McCarthy, so fantasy owners should probably stay away for one more day. Jennings slammed into the wall shoulder-first after making a running catch Tuesday.
Description: Rays right fielder Wil Myers (stress fracture in his right wrist) is scheduled for a two-week rehab assignment before returning to the Rays in late August.
Insight: Myers suffered the injury on May 30 when he collided with Desmond Jennings. The 23-year-old reigning AL Rookie of the Year hds been done little this season before getting hurt, batting .227 with five homers and 25 RBI.
Description: Rays starter Alex Cobb allowed one run on six hits, struck out six and walked none over six innings in Sunday's no decision against the Cubs.
Insight: Cobb walked four his last time out, so it was good to see him find his control Sunday. He's allowed four earned runs on 22 hits and recorded a 32/6 K/BB in his last 26 2/3 innings (1.35 ERA, 1.05 WHIP).
Description: Tampa Bay second baseman Ben Zobrist has gone 13-for-32 (.406) with five doubles in August.
Insight: This comes after he hit .337 with five doubles and three homers in July. After going 3-for-5 Friday, Zobrist is hitting .282 with 25 doubles, three triples, nine homers, 33 RBI, 56 runs, nine steals and a .797 OPS on the year.
Description: Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier is not in Friday's starting lineup.
Insight: After a fast start, Kiermaier is batting just .118 this week and can probably use the day off. Overall, he's been much better than expected, batting .288 with nine homers, 28 RBI and an .858 OPS over 65 games.
Description: Rays right fielder Wil Myers (stress fracture in his right wrist) will begin batting practice Monday and could start a minor league rehab assignment Wednesday.
Insight: Myers suffered the injury on May 30 when he collided with Desmond Jennings. He's on schedule for a mid-August return. The 23-year-old reigning AL Rookie of the Year has been done little this season batting .227 with five homers and 25 RBI.
Description: The Tigers have sent Drew Smyly to the Tampa Bay Rays in the David Price trade.
Insight: Smyly is promising, but he's been inconsistent this season. In 105 1/3 innings, he's gone 6-9 with a 3.93 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. He could be better down the road, but his fantasy fortunes this season won't change much after the trade.
Description: Rays right fielder Wil Myers (stress fracture in his right wrist) hit off a tee Friday and is progressing toward a mid-August return, barring any setbacks.
Insight: Myers suffered the injury on May 30 when he collided with Desmond Jennings. The 23-year-old reigning AL Rookie of the Year has been done little this season batting .227 with five homers and 25 RBI.
Description: Tampa Bay starter Jake Odorizzi won his third straight start Monday against the Brewers.
Insight: Odorizzi was dominant, walking none, striking out five and allowing one run on three hits in seven innings. The right-hander has been terrific in his last 15 starts, going 6-5 with a 2.83 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP and a 102/28 K/BB in 86 innings.
Description: In what may have been his final start with the Rays, David Price struck out 10, walked none and allowed three runs over eight innings against the Red Sox.
Insight: Price has won six straight starts and pitched to a 1.88 ERA and a 99/13 K/BB in his last 11. In that span, he's thrown at least seven innings in all 11 starts and averaged nearly eight innings per outing. The Rays have won eight straight and are now 50-53, so they may just decide to keep Price.
Description: Tampa Bay second baseman Ben Zobrist bounced back from a 0-for-12 stretch with four hits in four at-bats Friday night against the Red Sox.
Insight: Since June 25, Zobrist has gone 31-for-94 (.330) with six doubles, two triples, two homers, 13 RBI and 14 runs in 24 games. His numbers on the season still aren't impressive, but his versatility (2B/SS/OF) gives him extra fantasy value.
Description: Tampa Bay center fielder Desmond Jennings has had a nice month of July, going 20-for-64 with seven doubles, two homers and 14 runs.
Insight: He's still hitting just .249 because he came into the month batting .235. Jennings is on pace to finish with nearly identical numbers to the past two seasons. At age 27, he's likely not going to improve much from the player he is right now.
Description: Rays first baseman James Loney is one of the rare hitters with a history of success versus Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright.
Insight: Loney is a career .462 hitter (12-for-26) with a 1.154 OPS against Wainwright. He's a non-power hitting first baseman, who can hit for a decent average and knock in runs when needed, but isn't an everyday fantasy option.
Description: Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar owns a .583 average against Minnesota's Kevin Correia.
Insight: Escobar is hitting just .249 with four homers and a .657 OPS in 281 at-bats this season so he won't cost you much Sunday, but he could be a good option against Correia. He's gone 7-for-12 with two doubles against the right-hander.
Description: Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson has been optioned to Double-A to make one start during the All-Star break.
Insight: Hellickson allowed oe run on six hits in 4 1/3 innings in his season debut on July 8 after missing the entire season due to elbow surgery. He had a 5.17 ERA last year but his career ERA is 3.69.
Description: Tampa Bay center fielder Desmond Jennings left Friday's game after fouling a ball off his left knee and as expected is not in Saturday's starting lineup.
