On July 25th, the Tampa Bay Rays announced that star pitcher Blake Snell would be sidelined for a few months. The team has said that Snell is expected to return sometime in September. Blake Snell‘s injury has thrown a wrench in the Rays plans. But it is far from over and we just might know what they can do to help solve their dilemma. So what does this mean for the Rays rotation?
Blake Snell Injury Not the End of the Road
The Rays are currently 58-47 and only one game back from the Wild Card. From previous starts, we know the Rays have been using these in the rotation. Charlie Morton, Yonny Chirinos, Ryan Yarbrough, and Diego Castillo. So who will replace Blake Snell?
The most obvious choice would be Brendan Mckay, who has recently made his MLB debut. Mckay is currently in the minors to get some more starts but could be quickly called back up. And with Mckays ERA of 3.72 and 18 strikeouts, there is not much reason not call him up. He has only given up runs in two of his starts so far this year. However, he is still young and can’t always go deep into games. So is there another option the Rays could look at?
The Rays are one of the few teams using what is known as an opener. This is where the team uses a pitcher from the bullpen to start, and then bring in a long reliever. This has worked well for the Rays so far this year and in years past. In fact, Ryne Stanek and Ryan Yarbrough nearly pitched for a combined perfect game earlier this year.
However, the problem with this is the Rays do not have a lot of good bullpen pitchers. With Stanek currently hurt, the Rays don’t have many good options. Hopefully, the Rays will address their bullpen needs at the trade deadline, but there still might be a better solution.
With the trade deadline fast approaching teams are deciding if they will buy or sell. Now the Rays could call up McKay but as we mentioned he is young and does not have a ton of experience. And there just so happens to be two-star pitchers on the market that could help fix their pitching issue
Bumgarner was rumored early on to be a pitcher the Giants might look to move at the deadline. He would be a perfect fit for the Rays in their pitching woes. Bumgarner is not only a guy that can help this team keep runs to a minimum, but he can also help put with the younger guys. Veteran experience is always essential to have on a team, and the Rays don’t have too much of it. But with the San Francisco Giants recent hot streak he may no longer be on the market.
Syndergaard was recently rumored to be on the list of movable players for the New York Mets. And he is another perfect fit for the Rays. He is again a guy that can go deep into games, preventing relievers from always having to come in, and help add to that already great pitching rotation. While younger than Bumgarner Syndergaard still has some decent experience and some good playoff experience.
The Rays don’t need to add another starting pitcher. But with snell out and a possible shot at a playoff run, it would not be a bad idea to look at these two-star pitchers. Both of them can add experience and skill to the team, which never hurt anyone. The Rays will also need to address some other issues such as the bullpen or maybe even another batter, but a new starting pitcher just might be the solution they need.
The Rays are only one game out of the wildcard which is nothing. While they are struggling now one of these moves could quickly turn things around and put the Rays right back in that wildcard spot. Blake Snell’s injury is no reason to panic just yet Rays fans.
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