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The Rays All-Time Pitching Rotation

I have recently authored an article discussing my all-time lineup for the Devil Rays/Rays franchise. This is part two. Here is my all-time pitching rotation for the franchise. These players have been picked by the numbers they ended the season with. I chose five starting pitchers and a closer.

SP1 Tyler Glasnow

2019/Record 6-1/Winning % .857/ERA 1.78/Innings 60.2/H 40/K 76/WHIP 0.890

In his first full season with the team, Glasnow did not disappoint. The lengthy Californian dominated when on the pitcher’s mound in 2019. He allowed less than a hit per inning pitched. During an average start, Tyler would give up six hits, two walks and 11 strikeouts. He was a quality-start machine.

SP2 Blake Snell 2018

2018/Record 21-5/Winning % .808/ERA 1.89/Innings 180.2/H 112/K 221/WHIP 0.974

The 2018 Cy Young award winner is number two on my list. Snell owned his opponents. In his 31 starts he allowed only 38 runs with an ERA+ of an unheard of 217. Right-handed batters hit .188 and lefties fared worse with a .135 batting average. Snell holds the franchise record for the most wins in a single season with 21. He is one of two 20-game winners in the franchise.

SP3 David Price

2012/Record 20-5/Winning % .800/ERA 2.56/Innings 211.0/H 173/K 205/WHIP 1.100

Price is the other 20-game winner. In his Cy Young award season, Price had two complete games and a shutout. The four-time all-star for the Rays kept base-on-balls to a minimum allowing 2.5 per nine innings. Only six of his 31 starts resulted in a no decision. Price has his best season in his career in 2012 and one of the best seasons in the franchise.

SP4 Chris Archer

2015/Record 12-13/Winning % .480/ERA 3.23/Innings 212.0/H 175/K 255/WHIP 1.137

Archer’s record is misleading. Focus on the innings pitched, hits allowed and the number of strikeouts. Even Archer’s WHIP is outstanding. However, it was the 252 strikeout that stood out and still is the single season franchise record. The 2015 Rays finished fourth in the division with an 80-82 record.

SP5 James Shields

2011/Record 16-12/Winning % .571/ERA 2.82/Innings 249.1/H 195/K 225/WHIP 1.043

The one-time all-star had the best season in his career in 2011. 2011 was a bounce back season from a subpar 2010. In his 33 starts, Shields completed 11 of them and pitched four shutouts. Shields proved to be a workhorse on the mound by accruing a career-high 249.1 innings pitched. Shield finished third in the voting for the Cy Young Award in 2011.

CP Fernando Rodney

2012/Record 2-2/Winning % .500/ERA 0.60/Innings 74.2/H 43/K 76/WHIP .777/SV 48

The well-traveled Fernando Rodney was an easy choice for the closer position. In his first season as a Ray, Rodney converted 48 of 65 save opportunities for a career high and set the franchise record. His miniscule ERA is paired with a microscopic WHIP of 0.777. Rodney finished second with saves in the American League.

Any manager would love to pluck pitchers throughout time and create the ultimate pitching rotation. This all-time Devil Rays/Rays all-franchise rotation would have a combined record of 75-36 (.675 W-L%) and 982 strikeouts in 923.2 innings pitched. How good is that? Imagine each starting pitcher striking out 10 batters every nine innings.


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