How new addition Richard Lovelady can aid Tampa Bay Rays' bullpen

The Tampa Bay Rays made a move to secure Richard Lovelady from the Chicago Cubs. How can this addition help to continue improvements within the Tampa Bay bullpen?
San Diego Padres v Chicago Cubs
San Diego Padres v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

On Saturday, the Tampa Bay Rays made a move that allowed them to acquire Richard Lovelady from the Chicago Cubs. In exchange, the Rays moved minor-league player Jeff Belge to the Cubs' farm system. Both players, Lovelady and Belge, are left-haded pitchers.

The Rays also made room on the roster, placing right-hander Jacob Waguespack on the 60-day IL list.

So what can Lovelady do to provide the Rays' bullpen with more help? The team is starting to find footing in the middle of May, as they have broken past .500. The Rays team ERA is now at 4.30, which has allowed them to come out of the very bottom of MLB, where they lingered some weeks ago. With that being said, Lovelady has a chance to really put the Tampa Bay bullpen back into a state where they are competitive again.

Richard Lovelady could make Tampa Bay Rays' bullpen competitive again

Lovelady has not played a ton for the Cubs this season. In fact, Chicago just designated him for assignment shortly before this trade. In 2024, he has an ERA of 7.94 in 5.2 innings of work. He is a southpaw who likes to put a lot of movement on the ball ,with a slider and sinker as his two most used pitches. He also likes to mix in an occasional fastball every once in a while.

It is important to note that Lovelady is not known for any kind of velocity. Thus, this can lead to a lot of home run balls if he lacks control at certain points or misplaces pitches within the strike zone.

By no means has Lovelady put up impressive numbers this season with the Cubs, but Tampa Bay has always had a knack for turning pitchers like this into big time arms (Ryan Yarbrough...). Lovelady can be one of those new experiments that the pitching staff can work with.