Looking Backward While Moving Forward: Rays Crush Sale and the ChiSox, 11-3; Claim Nava Off Waivers

The marquee matchup between Chris Archer and Chris Sale did not live up to billing on Tuesday night, after the Tampa Bay Rays put together a five run sixth — after previously tagging the left handed hurler for three runs — and belted four homers to back Archer in a 11-3 victory.

The Case For James Loney Hitting Fifth

Desmond Jennings entered the 2015 season with high expectations placed upon his shoulders; a sizzling .435 BA/1.036 OPS spring upped the ante for the 28 year-old outfielder. No longer at the top of the order, now hitting fifth, Jennings now himself tasked with another challenge: offering protection for the cleanup hitter, Evan Longoria. Yet Jennings started the season tepidly, slashing .212 BA/.311 OBP/.212 SLG/.523 OPS leading many to wonder if the five hole is the best place for him. With the imminent return of James Loney in the near future, my premise is simple — Loney is better suited than Desmond to hit fifth.

Hot-Stove: Rays Avoid Arbitration with Eight Players, Sign Five to Minor League Deals

Heading the January 16th arbitration deadline, Tampa Bay had eight arbitration eligible players they hadn’t reached an agreement with, and until 1:00 PM to sign a deal, or settle in court. As I reported earlier on Tumblr, the Rays were able to avoid arbitration this afternoon with those players — John Jaso, Kevin Jepsen, Jake McGee, Logan Forsythe, Desmond Jennings, Rene Rivera, Alex Cobb, and Drew Smyly.

Of Rays’ Roster Moves — Both Current and Future (the Outfield)

Instead of writing about yesterday’s offensive letdown of a game, I wanted to switch things up a bit and look ahead. Before I move on, if you wanted a recap of sorts, head over to DRaysBay where Ian put together a brief writeup.

The New What Next: A Rays and Rangers Series Preview of Sorts

Despite falling to the Cubs in extra innings Sunday afternoon, the Tampa Bay Rays will head to Arlington for a four game set against the Rangers with a series win under their belts. The Rangers, like the Cubs, are a team the Rays can — and should — beat. Suffice it to say, though still …