A good thread by WilsonC on the Toronto Blue Jays inspired me to do this (in fact the same, but for a different team).
The Rays pitching has been pretty well this season. Still there are some spots that need improvement.
Total wins: 71
Total losses: 49
Winning %: .592
opponent BA: .252
Total wins: 63
Total losses: 52
Winning %: .548
Opponent BA: .235
Compared to the 2010 season, the Rays rotation did worse on winning percentage. But they improved the ERA and lowered the opponents BA.
One would expect that the trade of Garza to the Cubs would be a major blow, but in the end the difference was only eight wins compared to the previous season.
Biggest disappointment this year was David Price. He did not live up to the hype. He had a 12-13 record (19-6 in 2010). The other starting pitchers did about the same compared to 2010.
New in the rotation was Jeremy Hellickson who had a 13-10 record, only two wins less than with Matt Garza in the rotation.
Where to go from here?
The Rays have a good rotation of young pitchers. In my opinion the rotation will remain in tact for the biggest part. I only think that one player will have to make room for an emerging star.
In the last month of the regular season we saw a glimpse of the near future in Matt Moore. Moore who pitched a no-hitter at AA shortly before he was promoted to AAA, had one start in the regular season. In this start he went five innings and fanned eleven batters. Pretty impressive IMO. In his first and only start in the ALDS vs the Rangers, he didn't show any jitters. Normally the Rays are very careful with their farm hands, and they do not rush them into the majors. The Rays must have some confidence in Moore, the way they moved him up in such a short period. I think they will give him a spot in the starting rotation next year. Hard to say whose place he will take in the rotation.
The Rays have at least one promising pitcher in the waiting room. At AAA Durham, Chris Archer is still developing. At AA Montgomery he had a rough start and didn't look like the diamond in the rough he was the previous season with the Tennessee Smokies. Obtained in the Garza trade, Archer started the season in Montgomery and was promoted to Durham late August. In two starts at AAA he earned a win and an no-decision. In thirteen innings he struck out twelve batters.
Another pitcher at AAA that may get a shot in the bigs is Alexander Torres. In twenty-seven starts Torres had a 9-7 record, a 3.08 ERA and 156 K's. Torres kept his opponents on a .249 BA.
Room for improvement:
In general I think that when the young pitching staff will mature, they can get a few more wins per pitcher. David Price though has to step up and prove himself worthy that he was the overall #1 draft pick in the 2007 draft. With his potential he must be able to do a lot better than the 12-13 record he had this season.
When it comes to starting pitching, the near future of the Rays is still very bright.