Has Jake McGee Been the Rays Second Best Reliever?

By David Hill

A cursory glance at Jake McGee‘s statistics would lead one to believe that he had been a major part of the Rays bullpen struggles this year. Admittedly, the overall numbers look rough, as McGee has a 2-2 record with a 6.64 ERA. Yet, as can be the case with statistics, the numbers do not quite tell the full story.

McGee has had two absolutely atrocious outings, on April second against the Baltimore Orioles and on May 1st against the Kansas City Royals. In both outings, he gave up five earned runs while recording two outs. Implosions such as those not only have a lingering affect upon overall statistics, but can stay in people’s minds. In fact, those two outings could potentially skew the overall perception of McGee’s season.

In fact, removing those two outings, McGee has actually had a very good year. He has given up a total of five earned runs in his other 19 innings, good for an ERA of 2.37. He has also had nine consecutive scoreless outings spanning 8.1 innings, where he is 2-0 with five holds. He has also given up only two hits in those outings.

With the struggles in the Rays bullpen this season, everyone has been waiting for a reliever other than Joel Peralta to step forward and establish themselves as being a consistent option, someone that can come into a close game and shut the door on the opposition. Lately, McGee has been exactly that.

Last season, Jake McGee was a revelation, tapping into his potential and looking like the type of pitcher who could develop into a great setup man or a possible closer. Despite a couple of rough outings, McGee has actually been reasonably solid this season as well. With the way he has performed as of late, he may be able to say that he is the Rays second best reliever.