Insight: Jennings' X-rays were negative so he should be considered day-to-day. At most he should miss the final two games before the All-Star break. He's batting .246 with eight homers, 24 RBI, 48 runs and 12 steals.
Description: Rays right fielder Wil Myers (stress fracture in his right wrist) has been cleared to begin baseball activities.
Insight: Myers suffered the injury on May 30 when he collided with Desmond Jennings. The 23-year-old reigning AL Rookie of the Year has been done little this season batting .227 with five homers and 25 RBI.
Description: Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (elbow) is scheduled to start Tuesday against Kansas City.
Insight: Hellickson has recovered from offseason elbow surgery and this will be his season debut. The team has already made room for him by moving Erik Bedard to the bullpen and optioning Vince Belnome to Triple-A Durham.
Description: Tampa Bay left-hander David Price narrowly missed striking out at least 10 batters for the sixth straight start Tuesday, but he still beat the Yankees to earn his seventh win.
Insight: Price uncharacteristically walked three batters, but he struck out nine and allowed just one run on four hits over seven innings. The left-hander has gone 3-3 with a 2.12 ERA, a 0.94 WHIP and a 63/8 K/BB in 46 2/3 innings over his last six starts.
Description: Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria is 0-for-7 against Yankees starter David Phelps.
Insight: We're still waiting for the "real" Longoria to show up. Longoria is batting .264 with 10 homers and 37 RBI. If he's going to reach the 30-home run mark he's got to get going and Monday isn't likely to help.
Description: Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier went 2-for-5 with a solo homer Sunday against the Orioles.
Insight: Kiermaier has homered in back-to-back games and hit .306 with six homers, 12 RBI, 11 runs and a .934 OPS in his first 108 at-bats this season. He's worth a look if you're in need of power, but his average won't stay above .300.
Description: Tampa Bay second baseman Ben Zobrist has gone 8-for-21 (.381) with two doubles, two triples and a homer over his last five games.
Insight: Zobrist went 3-for-6 with two doubles and a homer Sunday at Baltimore. The utilityman has had an underwhelming season, hitting .253 with a .732 OPS, six home runs and just 18 RBI in 269 at-bats.
Description: Tampa Bay center fielder Desmond Jennings has just 44 homers on his resume in three and a half seasons, but four have been off of Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez.
Insight: Jennings hasn't become the fantasy star it appeared he would be when he hit 10 homers and stole 20 bases in 247 at-bats as a rookie. With a .235 average, seven homers, 21 RBI, 38 runs and 12 steals, Jennings is on pace to put up similar numbers to the past two years, but he could be a viable option on Sunday against one of his favorite pitchers.
Description: The combined batting average from Jones (3-for-16), Chris Davis (2-for-11), Nick Markakis (2-for-10), Nelson Cruz (1-for-9) and Manny Machado (0-for-13) against Rays right-hander Alex Cobb is .136 with zero home runs and two RBI.
Insight: Cobb bombed against Pittsburgh in his last outing, but had shown progress in his previous two starts including yielding just four hits and one run against the Orioles in seven strong innings on June 18.
Description: Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier went 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBI Saturday against the Orioles.
Insight: Kiermaier has batted .301 with five homers and a .911 OPS in his first 103 career at-bats, but his average won't stay that high. He's struck out in 21.2 percent of his plate appearances and batted .347 on balls in play despite hitting line drives at a 12 percent rate.
Description: Tampa Bay center fielder Desmond Jennings went 1-for-4 with a solo homer Saturday at Baltimore.
Insight: Jennings hasn't become the fantasy star it appeared he would be when he hit 10 homers and stole 20 bases in 247 at-bats as a rookie. With a .235 average, seven homers, 21 RBI, 38 runs and 12 steals, Jennings is on pace to put up similar numbers to the past two years.
Description: Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria went 3-for-4 in the second game of a day/night doubleheader Friday against Baltimore.
Insight: All three of his hits were singles. Longoria's current pace calls for 20 HR and 73 RBI. Those projected totals are both significantly lower than what Longoria posted during the 2013 season (32 HR, 88 RBI in 160 games).
Description: Tampa Bay left-hander David Price threw 8 1/3 innings of one-run ball and struck out 11 batters in Wednesday's win against the Pirates.
Insight: Price (6-7, 3.63 ERA) has thrown at least eight innings in four straight starts and struck out at least 10 batters in five straight. He has an absurd 144/14 K/BB in 124 innings and his ERA is down to its lowest point since April 11. His 10.29 K/BB is second best ever among pitchers who qualified for the ERA title.
Description: Rays first baseman James Loney is jusy 1-for-12 (.083) against Pittsburgh right-hander Edinson Volquez.
Insight: Loney is a non-power hitting first baseman, who can hit for a decent average and knock in runs when needed, but he hasn't put up an OPS over .778 since being a part-timer in 2007. Today's matchup should be avoided.
Description: Tampa Bay left-hander David Price lasted eight innings for the third straight start and struck out at least 10 batters for the fourth straight Friday against Houston. However, he dropped to 5-7 on the year after the Rays lost 3-1.
