Analyzing the Rays’ Rotation Schedule

By Robbie Knopf

The Rays have set their rotation for their upcoming series with the Red Sox, and let’s take a look at what they decided to do. Given that they have six starters, they had multiple options for several starts and each decision might not be as simple as you might think at first glance.

Monday vs. Red Sox: Alex Cobb (vs. Aaron Cook)

The Rays decided to go with Cobb on regular rest on Monday. Their only other consideration was possibly Chris Archer on three day’s rest after he went 3.2 innings on Tuesday. The Rays are showing some confidence in Cobb here after he couldn’t get out of the 5th in his last start and would rather get his remaining starts in now rather than spread them apart as he approaches his innings limit.

Tuesday vs. Red Sox: Jeremy Hellickson (vs. Felix Doubront)

Here we get Hellickson even though this start would be regular rest for Archer. In this case, Hellickson pitched decently his last time out, joining David Price as the only Rays started to go at least 5 innings and allow less than 3 runs over their recent road trip, and this also opens up Archer for the possibility of a one-inning relief stint even though he is scheduled to start on Wednesday.

Wednesday vs. Red Sox: Chris Archer (vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka)

The Rays really liked Archer’s heart from the loss on Thursday, and he has really pitched well for them every time he has taken the mound. The thing here is that this is James Shields’ day to start. But the Rays would rather give Archer the ball as a starter as opposed to using him in relief and messing up everyone else’s schedule even more when he does make a start.

Thursday vs. Red Sox: James Shields (vs. Clay Buchholz)

Here we get Shields, who appears to be getting an extra day of rest here, but he has made each of his last 4 starts on 5 day’s rest and pitched well until his most recent outing, so the Rays will try to stick him to that rhythm. This would be David Price’s regular day, but he was sharp even on eleven day’s rest after his shoulder soreness, and also wanting to be careful at least a little bit with him, the Rays will start him on 5 day’s rest.

Friday vs. Blue Jays: David Price

Here we have Price as the Rays want to get him on the mound as soon as is convenient as he has been their ace, and with Matt Moore struggling, they were not going to start him here. Moore has also thrown his last four starts on 5 day’s rest.