Long Relief (2):
Jalen Beeks, LHP, 25
Jalen Beeks was the sole piece returned to the Tampa Bay Rays in the Nathan Eovaldi deadline deal. He was good but not great, he didn’t turn any heads, but he assured himself a roster spot in 2019.
In 44.1 innings of work he finished with a middling 4.47 ERA and 94 ERA+. Those numbers can be misleading though… If you remove Beeks’ first appearance for Tampa, one in which he gave up 8 runs in 3 innings of work, he actually was very good for the Rays.
Minus the first appearance, Beeks threw 41 innings and had a much better 3.07 ERA. With this being said, Beeks could make a few appearances as a bulk guy, but I see him more as a back of the bullpen reliever with the potential to make an emergency start.
Hunter Wood, 25, RHP
The most noticeable thing about Hunter Wood is his hair, but with that being said, he put together a pretty good 2018 campaign for the Rays. Nothing really jumps out when discussing Wood but in reality he was very reliable for the Rays last year and as a result I expect him to make the opening day roster.
Like Beeks, he has the ability to make an emergency start or a bulk appearance. I like him more in the opener role, but he could really do whatever is asked of him. In 2018, he threw 41 innings and had an ERA of 3.73 with 42 strikeouts and an ERA+ of 112.
He actually opened 8 games for the Rays in 2018, but with the Rays likely moving to a more stable rotation, look for a majority of the opens to go to Ryne Stanek. I see Hunter Wood as a likely long relief option for Kevin Cash to lean on, with the upside to move into a more meaningful role.