Rays News

5 Tampa Bay Rays relievers who can help in 2019

By Austin Reimann
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 10: The bullpen bench of the Tampa Bay Rays is empty as the game enters the 14th inning against the Boston Red Sox June 10, 2013 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Boston won 10 - 8. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 10: The bullpen bench of the Tampa Bay Rays is empty as the game enters the 14th inning against the Boston Red Sox June 10, 2013 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Boston won 10 - 8. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 21: Jalen Beeks #68 of the Tampa Bay Rays delivers a pitch in the fourth inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 21, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 21: Jalen Beeks #68 of the Tampa Bay Rays delivers a pitch in the fourth inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 21, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

Jalen Beeks, LHP, 25

Jalen Beeks was the only piece the Rays got back in the Nathan Eovaldi trade, which turned out to be pivotal in Boston’s World Series campaign. He pitched for both the Sox and the Rays in 2018 totaling 50.2 innings, a 5.51 ERA and a 4.64 FIP.

With the Rays he posted a 4.47 ERA and 4.45 FIP over 44.1 innings with 37 strikeouts and 20 walks. If you take out his first appearance in a Rays uniform, then the southpaw actually had a much more appealing year.

41.0 IP // 3.07 ERA // .211 opp. avg. // 36K/17BB

The first appearance that I mentioned was a rough Rays debut. In 3.1 innings the young lefty gave up eight earned runs. If you consider that appearance an outlier, which it obviously was, then the Rays have a nice young pitcher in Beeks. Whether he will fill in as a bulk role like he did last year, or works as a lefty specialist is unknown but I do believe he will make an impact out of the pen for the Rays in 2019.

There will be plenty of competition for the bulk roles this spring training. Beeks, Font, Chirinos will all be looking to get a share of the innings after an opener. The only guarantee in my opinion is Ryan Yarbrough. I still think Beeks may be used as a specialist though, due to his success against left-handed hitters last season. In 12.1 innings against them, he held batters to a .196 batting average and struck out 12.

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