The Rays rolled the dice and they are betting on themselves and their current pitching staff to make a deep playoff run.
Last year during their World Series run, the Rays rolled put Charlie Morton, Blake Snell, and Tyler Glasnow as the three starters.
The Rays did not re-sign Morton, who promptly signed with Atlanta. Blake Snell was traded to San Diego, and Glasnow has been on the IR since June.
This week, we got word that Glasnow may need Tommy John’s surgery. If that is the case, it will be 2023 before we see Glasnow take the mound for the Rays again.
The Rays currently have 12 pitchers on the DL. Talk about the Tampa Bay curse. There is no other team that could put 14 pitchers on the DL and still be in first place in their division, 20 games over .500.
No other team in MLB has the pitching depth that the Rays have.
Jeffrey Springs, Colin McHugh, JP Feyereisen, Ryan Thompson, and Pete Fairbanks are all on the ten-day DL.
Chris Archer, Tyler Glasnow, Nick Anderson, Oliver Drake, Chaz Roe, and Cody Reed are all on the 60 day DL. Brendan McKay at Durham is also on the 60 day DL. The Rays were counting on McKay to help the big league club out this season. But McKay has been on the DL most of the season.
Yet, once again, the Rays lead the American League with a 3.52 team ERA.
The Rays traded two pitchers at the trade deadline. Rich Hill, the 41-year-old right-hander was sent to the New York Mets in exchange for reliever Tommy Hunter and catcher Matt Dyer.
Hill was in the midst of a solid season for the Rays going 6-4 with a 3.87 ERA.
The Rays also sent their closer Diego Castillo to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for pitcher JT Chargois and minor league outfielder Austin Shenton.
Chargois, 30, made 31 appearances with the Mariners, compiling a 3.00 ERA. He was used primarily as a bridge option, pitching in the sixth and seventh innings. Chargois made his Rays debut on Friday night against the Boston Red Sox.
This trade was a head-scratcher as Pete Fairbanks and Nick Anderson are still on the DL. Both Fairbanks and Anderson had closed games in 2020, with Fairbanks notching five saves in 2021.
The Rays are hoping Anderson will be back sometime in August.
Right now, the Rays have no one in the bullpen that has a history of closing. Matt Wisler got the save Sunday night against Boston to complete a sweep of the Red Sox. His first save of the season.
With the Hill trade, Chris Archer was close to coming back from his rehab assignment in Durham. Archer had a setback in his last rehab start, and his timetable for joining the Rays has been pushed back.
What is the Rays secret to success? Manager Kevin Cash talked about the great job Kyle Snyder, and Stan Boroski have done with the new arrivals.
“I give Kyle Snyder and Stan Boroski all the credit for that. When new guys come in, we do everything we can to welcome them and get them comfortable. A couple of messages here and there, and they tell them to be ready to pitch in any situation.”
I am however somewhat concerned with the Rays starting pitching as they head down the stretch and make that playoff push.
In 2020 during the playoffs, you were pretty confident that Charlie Morton, Blake Snell, and Tyler Glasnow would be able to get you into the late stages of the game before you turned it over to the bullpen.
That’s certainly not the case with this Rays starting rotation.
Ryan Yarbrough, Josh Fleming, and Shane McClanahan would probably be the Ray’s three starters in the playoffs if the playoffs were to start today.
Not a starting trio that will strike fear into the heart of opponents.
The Rays had their chances to improve the rotation at the trade deadline and opted to stay with the status quo.
If Luis Patino continues to develop, he could get a start or two in the playoffs as well.
The Rays front office, led by GM Erik Neander and manager Kevin Cash have seemed to always put the Rays in the best possible position to succeed.
This year in the post-season should be no different for the Rays. The road to the top will be a little bit steeper.