After contentious discussions, the MLB lockout is over and teams have begun their spring training schedules. Opening Day has been pushed to April 14, which gives teams some extra time to finalize their rosters and rotations. In this series, TGH will be summarizing each team’s 2021 season and predicting their Opening Day pitching rotation. Here is the projected Tampa Bay Rays pitching rotation for 2022.
The Rays were one of three AL East team to make the postseason last year. They finished on top of the division, with an even 100 wins. This was the first time in the franchise’s history in which they won the AL East in back-to-back years.
After the Boston Red Sox beat their biggest rivals, the Yankees, in the Wild Card game, they would go on to beat the Rays as well, making both of their first two 2021 postseason rounds against division rivals. While the Rays fell short of the World Series after winning the entire AL in 2020, they are reloading for another run in 2022. Here is a look at the potential pitching rotation that may take them there.
1. Shane McClanahan
Shane McClanahan finished seventh in Rookie of the Year voting last season. He pitched 123.1 innings last season, collecting an ERA of 3.43. He also managed to strike out 141 batters and win 10 games in 25 starts.
2. Corey Kluber
Kluber has been moving around as of late after spending the first nine years of his career in Cleveland. He was the workhorse pitcher for the Cleveland team that went to extra innings in Game 7 in the World Series. In his only season with the Yankees, he pitched 80 innings, and had a 3.83 ERA.
3. Drew Rasmussen
Rasmussen moved from Milwaukee to Tampa Bay last season, and did not miss a beat. With the Rays, he pitched 59 innings and had a 2.44 ERA. His total ERA with both teams in 2021 was 2.84. This will be Rasmussen’s third year of MLB service, and his first full season with the Rays.
4. Ryan Yarbrough
Yarbrough had a bit of a rough season last year. He had the highest workload of his career, at 155 innings pitched, but also had the highest ERA of his career at 5.11. Even so, he managed to finish the season over .500 in the win-loss column. He should bounce back next year.
5. Luis Patino
Finally, Luis Patino rounds out the rotation. He returned recently from injury, but was decent in his debut. Patino pitched 77.1 innings, earning an ERA of 4.31. He was relatively efficient, still, striking out 74 in 19 appearances (15 starts).
Featured image courtesy of Ed Zurga/Getty Images
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