Insight: Price once again was bitten by the longball. He allowed a two-run homer to George Springer in the third inning and has given up 16 in 115 2/3 innings this season. In fact, he has three more homers allowed than walks. The left-hander leads the majors with 133 Ks, but his ERA is 3.81.
Description: Tampa Bay second baseman Ben Zobrist is not in Friday's starting lineup versus Jarred Cosart and the Houston Astros.
Insight: Zobrist (.248, 5 HR, 15 RBI) is producing at his lowest level in years, so this is not the end of the world. He's a career 1-for-6 versus Cosart and just 4-for-23 over the past seven days. Looks like he can use a day off.
Description: Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier went 1-for-4 with a homer and two RBI Thursday against the Astros.
Insight: Kiermaier has gone 24-for-76 (.316) with seven doubles, two triples and four homers this season. He was pushed into a starting role following Wil Myers' injury and hit third in the order Thursday.
Description: Tampa Bay left fielder David DeJesus fractured a bone in his left hand on a check swing Wednesday, according to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune.
Insight: DeJesus will be in a splint for three weeks and could be out until August. The outfielder has never been a good fantasy option because he doesn't hit for power or average and doesn't steal bases.
Description: Tampa Bay starter Chris Archer has posted a 1.06 ERA in his last six starts.
Insight: Since mid-May Archer has been excellent, yielding just four earned runs in his last 34 innings pitched. Don't be fooled by his 3-4 record, he should post good numbers against Houston on Thursday.
Description: Rays starter Alex Cobb has given up seven hits and two runs (one earned) while striking out 17 batters in his last 13 1/3 innings.
Insight: Cobb has bounced back after allowing 16 runs on 24 hits in 15 1/3 innings from May 27 to June 7. His ERA dropped to 3.48 after he threw seven innings and allowed zero earned runs against the Orioles Wednesday afternoon.
Description: Tampa Bay center fielder Desmond Jennings only has 42 homers in his career, but three are against Tuesday night starter Miguel Gonzalez.
Insight: Jennings' offensive numbers (.242, 5 HR, 19 RBI, 32 runs, 12 steals) have been underwhelming to say the least, but he is batting .318 over the past five games. He might be worth a flier Tuesday.
Description: Rays left-hander Jake McGee earned his first save on Sunday.
Insight: He's been Tampa Bay's best reliever all season and with Grant Balfour out as closer, it's finally McGee's time to shine. Unfortunately, the Rays have been brutal lately, winning just four of their last 19 contests. The save chances will be few and far between but when they do come, McGee (2-0, 1.47 ERA) should be first in line.
Description: Tampa Bay second baseman Ben Zobrist enjoyed a three-hit game Sunday against Houston.
Insight: It was his second three-hit game of the series. Zobrist (.260, 5 HR, 15 RBI) has watched his average rise 19 points in the last four games. We'll see if Zobrist can stay hot Monday against Baltimore.
Description: Tampa Bay left-hander David Price (8 IP, 5 H, 3 ER) earned ten punchouts Sunday in a win over Houston.
Insight: He's recorded double-digit K's in each of his last three starts. Price's 121 strikeouts are the most in MLB and it's not that close. Stephen Strasburg is second (113 K's) with Felix Hernandez one behind Strasburg. All three have made 15 starts this season.
Description: Rays starter Jake Odorizzi fell to 2-7 despite holding the Cardinals to one run on three hits in 7 1/3 innings Tuesday night.
Insight: The Rays were shut out for the third straight game and have the worst record in baseball. Odorizzi's fielding-independent numbers are solid -- 10.52 K/9, 3.6 BB/9, 0.83 HR/9 -- but he has a 4.85 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP.
Description: Rays manager Joe Maddon said Friday that Grant Balfour "absolutely" is still the closer, but after another horrible outing he announced on Monday morning that the position was now a "closer-by-committee."
Insight: Balfour allowed five runs on Sunday to raise his ERA to an ugly 6.46 and a WHIP of 1.65. Jake McGee, Juan Carlos Oviedo and Joel Peralta are possible options.
Description: Tampa Bay left-hander Erik Bedard tossed six shutout frames Friday in a win over Seattle.
Insight: Bedard, a player the Rays picked up off the scrap heap at the start of the year, has been surprisingly effective this season. In 11 games (ten starts), the 35-year-old is 3-4 with a 3.61 ERA. His next start is Wednesday against the Cardinals.
Description: Rays starter David Price has a 4.03 ERA even though his K/BB is 101/9 in 91 2/3 innings.
Insight: Price struck out 11 batters and didn't walk anyone in 7 1/3 innings Wednesday against Miami. He allowed five runs, but just one was earned. The 28-year-old has had a problem with the longball this season; he's allowed 1.28 HR/9. However, his impressive K/BB suggests he'll improve his ERA.
Description: Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (elbow) will begin a rehab assignment Saturday, according to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune.
Insight: Hellickson is still recovering from offseason elbow surgery. He's coming off a year in which he had a 5.17 ERA in 174 innings, and although he had a 3.02 ERA in 2011-12 his FIP was 4.52 in that span.
