Jake Odorizzi is on the disabled list. It just so happens that his spot in the rotation lines up with Tampa Bay Rays top prospect Brent Honeywell. Is it time for Honeywell to make his debut?
To say that this has been a disappointing season for Tampa Bay Rays starter Jake Odorizzi would be an understatement. Expected to be the Rays second starter, he has struggled through injuries and ineffectiveness for much of the year. His 6-4 record is solid, but when paired with a 4.47 ERA and a 5.74 FIP, Odorizzi has been far worse than his record would indicate.
Now that Odorizzi is on the disabled list with a recurrence of the lower back issues that have plagued him since Spring Training, the Rays have an opening in the starting rotation. While Andrew Kittredge was brought up, he does not seem to be a candidate to take Odorizzi’s spot. Instead, there is the probability that Austin Pruitt will get the start, serving as a placeholder until Odorizzi is ready.
However, there may be a better option. Instead of giving the start to Pruitt, the Rays could call up top prospect Brent Honeywell, who just so happens to have his starts line up with Odorizzi. In doing so, not only could the Rays get a look at their future, but Honeywell could get a taste of a pennant run as well.
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After dominating in his two starts at Montgomery, Honeywell has had mixed results in Durham. His 4.23 ERA and 1.388 WHiP are not exactly the numbers one would expect, but his other numbers are certainly solid. He has continued his torrid strikeout rate, with 115 strikeouts against just 25 walks in 89.1 innings of work. That impressive command, and 4:1 K/BB rate, have remained intact.
The Rays have also had success with bringing one of their prospects up for a spot start. Jacob Faria was expected to make just that one start in place of Matt Andriese, but has taken advantage of the opportunity. He has now become a key part of the Rays rotation, even if it is a year earlier than expected.
Given his potential, there is no reason as to why Honeywell could not do the same. The Rays, as they are falling out of the postseason, need a spark somewhere. Bringing up another young arm, especially one who has the pure stuff that Honeywell possesses, could be that shot that the Rays need.
The Tampa Bay Rays have an opening in the rotation now that Jake Odorizzi is on the disabled list. To paraphrase a great crustacean: Why not Brent Honeywell?