The Tampa Bay Rays are opening their 16th season Tuesday afternoon against the Baltimore Orioles.
During the past five seasons, the Rays have had three playoff berths and one trip to the World Series. Last season, Tampa Bay managed a 90-72 record, just missing the postseason while finishing three games back from the wild card and five games back from the New York Yankees.
During the winter, the Rays were busy renovating their roster; James Sheilds, BJ Upton, Wade Davis, J.P. Howell, Carlos Pena, Jeff Keppinger, Elliot Johnson and Burke Badenhop are all gone. Joining the team is Yunel Escobar, James Loney, Kelly Johnson, Roberto Hernandez and Wil Myers.
The Rays got Myers in a package deal that sent Shields and Davis to the Kansas City Royals. The Rays rotation still has Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Moore and Alex Cobb and reigning AL Cy Young award winner David Price.
Price says even he has butterflies for the opening game.
Also coming back for Tampa is three-time All-Star, two-time Gold Glove winner, and the recipient of a $100 million contract extension, third baseman Evan Longoria. He says the team developed great chemistry in spring training.
Price will throw the first pitch of the season Tuesday afternoon; he says he is glad the first game for his team is at home.
First pitch is set for 3:10 p.m.