Description: Tampa Bay starter Chris Archer pitched well Tuesday in a loss to Miami.
Insight: He only allowed one run in seven innings. Archer got off to a rocky start this year but he's really picked it up over his last four starts (1.09 ERA, 31 K's in 24 2/3 IP). Make sure he's in your lineup next time out against the Mariners.
Description: Tampa Bay center fielder Desmond Jennings isn't starting Tuesday against Miami. SOURCE: Roger Mooney, Tampa Bay Tribune
Insight: Jennings' offensive numbers (.237, 5 HR, 14 RBI) have been underwhelming to say the least. At least he has 11 stolen bases. Kevin Kiermaier (.316, 2 HR, 3 RBI) is getting the start in center field.
Description: Rays starter David Price avoided a suspension for hitting David Ortiz in the hip on Friday night.
Insight: Boston starter Brandon Workman was later ejected for throwing behind Evan Longoria's head in the sixth inning and suspended for six games Tuesday. Ortiz wasn't happy about Price avoiding punishment. "I don't think what they're doing is fair," Ortiz said. "I think the rules should be for everybody. We didn't start this up. I didn't hit nobody. Workman didn't hit anybody in the first inning. (Price) did."
Description: The Rays have placed Wil Myers on the disabled list with a sprained right wrist.
Insight: Myers collided with Desmond Jennings in Friday night's game. The 23-year-old reigning AL Rookie of the Year has had a sophomore slump this season and is hitting .227 with five homers, 25 RBI, 26 runs and a .667 OPS in 53 games. In his absence, the Rays will probably give more at-bats to utilityman Sean Rodriguez, who has hit .232 with six homers and 20 RBI in 82 at-bats this year.
Description: Tampa Bay catcher Ali Solis had to leave Saturday's game after getting hit in the face by a foul ball. SOURCE: MLB on Fox
Insight: The ball bounced off home plate before coming back and hitting Solis right below the helmet. Jose Molina (.133, 0 HR, 0 RBI) entered the game with a 1-2 count and struck out on the very next pitch.
Description: Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar will sit out Saturday against the Red Sox. SOURCE: Joe Smith, Tampa Bay Times
Insight: Escobar exited last night's game in the tenth inning because of a tight quad. Ben Zobrist (.253, 3 HR, 10 RBI) will slide over to shortstop with Sean Rodriguez (.241, 6 HR, 20 RBI) filling in at second base.
Description: Tampa Bay right fielder Wil Myers is not in Saturday's starting lineup.
Insight: Myers collided with Desmond Jennings in Friday night's game and came out of it with a sore right wrist. Matt Joyce will get the start. Myers is struggling to live up to expectations, batting just .227 with five homers and 25 RBI.
Description: Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist has been activated from the 15-day DL.
Insight: He was out with a dislocated left thumb. Zobrist owners are looking for more than the .260 with three homers and nine RBI that the 2B has produced to date. His .716 OPS is the worst since 2010.
Description: Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings will bat cleanup for the second time this season and third time of his career.
Insight: Jennings has gone 7-for-24 with five runs, a home run and two steals in his last six games, but he doesn't seem like a typical No. 4 hitter. For the year he's batting .243 with five homers, 13 RBI, 26 runs, 11 SB and a .730 OPS.
Description: Rays starter Erik Bedard gave up more hits Monday at Toronto than he did in his previous four starts combined.
Insight: Bedard gave up 12 hits and eight runs (seven earned) in four innings. The left-hander had allowed just three earned runs on 16 hits over 28 innings in his previous five starts. The Blue Jays have hit 22 homers off left-handers this season, most in baseball.
Description: Rays right-hander Chris Archer tied a career-high with 11 punchouts Friday in a no-decision against the Red Sox.
Insight: He did it at a snail's pace, often taking 30 seconds in between pitches. Archer (3-2, 4.11 ERA) hasn't allowed a run in his last two starts but he's walked nine batters over that span. Overall, he's allowed 19 free passes in his last 26 1/3 innings.
Description: Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings is just 2-for-15 (.133) against Boston starter John Lackey.
Insight: When he was coming up he was supposed to be the "next Carl Crawford" ... we're still waiting. He's batting .241 with four homers, 11 RBI, 23 runs and nine stolen bases. He's not there yet. Avoid this matchup.
Description: Tampa Bay starter Alex Cobb hasn't alllowed a run in his last three starts.
Insight: Thursday was Cobb's first start in over a month after missing time with a strained oblique. He was excellent, limiting the first-place A's to just three hits over 6 2/3 shutout frames. Cobb's next outing is scheduled for Tuesday against Toronto.
Description: Rays third baseman Evan Longoria is back in Thursday's starting lineup.
Insight: Longoria was not in the original lineup and can probably use the day off. He's batted just .111 in five games this week. His OPS is 150 points below last season and 168 lower than his career OPS of (.860).
Description: Rays right-hander Alex Cobb (oblique) had a successful bullpen session on Monday, which puts him in line to return to the rotation on Thursday against the Athletics. SOURCE: Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times
Insight: The Rays have had Cobb (1-18, 1.89 ERA) tentatively scheduled for May 22, and he has cleared all his hurdles.
