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Opening Day Countdown: Your ONE hope for the Rays 2023 season

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As a die-hard Rays fan, I am eagerly anticipating the 2023 season. With Opening Day just around the corner, I have one hope for the team – that they finally clinch a World Series title. The Rays have been close before, making it to the World Series in 2008 and the ALCS in 2019. But it’s time for them to go all the way. With a talented roster and a dedicated fan base, I believe this could be the year for the Rays to bring home the championship trophy.

Introduction

As the Tampa Bay Rays gear up for Opening Day 2023, fans are already buzzing about the potential and possibilities for the upcoming season. After a strong showing in 2022, where the team made it to the playoffs once again, expectations are high for what the Rays can achieve in the years to come.

However, with every new season comes new challenges, and the Rays will need to work hard to meet those challenges head-on. As an expert in Sports analysis and strategy, I have been closely following the team and have one particular hope for what the Rays can accomplish in 2023.

Hope for a Strong Pitching Rotation

My one hope for the Rays 2023 season is to see a strong pitching rotation take the mound every game. The Rays have always been known for their exceptional pitching, and when their starters are on their game, they are difficult to beat.

In 2022, the Rays had a solid starting rotation, with Tyler Glasnow, Shane McClanahan, and Ryan Yarbrough leading the way. However, with Glasnow’s season-ending injury, the rotation still lacked a dominant ace to lead the way.

For 2023, I hope to see the Rays acquire a top-tier starting pitcher to take on the role of ace. With a true ace leading the way, the rest of the rotation will fall into place, creating a formidable group that can shut down any opponent.

But who should the Rays target for this coveted role? There are a few options that could bring the team to new heights.

Pitching Options for the Rays

One potential target for the Rays is Max Scherzer, who will become a free agent after the 2022 season. Scherzer is a three-time Cy Young Award winner and has a career ERA of 3.15. He is a proven veteran who could provide the leadership and experience the Rays need to elevate their pitching to the next level.

Another option is Trevor Bauer, who signed a three-year, $102 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2021. While Bauer has had his share of controversies, there’s no denying his talent on the mound. Bauer won the National League Cy Young Award in 2020 and has a career ERA of 3.90.

A third option for the Rays is Marcus Stroman, who will also be a free agent after the 2022 season. Stroman has been a consistent performer throughout his career, with a career ERA of 3.64. He’s also a former Gold Glove winner, showcasing his defensive prowess on the mound.

Regardless of which pitcher the Rays decide to pursue, the most important thing is that they secure a strong starting pitcher to anchor the rotation.

The Impact of an Ace

If the Rays are able to acquire a top-tier starting pitcher, it would have a massive impact on the team’s success. Having an ace at the front of the rotation would allow the rest of the starters to slide down a notch, creating a deep and versatile pitching staff.

A dominant starting pitcher can also take pressure off the bullpen, allowing relief pitchers to come in fresh and ready to go. This could lead to fewer blown leads and more wins in the late innings.

On top of that, an ace can bring a level of confidence and leadership to the team that can’t be understated. When a team knows they have a true ace on the mound every fifth day, it creates a sense of optimism and belief that can pervade the entire clubhouse.

Conclusion

As the Rays gear up for the 2023 season, my hope is that they prioritize adding a top-tier starting pitcher to their rotation. Whether that be Max Scherzer, Trevor Bauer, Marcus Stroman, or another ace yet to be named, the impact of having a dominant starter cannot be emphasized enough.

With a strong starting rotation, the Rays have the potential to build upon their recent success and make a deep playoff run in 2023. Here’s to hoping that the Rays front office takes this hope to heart and makes the moves necessary to bring a true ace to Tampa Bay.

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