The Tampa Bay Rays have completely revamped their bullpen since the start of the year. Even with those changes, they may not be done just yet.
At the start of the 2017 season, the Tampa Bay Rays bullpen appeared to be a strength. Although there were not may well known names, the track record that these players had seemed to be enough to give hope that the Rays would have quite the relief corps. Add in the eventual return of Brad Boxberger, and the bullpen appeared to be solid in Tampa Bay.
Instead, the bullpen has been in a continual state of flux. Due to injuries and inconsistency, the Rays have shuttled 21 pitchers through their bullpen already. Only Tommy Hunter and Alex Colome remain from the Rays bullpen on Opening Day. As Tampa Bay struggles to remain in contention, the bullpen has become a focal point, with three new relievers having been brought in over the past week.
Those may not be the only moves forthcoming. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Rays are continuing to scour the bullpen market, looking for another piece to help solidify a shaky relief staff. Familiar names, such as Brad Hand and Justin Wilson, continue to be listed as targets.
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The Rays find themselves at a bit of a crossroads themselves as the deadline approaches. After holding a Wild Card spot for most of the month, they have dropped seven of their last ten games. In the interim, not only have the Yankees pulled away, but the Kansas City Royals have gotten white hot. What was once a comfortable lead has dwindled away, leaving the Rays 2.5 games out of the postseason.
There is no question that the Rays bullpen has been upgraded. Steve Cishek and Dan Jennings are better than what Tampa Bay began the year with. If Sergio Romo can recapture his form from his heyday with the Giants, he is a great buy low option. But the wins have not come over the past week. Adding even more to the bullpen could change that.
The Tampa Bay Rays have completely revamped their bullpen. However, they may not be done.