Tampa Bay Rays’ Bullpen Splits and the 3-Batter Rule
By Seth Carter
The Tampa Bay Rays had the best bullpen in the league last year. With pitchers being forced to face at least three batters this season, we take a look at their splits from 2019.
The Tampa Bay Rays will be adjusting to MLB’s 2020 rule changes this season.
- Roster increase to 26 players. Expands to 28-man rosters in September.
- Three-Batter Minimum- All Pitchers must pitch to a minimum of three batters or end of half-inning.
- Pitchers IL increased to 15 days (including 2-way players).
- Managers will have 20 seconds to challenge a play.
With the implementation of the three-batter minimum, the LOOGY (lefty one-out guy) will be hocked and propelled out from the mouth of Major League Baseball in March. This rule could make the biggest impact on teams. It will make a pitcher’s splits more of a factor when handing out roster spots. The Rays had one of the best bullpens in the league last year, but we’ll take a look at some of the splits to help us prepare for what to expect in 2020.
Here’s a look at some brief splits form last year that make this rule interesting. The list was pulled from MLB.com’s current bullpen depth chart.
We start with the man at the top of that depth chart, Nick Anderson.
Nick Anderson RHP
vs. Right: .183
vs. Left: .250
Anderson faced righties in 141 plate appearances and faced lefties in 123 plate appearances. He held righties to a fantastic .183 average against with a .234 slugging and a .305 slugging. His strikeout to walk ratio against righties was 8.86 (incredible) while it was 4.26 (still good) against lefties. While righties only mustered a .305 slugging against the electric reliever, lefties posted a very solid .455 slugging.