Tampa Bay Rays Bullpen Revolving Door Continues

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 21: Danny Farquhar
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 21: Danny Farquhar /

The Tampa Bay Rays continue to look for the right mix of pitchers in the bullpen. On Thursday, Danny Farquhar was the latest reliever to be a part of the Rays roster shuffle.

This season, the Tampa Bay Rays have had issues solidifying the end of their roster. They have made various steps to improve that depth, and to address the shortcomings in their rotation and on the bench. Jacob Faria has been a revelation, as the rookie has seemingly cemented his place in as a building block. Trevor Plouffe was added as a backup corner infielder/platoon partner for Logan Morrison.

However, for all of their maneuvering, the Rays have still struggled to find the right mix in the bullpen. Thus far in 2017, 17 different pitchers have appeared in relief for Tampa Bay, a number that seems likely to increase before the year comes to an end. That failure to find consistency helps explain why, heading into last night’s action, the Rays ranked 20th with a 4.44 ERA and 19th with a 1.37 WHiP.

Given that performance, something was going to have to give. On Thursday, Danny Farquhar became the latest member of the Rays to face that revolving door in the bullpen, as he was designated for assignment.

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As Farquhar’s overall numbers have been rather pedestrian this season, the move makes a degree of sense on the surface. He has posted a 4.11 ERA and a 1.429 WHiP, issuing 22 walks against 33 strikeouts in 35 innings. However, in his past eight games, Farquhar has been better, posting a 2.00 ERA while allowing 13 baserunners in his nine innings.

The decision to designate Farquhar for assignment is equally surprising given that the Rays have just one lefty in the bullpen. Although he is a righty, he had been used as a second option against lefty batters. This leaves rookie Adam Kolarek, who has all of one game of experience, as the only lefty in the Rays bullpen.

Likewise, Farquhar was sacrificed to keep Jumbo Diaz on the roster, a strange decision given his own struggles. Even after returning from the disabled list, Diaz has been inconsistent, posting a 5.40 ERA and a 1.613 WHiP in his 26.2 innings. From a sheer numbers standpoint, Diaz would have seemed to be the most likely reliever to be let go.

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Instead, the Tampa Bay Rays bullpen carousel has  stopped for Danny Farquhar. Chances are, he will not be the last reliever to be taken off the roster.