05/07/2007 1:10 PM ET
Fossum: Devil Rays' future is now
Casey Fossum is 2-2 through his first six starts this season. (Steve Nesius/AP)
We're an entertaining team to watch because we're young and aggressive. We're also ready to start competing for our division title right now.
I don't think there needs to be any talk about us winning next year. I think we can win now. If we get on a roll, and get some help, we're going to upset some teams this year and surprise them this year.
It's tough, of course, to be in the American League East. But we're holding our own now, and when you play the better teams day in and day out, that's only going to make us a better team.
We have a lot of speed, talent and athleticism. We have a lot of really good athletes on this team. We had a number of young guys who made strong bids to make this team coming out of camp. For some, it's their first taste, but they've worked really hard and showed a lot of effort.
The young guys have impressed me with their attention to detail, too. They've done the little things like back up plays, they have run out balls, they've been hitting cutoff men. These are the kinds of things that sometimes get lost with young players, but it seems like our young guys have been here a lot longer than they actually have.
This is my third year with Tampa. The talent on this team now is as good as it's been here over that time. Some of the guys three years ago like Carl Crawford, Rocco Baldelli and Scott Kazmir have produced really well and are now established. Now we have a wave of new talent -- guys like B.J. Upton, Elijah Dukes and Delmon Young, who are ready to perform at this level and seem comfortable out there already.
B.J. has done a great job this season. He's done a lot of little things, like helping move along runners. Elijah has good at-bats. He works the opposing pitcher for a lot of pitches. Things like that help you win games. I think Delmon is going to get a hit every time he has a bat in his hand.
Another thing that's been impressive about this group is that they hit the ball the other way. The opposite field home runs they've hit shows me they're doing a lot of things well when it's their turn to hit.
I really like the kind of baseball our club is playing right now.
Left-handed starter Casey Fossum has been a part of the Devil Rays' starting staff since being acquired prior to the start of the 2005 campaign. Fossum, who previously pitched for Boston and Arizona, is 2-2 through his first six starts this season.