The Tampa Bay Rays starting rotation is suddenly in need of a boost. Matt Andriese could not have timed his progress from his hip issues much better.
The Tampa Bay Rays starting rotation was an area of strength at the start of the year. With their excellent pitching prospects and solid depth, it was thought that the Rays could even trade a starter if they were in contention to get a needed piece. At least, that is the way it looked on paper.
However, the Rays depth is being tested. Alex Cobb was placed on the disabled list recently, although he is expected to miss only one start. Jake Odorizzi was on the disabled list, came back, and was promptly drilled in the foot by an Eduardo Nunez line drive. While he is day to day presently, another stint on the disabled list may not be out of the question.
Fortunately for the Rays, another injured pitcher is getting closer to returning. Matt Andriese, who has been on the disabled list since June 11th due to a stress reaction in his hip, is ramping up his rehab. He is slated to begin his minor league assignment this weekend, and could be back by the end of the month.
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If that is the case, it would be a tremendous boost for the rotation over the final month of the season. Andriese had posted a solid 5-1 record with a 3.54 ERA and a 1.311 WHiP. In his 61 innings, he struck out 55 batters while issuing 21 walks. That type of production would certainly look good at the back of the Rays rotation.
As Tampa Bay is in the midst of a postseason battle with the Royals, Yankees, and a host of others, adding another arm may be a key to keeping those playoff hopes alive. Andriese, if he is able to come back and perform at a reasonable facsimile of his early season form, then he could be the Rays own Wild Card.
Matt Andriese is getting closer to a return to the Tampa Bay Rays. Given the injuries to the starting rotation, they certainly could use him.