So Much For Kelvim Escobar
The Rays had serious interest in former SP Kelvim Escobar of the Anaheim Angels. Today though, Escobar agreed to terms with Los Mets, the place many thought he would end up. I thought the ability to potentially run JP Howell, Kelvim Escobar and then Rafael Soriano at the end of games would have given the Rays one of the elite bullpens in the game, a far cry from their 2009 bullpen which was one of the worst.
We still have plenty internal candidates to compete for that 8th inning role. The starting rotation of James Shields, Matt Garza, Jeff Niemann, David Price and Wade Davis seems locked into stone. The Rays will more than likely use Grant Balfour, Randy Choate, and Lance Cormier as specialists out of the pen depending on the situation. I would love for the Rays to find someone besides Dan Wheeler to pitch the 8th inning of our games. Could younster Jeremy Hellickson earn a spot in Spring? It’s a possibility but more than likely he will start the year in Durham once again. Hellickson would round out a potentially deadly bullpen if he could end up making the 25 man roster though. He would also have the ability to serve as the spot starter or long reliever depending on day to day type injuries.
While losing Escobar isn’t going to change the makeup of the Rays, he surely would have been a nice addition that would have allowed Jeremy Hellickson to continue to improve his game in Durham.