Description: Rays catcher Ryan Hanigan left Friday night's game due to cramping in right leg and is questionable for Saturday's game against the LA Angels.
Insight: The 33-year-old Hanigan shouldn be considered day-to-day. He's batting .238 with three homers and 22 RBI this season. Jose Molina would go if Hanigan gets the day off, but he has no fantasy value with his .128 batting average.
Description: Rays manager Joe Maddon said Friday that Grant Balfour "absolutely" is still the closer, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Insight: Another day, another vote of confidence from a manager for a closer. Balfour allowed three runs without getting an out in the ninth inning Thursday and has a 6.46 ERA, a 1.63 WHIP and a terrible 11/14 K/BB in 15 1/3 innings this season.
Description: Rays RHP Jake Odorizzi allowed just one hit and struck out seven over six scoreless innings Wednesday at Seattle.
Insight: Odorizzi has fanned 18 batters and allowed no runs in his last 11 innings. He still has a 4.89 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP because he allowed 36 hits, 14 walks and 21 runs in his first 27 2/3 innings this season.
Description: Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist suffered a dislocated left thumb during Wednesday's game, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Insight: Zobrist sustained the injury while sliding head-first into a base. Fantasy owners are lucky the infielder avoided ligament damage. He'll remain with the team and be reevaluated after the road trip, which ends on May 18, so we may not see him for at least another four games.
Description: Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist left Wednesday's game in the fifth inning with an apparent left thumb injury after sliding head-first into second base, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Insight: Fantasy owners have to hope Zobrist didn't suffer ligament damage in his thumb like Bryce Harper and Josh Hamilton did while sliding head-first earlier this season.
Description: Rays left-hander David Price pitched all nine innings Tuesday in a win against Seattle.
Insight: Price (9 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 12 K's, 0 BB) went up against Hisashi Iwakuma in a pitching battle for the ages. The only run Price allowed came across on a Robinson Cano groundout in the first inning. The victory was his first since April 22nd.
Description: Rays starter Erik Bedard allowed just one hit in six scoreless innings Saturday against the Indians.
Insight: Bedard (2-1, 3.38 ERA, 1.43 WHIP) has given up 11 hits and two earned runs in his last 17 innings after recording a 7.45 ERA in his first three appearances. AL-only owners can give him a try his next time out on the road against the Angels, but his 17/14 K/BB in 26 2/3 innings spells doom.
Description: Rays third baseman Evan Longoria has crushed Orioles starter Chris Tillman in their previous meetings.
Insight: Longoria has a .417 average (10-for-24) with two doubles, four homers and three walks against Tillman, who will start Tuesday against Tampa Bay. Perhaps that will help Longoria end his nine-game homer drought.
Description: Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings has hit safely in seven straight games (11-for-31).
Insight: Jennings has blasted three homers during his hitting streak and went 3-for-4 with a double Sunday against the Yankees to raise his average to .294 and his OPS to .890. He has four homers, six steals and 18 runs this season.
Description: Tampa Bay right fielder Wil Myers went 2-for-5 with a double, an inside-the-park homer and four RBI Sunday at New York.
Insight: Myers' inside-the-park HR came in the top of the third inning when his fly ball hit the top of the fence in right-center field, ricocheted off a leaping Jacoby Ellsbury's gut and rolled on the warning track toward right field. Myers didn't even run hard to first base but still had time to make it home because the cut-off man dropped the ball. Myers went 6-for-16 with two homers, seven RBI and four runs in Tampa Bay's three-game series with the Yankees.
Description: Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson won't be back in the rotation until the end of June. SOURCE: Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times
Insight: Hellickson is still recovering from offseason elbow surgery. The plan was originally for him to be back by June 1st but that timetable was obviously a bit unrealistic. It's hard for fantasy owners to trust him after the mediocre year he had in 2013 (12-10, 5.17 ERA).
Description: Rays 2B/SS/OF Ben Zobrist is a career .125 hitter (2-for-160 with seven strikeouts versus White Sox starter John Danks.
Insight: Zobrist's career average in April is just .246, but he's off to a great start this season batting .315. The 32-year-old has just 10 strikeouts to go with 14 walks, three homers, 16 runs and eight RBI. Saturday, however, is an unfavorable matchup.
Description: Tampa Bay first baseman James Loney stayed hot with three hits Tuesday against the Twins.
Insight: He's been ridiculous over his last four games, providing nine hits over that span (.563 AVG). Loney, who has never been a big power guy, is on pace for 97 RBI this season. Fantasy owners in the market for a corner infielder could do a lot worse than Loney (.302, 1 HR, 12 RBI).
Description: Rays starter David Price pitched a complete game Tuesday against Minnesota.
Insight: Joe Mauer hit a hard line drive off Price's leg in the fourth inning but it didn't seem to affect him as the left-hander still finished with a season-high 12 strikeouts over 113 pitches. Price's next start is Sunday against the White Sox.
Description: Tampa Bay center fielder Desmond Jennings (groin) did not start Saturday or Sunday, but is back in the lineup for Tuesday.
