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Rays’ Potential Pitching Rotation to Start 2020

The Rays surprised baseball fans everywhere when they finished the 2019 season with a 96-66 record. That was good enough to help them get an American League Wild Card spot. After defeating the A’s in the Wild Card Game, the Rays fell in the ALDS to the Astros.

It may be a different season, but the Rays will be looking to shock people once again. With the Red Sox trading away some of their best players and the Orioles and Blue Jays being young, the Rays have the potential to make the postseason in 2020. It will take a good effort from their starters to accomplish that though.

Here is a look at what the Rays’ pitching rotation could look like if the season isn’t canceled due to COVID-19.

1. Blake Snell

Tampa Bay may refer to them as openers, but leave no doubt about it, Blake Snell is their ace. The four-year vet has posted a 38-28 record in his career to go with a 3.24 ERA. He started his career off solidly and then really broke out in 2018, as he had a 21-5 record and a 1.89 ERA on his way to winning the Cy Young Award.

In 2019, Snell took a step back. He went 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA. This was tough for him due to an elbow injury that he eventually needed surgery to fix. If healthy, Snell should be able to perform better than he did in 2019.

He went 0-1 in the playoffs last season in three appearances. The record didn’t tell the full story though, as Snell posted a 1.69 ERA. This was his only postseason experience, but with his ERA, it is expected that Snell will be ready if the Rays make it that far again.

Rays' pitching rotation
Charlie Morton (Photo by tampabay.com)

2. Charlie Morton

Morton may not have the name recognition that some other starters do, but he helps give the Rays a great top of the rotation. He has a 91-87 record with a 4.07 ERA. His biggest achievements are winning the World Series with the Astros in 2017 and being a two-time All-Star, which occurred the last two seasons.

Last season, Morton had a great season, going 16-6 with a 3.05 ERA. He nearly got to 200 innings pitched, finishing the season at 194.2. If Snell for some reason struggles, Morton can be relied upon to lead the rotation.

In the postseason, Morton is 4-2 with a 3.70 ERA in nine games for his career. This includes a 1-0 record in the World Series with a 1.74 ERA. Last season, he pitched in two playoff games and won them both with only one earned run allowed.

3. Tyler Glasnow

Glasnow has had trouble staying healthy, but when he has been on the mound, he has found success. In his career, he has a 10-17 record with a 4.51 ERA. He has pitched better in recent seasons, which is why he finds himself near the top of a very good rotation.

Last season, Glasnow pitched 60.2 innings with a 6-1 record and a 1.78 ERA. He had some forearm tightness last season, which is what limited him to so few innings. His ability to stay healthy could help the team do even better this season.

The 2019 season was Glasnow’s first in the postseason. He went 0-2 in the ALDS with a 7.71 ERA. He’ll hope to do better in the 2020 playoffs if the Rays get that far.

4. Yonny Chirinos

The 26-year-old right-hander has received chances on the mound for the past two seasons. In his career, he has a 14-10 record with a 3.71 ERA. He lacks experience, but has pitched solidly when given the chance to toe the rubber.

In 2019, Chirinos posted a career-high in several categories, showing his progression. He had a record of 9-5 with a 3.85 ERA. To go along with his career-high in wins, Chirinos posted a career-best 133.1 innings pitched for the Rays.

The Rays have not used Chirinos in the postseason yet because of their strategy of using openers instead of traditional starters. If the Rays go far this season though, Chirinos should stay ready. He has not yet joined Rays camp though, so Chirinos could be replaced.

5. Ryan Yarbrough

Yarbrough is a left-hander who has pitched well for the Rays over the last two seasons. He has a career ERA of 4.02 and a record of 27-12. In each of the last two seasons, he has thrown over 140 innings for Tampa Bay.

Last season, Yarbrough went 11-6 with a 4.13 ERA. He pitched in 141.2 innings, six less innings than 2018, but gave up fewer home runs and hits.

In three games in the postseason last season, Yarbrough gave up no earned runs in three innings pitched. Like last year, he needs to stay ready for a variety of roles if the Rays reach the postseason.

 

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Make sure to check out our MLB page for more updates!

You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from great TGH writers!

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