Assessing the players: Andy Sonnanstine
Assessment time again and we will stay in the bullpen and take a look at former starter Andy Sonnanstine. Sonny had a decent season coming out of the bullpen as the Rays long reliever and spot starter. Sonnanstine has always been a steady pitcher, never throwing hard or doing anything to get you excited, just simply throwing decent pitches (snore huh?). Time to look closer at Sonny.
Sonny finished the season with a 3-1 record, posting an ERA of 4.44 while striking out 50 and walking 27. He pitched 81 innings (relief and starting combined), while giving up 83 hits, 40 run (11 home runs), while batters hit .259 against him.
Let’s be honest, Sonny was an average pitcher for the Rays when he was a full time starter and just as average in the bullpen. He has a very, very slow delivery, which can cause some location issues. His fastball tops out around 92 and his off-speed pitches are hittable, but he is often able to locate him. Sonny made a few spot starts with Niemann and Davis on the DL, but he is too predictable during a game and hitters are able to figure him out very easily. He also does not have the stamina to go long durations during a game, which means as he fatigues, his fastball slows down and his pitch location becomes easy for hitters.
Sonnanstine is back this year for the Rays and will probably be back in the bullpen again (no room and no need for him in the starting rotation). He will be the Rays long reliever once more and help eat up innings in games that go extras or in games where we get blown out. Sonny is a serviceable veteran that helps keep the bullpen together. Final grade: C