Tampa Bay Rays’ Nick Anderson: The Next Superstar Reliever

Nick Anderson (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Nick Anderson (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
tampa bay rays
Nick Anderson in ALDS against Astros. He’s hard to hit even if they know what’s coming. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

With the Tampa Bay Rays trading away last season’s team-leader in saves, who will they turn to in 2020?

The Tampa Bay Rays recently traded presumptive closer, Emilio Pagan, for an outfield insurance policy in Manuel Margot. The Rays finished first in all of baseball in relief ERA with a 3.66 earned run average. They obviously have immense confidence in their group to trade a player like Pagan.

Pagan finished last season with a 2.31 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP to go along with his 20 saves. Pagan struck out 96 batters in 70.0 innings. He was a workhorse reliever for the Rays.

Tampa Bay believes in the rest of the bulls in the pen. They still have three pitchers with closing experience in Diego Castillo, Jose Alvarado, and Nick Anderson.

Castillo earned eight saves for the Rays last season. In his two years with the Rays, he has posted a 130 ERA+.

Jose Alvarado was one of the elite lefties in the game two seasons ago. He posted a 2.39 ERA in 64.0 innings for the Rays. He opened the 2019 season as the closer for the Rays. By the end of April, he had four saves and a 1.64 ERA. Injuries and family issues essentially ruined the rest of his season.

Alvarado posted a 5.79 ERA in May and only pitched in 7.2 innings for the rest of the season. His family issues appear to be resolved as they have made their way from Venezuela and are in Florida with Jose right now. He also appears to be healthy and has the Rays excited with what they’ve seen so far.