Laurila: Q&A with Jim Hickey, Tampa Bay Rays pitching coach

From SABR member David Laurila at FanGraphs on October 17, 2014:

Tampa Bay Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey is looking forward to next year. He should be. Erstwhile “ace” – a term Hickey hates, BTW – David Price is no longer part of the equation, but an enviable array of pitchers are. Better still, all of next year’s projected starters are heading into their primes. The sextet of Chris Archer, Alex Cobb, Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Moore, Jake Odorizzi and Drew Smyly will be between the ages of 25 and 27 on opening day.

The 2014 campaign offered a number of challenges. Moore’s season-ending elbow injury in April was the biggest blow, while Hellickson scuffled mightily after a mid-season return from an elbow injury of his own. Cobb missed six weeks with a strained oblique. Archer and Odorizzi had good years but suffered growing pains along the way. As for Smyly, he sparkled after coming over from Detroit in the trade-deadline deal for Price.

Hickey broke down the 2014 progress of his starting staff following the conclusion of the regular season.

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Originally published: October 17, 2014. Last Updated: October 17, 2014.