Insight: Jennings is batting .264 this season with one homer, five RBI and seven runs scored. The groin injury is likely to restrict his stolen base ability for a while. He's stolen at least 20 bases in each of the last three seasons, but has just one so far this year.
Description: Tampa Bay right-hander Chris Archer was roughed up by the Orioles in his last start but he gave up just one run on three hits in 6 2/3 innings Saturday against the Yankees.
Insight: Archer has tossed three quality starts in four chances this year, but he gave up seven earned runs on 12 hits over five innings in his one non-quality outing. The 25-year-old is 2-1 with a 3.65 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP in 24 2/3 innings.
Description: Rays 2B/SS/OF Ben Zobrist is a career .417 hitter (5-for-12) versus Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda.
Insight: Zobrist's five hits have all been of the extra base variety, including two homers and a 1.783 OPS. He's batting .268 this season with a .388 OBP due to walking 11 times already. He's a solid play on Friday.
Description: According to Marc Topkins of the Tampa Bay Times, Rays left-hander Matt Moore has scheduled Tommy John surgery for next week.
Insight: Moore was diagnosed with a torn UCL in his elbow which almost always means going under the knife, so this isn't a surprise. Moore was a fantasy stud last season going 17-4 with a 3.29 ERA and 143 Ks in 150 1/3 innings pitched. He was 0-2 with a 2.70 ERA before the injury.
Description: Rays 2B/SS/OF Ben Zobrist is a career .105 hitter (2-for-19) versus Baltimore right-hander Miguel Gonzalez.
Insight: Zobrist is a career .277 hitter left-handed (.256 right-handed), but hasn't had any success versus Gonzalez. Add in a strong wind blowing in from left field on Tuesday and you have all the ingredients for a low output evening.
Description: Rays 2B/SS/OF Ben Zobrist is a career .435 hiiter (10-for-23) versus Baltimore left-hander Wei-Yin Chen.
Insight: Zobrist is coming off a two-homer afternoon and has hit safely in six of his last seven games to raise his average to .277 with an .871 OPS. Add in a strong wind blowing out to left field on Monday and you have all the ingredients for another solid day with the bat.
Description: Rays 2B/SS/OF Ben Zobrist went yard from both sides of the plate and drove in four runs Sunday at Cincinnati.
Insight: Zobrist is batting .277 with three homers, six RBI and an .871 OPS so far. As usual, he's walking a ton (8 BBs, 7 Ks). The utilityman is a career .238 hitter in April, but he's off to a nice start for a change.
Description: Rays right-hander Alex Cobb strained his left oblique Saturday in a win against Cincinnati. He's already been placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Insight: That opens up a spot in the rotation for Erik Bedard, who was recently called up from Triple-A Durham. Cobb (1-1, 1.89 ERA) will be eligible to return on April 28th, though it's doubtful he'll be able to recover that quickly.
Description: Tampa Bay starter Alex Cobb was dominant in Saturday's 1-0 win over Cincinnati (7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 5 K's).
Insight: Cobb (1-1, 1.89 ERA) threw all zeros for the second straight outing. If Cobb keeps this up, he'll be a no-brainer for the All-Star team in a few months. His next start is against the Yankees (6-6).
Description: Tampa Bay left-hander David Price came up just short of a shutout Friday at Cincinnati but he still picked up the win.
Insight: Price (2-0, 2.91 ERA) gave up an opposite-field homer to Joey Votto in the bottom of the ninth and finished with 10 strikeouts and one walk in 8 1/3 innings. Grant Balfour picked up the final two outs for his third save but not before walking three batters.
Description: Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that Matt Moore's injury involves his UCL. The Rays left-hander left Monday's start with elbow discomfort and was placed on the DL Tuesday
Insight: Moore will see Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion after an MRI on his left elbow was inconclusive. Moore saw his average fastball velocity decline from 94.1 mph as a rookie to 92.3 mph last year and dealt with elbow soreness near the end of the season. He could require Tommy John surgery.
Description: The Rays have placed Matt Moore (elbow) will see Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Insight: Moore's MRI was inconclusive. The left-hander left Monday's start with elbow discomfort and was placed on the DL Tuesday. Moore saw his average fastball velocity decline from 94.1 mph as a rookie to 92.3 mph last year and dealt with elbow soreness near the end of the season.
Description: The Rays have placed Matt Moore of the 15-day disabled list with a left elbow injury.
Insight: Moore saw his average fastball velocity decline from 94.1 mph as a rookie to 92.3 mph last year and dealt with elbow soreness near the end of the season. He's still awaiting the result of an MRI.
Description: Rays first baseman James Loney won't start Friday against the Rangers.
Insight: Though left-hander Joe Saunders is throwing for Texas, Loney actually hit the same against lefties as he did against right-handers last season (.299). Sean Rodriguez will get the start at first tonight with Loney likely to return on Saturday.
Description: Tampa Bay right fielder Wil Myers wasn't available Thursday and is questionable for Friday's game against Texas due to flu-like symptoms.
