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A 90-win season in 2011? Maddon thinks so

Posted Dec 7, 2010 by Roger Mooney

Updated Dec 7, 2010 at 07:44 PM


LAKE BUENA VISTA – Rays manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday afternoon that he thinks the 2011 Rays can win 90 games if they put together the right bullpen.

“With all the guys that are leaving, it’s easy to think that it’s going to be very difficult for us next year, and it probably will be,” Maddon said at the Baseball Winter Meetings. “I also believe that a strong core of players remains on the field, and obviously a strong core in the starting pitching staff. Our starting pitching is still among the best in the American League. So you take that and combine that with a really strong defense. We apparently are going to have some holes with the void of Carl (Crawford), the void of Carlos (Peña), et cetera.  But I believe if somehow we’re doing a lot of diligent work regarding our bullpen, if we can get some kind of a bullpen back together, that would make all the difference in the world.  That would put us back in the 90 win area, I believe. It certainly comes down to the bullpen.”

When Maddon’s remarks were relayed to VP of baseball Andrew Friedman later in the afternoon, Friedman said, “I don’t necessarily disagree. We have a very talented core in place. We’ve got very good starting pitching. Our strength in recent years has been our pitching and defense, outside of a bullpen to be named later, we’re going to be a very good defensive team with very good starting pitching. It’s not lost on us. We’ve talked about it all offseason. It’s a very difficult task to complete all in one offseason, but it’s what we are attempting to do.”


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