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Three Rays Comebacks to Impact 2016

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May 14, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Chase Whitley (39) throws the ball during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
May 14, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Chase Whitley (39) throws the ball during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

RHP Chase Whitley – 6’3″ 215 lbs – 26 years old

Had TJ surgery in May 2015. Whitley was added off waivers Nov 20th 2015 and it angered many Rays fans that the team decided to use a 40-man roster spot to do so while not protecting OF Tyler Goeddel or OF Joey Rickard. In doing so, however, they provided us with an indication of just how much they value what Whitley could add to the bullpen in 2016 and beyond.

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To indicate what Whitley can provide the Rays with, I added his career splits vs LHB and RHB. While his performance vs LHB isn’t great, his performance vs RHB is intriguing. We can also attribute much of his demise vs LHB to the unsustainable BA

bip

of .372 they achieved against him overall including .409 in 2015.

The most dominant Whitley has been was vs RHB in 2015 when he held them to a line of .170/.250/.234. That, in my opinion, combined with an unusually high BAbip, is likely a large reason Whitley was viewed as great addition to the Rays pen.

Whitley will need to fight off others who are vying for pen spots. However, if the Rays are going to consider dealing either Jake McGee or Brad Boxberger, adding depth to the pen is a must. As a reliever returning from TJ surgery, he should be ready to roll early in the season and will likely earn fans quickly as he builds a role within the bullpen.

Next: The Return of the Ace is next at #3

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