Insight: Matt Joyce (.556, 0 HR, 3 RBI), usually would take over in right field, but he's not very good against left-handers (career .193 batting average vs lefties) so Brandon Guyer might get the spot start.
Description: Tampa Bay right-hander Chris Archer has agreed to a six-year, $25.5 million contract extension.
Insight: Archer was excellent last year in his first full year in the major leagues (9-7, 3.22 ERA in 23 starts). He went for only a dollar or two in most auction drafts and could wind up being one of the year's biggest fantasy bargains.
Description: Rays utility man Sean Rodriguez has been placed on paternity leave.
Insight: Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy got some heat on talk radio for beginning the season on paternity leave though we doubt Rodriguez will receive as much criticism. The Rays don't really have a spot for Rodriguez right now and neither should fantasy owners.
Description: Rays left fielder David DeJesus (bruised foot) is out of the lineup again Wednesday.
Insight: DeJesus left Monday's season opener with a bruised foot. Logan Forsythe will DH and Sean Rodriguez will start in left field Wednesday. Matt Joyce will take a seat with left-hander Mark Buehrle on the hill.
Description: Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings is a .500 hitter versus Toronto's starter Mark Buehrle (6-for-12).
Insight: He already has three doubles, two walks, a steal and just one strikeout. Jennings has been a bit of a disappointment the last two seasons, but is off to a quick start this season (.571) and has a favorable matchup on Wednesday.
Description: Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings has logged two straight two-hit games to start the season.
Insight: He already has three doubles, two walks, a steal and just one strikeout. Jennings has been a bit of a disappointment the last two seasons, hitting .249 with an average of 14 homers, 50 RBI, 84 runs and 26 steals per season.
Description: Rays left fielder David DeJesus left Monday's game against the Blue Jays.
Insight: He appeared to hurt his arm diving back to first on a pick-off attempt, accordingto Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times. If he has to miss time, it will lead to more playing time for Logan Forsythe and Sean Rodriguez.
Description: Hitting the knuckleball has never come easy for Tampa Bay center fielder Desmond Jennings.
Insight: In 16 at bats versus R.A. Dickey, Jennings has just one hit to show for himself. Jennings (.252, 14 HR, 54 RBI) definitely has sleeper potential, just not against Dickey. Make sure he's on your bench today.
Description: Rays promising right-hander Alex Colome has been suspended for 50 days for a PED violation, according to Yahoo writer Jeff Passan.
Insight: Colome threw 16 innings at the major league level last season with a 2.25 ERA and 12 strikeouts, but he'll have to sit for the first two months of 2014. The one thing the Rays have is pitching, so this won't hurt the big club.
Description: Matt Moore will have X-rays on his jaw and teeth roots on Monday. The Tampa Bay ace was struck in the face by a comebacker Sunday in a spring training game versus the Red Sox. SOURCE: Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times
Insight: It's been a scary spring for pitchers with Aroldis Chapman going down with a facial fracture and now this injury to Moore. The left-hander tied for third in the AL with 17 wins last season. It wouldn't be surprising if Moore topped that number in 2014 but first, he'll have to get healthy.
Description: Rays left-hander Matt Moore was hit in the side of the face by a comebacker on Sunday, but he appears to have avoided a serious injury.
Insight: Moore received stitches for a laceration on his lip but has no concussion symptoms, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. He threw four no-hit innings before leaving the game, though he did walk four batters and now has 15 walks in 14 1/3 innings this spring.
Description: Rays left-hander Matt Moore has walked 11 batters in 10 1/3 innings this spring.
Insight: He has allowed 13 hits and five earned runs too. Moore saw a decline in velocity of nearly two mph last season and walked 4.55 batters per nine innings. He also missed time with elbow soreness in the second half. Don't pay for the 17-4 record and 3.29 ERA he had in 2013.
Description: Rays manager Joe Maddon has named Jake Odorizzi the team's fifth starter, according to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times. Odorizzi beat out Erik Bedard and Cesar Ramos.
Insight: The Rays acquired Odorizzi from the Royals along with Wil Myers in the package for James Shields, and the 23-year-old had a 3.94 ERA in 29 2/3 innings last season. He also had a 3.33 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP and 124 strikeouts in 124 1/3 innings with Triple-A Durham. He'll try to hold down the fort until Jeremy Hellickson returns from elbow surgery in June. Ramos will pitch in high-leverage situations out of the bullpen, and Bedard will opt out of his contract if he's demoted to the minors.
Description: Rays right fielder Wil Myers (quad) will return to the lineup Tuesday.
Insight: Myers fouled a ball of his right leg on Saturday, but he avoided a serious injury. The reigning American League Rookie of the Year hit 13 homers in 335 at-bats last season and flashed 35-homer power in the minors.
Description: Rays right fielder Wil Myers is aiming to return Tuesday against Minnesota. He fouled a ball off his quad Saturday in a spring training exhibition with Pittsburgh. SOURCE: Roger Mooney, Tampa Tribune
Insight: His X-rays came back negative so it looks like it's just a bruise. The reigning American League Rookie of the Year should be a threat for 20+ homers if he can stay healthy.
