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Peter King
April 05, 2004
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Devil Rays
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April 05, 2004

Enemy Lines

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an opposing team's scout sizes up the Devil Rays

"This club has a whole new attitude: These guys bust their asses because Lou Piniella demands it. They should pick up 10 more wins than they had a year ago, but they don't have a chance to finish anywhere but last in tins division....

If any players their age [22] have a chance to be great, Carl Crawford and Rocco Baldelli do. You can see they've improved a lot from last year in every aspect. Between them, not many balls are going to fall in the outfield....

Jose Cruz was a great pickup—the best rightfielder this team has had....

It improved its defense when it got Rey Sanchez to play second, but he's not going to give you much offensively, and he's injury-prone. Tino Martinez will be a big plus, especially in the clubhouse....

I don't like the pitching. Victor Zambrano and Jeremi Gonzalez are solid at the top of the rotation, but there are huge question marks behind them. Zambrano has improved his command and can win 15 games....

The bullpen is thin. Danys Baez has good stuff, but he hasn't proved to be a competent closer."