Ranking the top 5 Tampa Bay Rays pitchers of all time
By Rylan Stiles
Continuing our newest series today we will start to rank the top five pitchers in a single season in Tampa Bay Rays history
We will start with number five just like the Manager rankings and roll out the newest installment each day to follow!
Today, coming in at number five is Sergio Romo.
What?! Sergio Romo?!
Yes, I can hear you in the comment section already. Just wait to execute me until you hear my rationale, then feel free to execute me. Also, drop me a follow on Twitter while you are at it.
This is not necessarily best pitchers, but the best individual season. Yet still, I know you are screaming at your device you are reading this on with how wrong and stupid I am. Just hear me out.
While Romo has not compiled a ton of stats in a Rays uniform, he is undoubtedly one of the most impactful pitchers in the history of the franchise.
The 35 year old reliever has only been a Rays for a year and a half entering this season. But he has left a mark on this franchise no one will forget.
Kevin Cash elected to deploy the “opener” strategy earlier in 2018. Sergio Romo was the man for the job. Romo handled that role perfectly making five starts for the Rays, including back to back starts early in the season.
Sure, you have a great argument for Matt Garza, or Scott Kazmir being in this fifth spot, and I will be wildly out numbered in this thought. Romo was more impactful because he paved the way for the 90-win Rays to fill comfortable sticking with that opener strategy with guys like Ryan Stanek to fill the role.
If Romo failed in that opener role, does Kevin Cash scrap it after one try? Who knows. Based on the odds, yes. Baseball managers, in general, are afraid to break the mold. Which is why Brian Kenny’s opener/bullpenning theory took so long to catch on.
Sergio Romo finished last year with a 4.14 ERA, but he was more impactful than that number indicates.
Kevin Cash even called him out of the bullpen to face a batter, let him play third and put him back on the bump in the same inning.
Romo’s ability to be versatile and flexible is something not many pitchers have. Jon Lester is scared to throw to first base.
Romo’s willingness to be wacky with Cash and accept any challenge went a long way, and I believe had an impact on the rest of the young pitching staff.
Come back tomorrow for number four!