Rays News

Tampa Bay Rays: Scenarios for Returns of Drew Smyly, Alex Colome

By Robbie Knopf
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Sep 15, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Alex Colome (37) throws a pitch against the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

3) Start Andriese and Either Smyly or Colome

I grouped two different scenarios together, but the Andriese and Smyly case doesn’t really make sense. If the Rays start Smyly on his scheduled day on the 24th and then Andriese on the 25th, they would lose the advantage of sending down Andriese for the 25th. If Smyly will start for the Rays on the 24th, then it doesn’t make sense for Andriese to be on the team at the time.

The Andriese and Colome pairing is more interesting. The Rays could have as many as two fresh relievers working behind Colome, so if he pitched well, it wouldn’t be as big of a deal if he didn’t last long. Then, as we started saying above, he wouldn’t be needed to start again for a long time–May 5th to be exact. With that in mind, one option for the Rays would be to have him start on short rest on the 25th and go say 50 or 55 pitches and then have him available for relief.

The Rays always hope that they never need a long reliever, and the danger is that a pitcher waiting to appear in long relief can’t toss bullpen sessions. With that in mind, Colome’s availability in relief would be limited–maybe he could toss an inning or two on April 29th (behind Smyly) or May 1st (behind Archer), but that would be it. On May 2nd at the latest, he would need to get that bullpen session in. At that point, what’s the point of even having him over an ordinary reliever?

The advantages would be that Colome has better stuff than a lot of the Rays’ relievers and that even three innings from him would be more than the Rays’ other bullpen arms are comfortable providing. Especially given all of the injuries, the Rays need their best available pitchers on their roster. Colome numbers among them, and even though his current schedule complicates matters, it may be worth putting him through a short outing or two to get him on the team.

Next: Option 4: Starting Smyly and Colome and Then Having a Bullpen Day