Description: Tampa Bay starter Jeremy Hellickson is targeting June 1st for his return from elbow surgery. SOURCE: Tampa Bay Times
Insight: The Rays originally expected him back in mid-May but that's not going to happen. Hellickson (12-10, 5.17 ERA) is coming off a rocky season that even included a demotion to Double-A. So far, he's gone undrafted in the vast majority of fantasy leagues.
Description: Rays 2B/SS/OF Ben Zobrist has been dealing with a sore back after tweaking in during a workout Wednesday, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Insight: Zobrist turned in a decent year in 2013 with 12 HR, 71 RBI and a .275 average in 157 regular season contests. He also successfully stole 11 out of 14 bases. His position flexibility makes him a fantasy favorite.
Description: Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings arrived to camp having put on 10-15 pounds of muscle, according to tampabay.com. "I get here every spring and I probably lose at least 10 pounds, so I feel I'll be around what I want to play with once the season starts," he said.
Insight: Jennings burst onto the scene with 10 homers and 20 steals in just 63 games in 2011, but he's followed that up with .246-13 HR-31 SB in 2012 and.252-14 HR-20 SB last season while playing less than 140 games in both years. However, the center fielder improved both his K and BB rates last season and increased his slugging percentage. Manager Joe Maddon hasn't decided if he'll stick with Jennings in the leadoff spot or drop him in the order this season.
Description: Left-handed starter Erik Bedard has signed a minor-league deal with Tampa Bay.
Insight: Another team takes a shot at the talented, but never has reached his potential lefty. He hasn't recorded double-digit wins since 2007 and his ERA has been north of 4.50 over the past two seasons.
Description: Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe believes there's a growing sense that New York will swoop in at the last minute and sign free agent reliever Fernando Rodney.
Insight: A Rodney signing is definitely within the realm of possibilies for a Yankees team that has gotten increasingly sneakier in recent years. Rodney was initially being pursued by the Mets and Orioles but now it looks like he could wind up as New York's setup man on Opening Day. Obviously, moving to the eighth inning would ruin any potential fantasy value that Rodney might have had.
Description: Former Orioles DH Wilson Betemit has signed on with the Rays. SOURCE: Jon Heyman, CBS Sports
Insight: His minor league contract includes an invite to spring training. Betemit missed most of the 2013 campaign while battling knee injuries. The year before, he hit .261 with 12 HR and 40 RBI in 102 games. He's not going to be an everyday player in Tampa.
Description: Less than 24 hours ago it looked like Fernando Rodney was about to sign with the Orioles. Now he's talking to the Mets, according to ESPN New York's Adam Rubin.
Insight: No deal is imminent. Rodney had one of the greatest seasons by a closer in major league history in 2012 but came back to Earth with an up and down 2013 campaign (3.38 ERA, 37-for-45 in save opportunities). He has an elite changeup and his fastball can still touch the high 90s, though it doesn't always land in the strike zone.
Description: Earlier today we heard from Grantland's Jonah Keri that Fernando Rodney was close to signing with the Orioles. The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly has since refuted that claim and says the two sides haven't spoken in weeks.
Insight: We're not sure what the holdup is. The Orioles need a closer and Rodney is the best one available now that Grant Balfour (who failed his physical when he went to Baltimore last month) is off the market. Despite Connolly's insistence that the two sides aren't talking, Rodney to the O's makes too much sense not to happen.
Description: David Price and the Rays avoided arbitration Friday by agreeing to a one-year, $14 million contract.
Insight: It doesn't mean that he'll still be pitching for the Rays at the end of the season if another team offers the right combination of youngsters. The 2012 AL Cy Young winner is an elite fantasy arm coming off a mediocre season (10-8, 3.33 ERA, 1.098 WHIP).
Description: James Loney is staying with the Rays. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Insight: His new deal will pay him $21 million over the next three seasons. The 29-year-old hit .299 last year with 13 HR and 75 RBI. He's expected to hit third behind Wil Myers and ahead of Evan Longoria.
Description: The D'Backs traded righthander Heath Bell to the Rays on Monday. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Insight: With Fernando Rodney likely to leave in free agency, Bell should take over the closer's role for Tampa Bay. It's always an adventure with Bell but the good news is, he should have plenty of opportunities for saves. He's worth thinking about in the later rounds of this year's fantasy draft.
Description: The Rockies are looking for a new first baseman and James Loney appears to be high on their list. SOURCE: Denver Post
Insight: Loney experienced a career resurgence last year with the Rays (.299, 13 HR, 75 RBI in 158 games). In Colorado, he'd be replacing Todd Helton, who recently announced his retirement after 17 seasons.
Description: Cleveland could be in the running for free agent closer Fernando Rodney. SOURCE: Cleveland Plain Dealer
Insight: They've also shown an interest in former Dodgers and Giants reliever Brian Wilson. The Indians parted ways with Chris Perez earlier this month. Rodney still offers a plus-fastball and one of the most deceiving changeups in the game but he's shown a tendency to get rattled and his control can be hit or miss.