Key to Rays offensive improvement: Consistency

By Rishi Barran, Spectrum Sports
Last Updated: Thursday, February 16, 2017, 4:11 PM EST

Coming off the best offseason of his life, which included buying a new house and getting engaged, Kevin Kiermaier had a lot to think about as he blasted old school country music during his ride down to Port Charlotte for spring training.

What was on his mind most: baseball. 

The Rays' centerfielder is optimistic his team can be much better offensively this season.

And making that happen could all comedown to one word.

"Consistency is the key for me and for everyone in the game," Kiermaier said.  "You watch the best players through baseball, and they're the most consistent throughout the whole year."

A number of Rays players had red hot stretches in 2016, including Corey Dickerson, who was brought in a year ago to provide some pop.

But while he finished on fire, Dickerson knows a much stronger start to the 2017 season is a must.

"The last part of the season, working with (hitting coach) Chad (Mottola), really getting to know my teammates better really propelled me to be able to relax and have fun," Dickerson said.  "I felt like at the beginning of the season- I missed so much of 2015 that I was trying to make up for the year before."

The same could be said for Logan Morrison, who reported to camp on Thursday.

"LoMo" loves his teammates' positive attitude, and feels it will fuel better results.

"We weren't very good last year, and I've been on some not very good teams," Morrison said.  "But it was still pleasant to come to the clubhouse every day. The guys are great. And it makes things a lot easier."

So does another powerful bat.

Colby Rasmus, who has more than 20 homers in four different seasons, will be counted on to drive in runs.

"One thing's for sure:  I'm going to try my best and try to get us on and off the field as quickly as possible. And just try to bring some swag."

Rasmus says he thinks the Rays can compete with the Red Sox and Yankees, so the swag is there.

Now, they just need the consistency.