In his first year playing in a Tampa Bay Rays uniform, Taj Bradley showed prowess throughout his appearances.
Despite a high ERA of 5.67, Bradley put up impressive strikeout numbers with 99 strikeouts in 74-2/3 innings pitched. He also averaged four strikeouts with every walk he had.
Since then, he has been sent back to the Durham Bulls in Triple-A. However, the abundance of injuries in the Rays' starting rotation may require him to come back.
It is common knowledge at this point that starting pitcher Shane McClanahan may be sidelined for the rest of the season for Tampa Bay. Jeff Pasan reported on that around a week ago.
So with McClanahan gone, that now leaves Tyler Glasnow, Zach Eflin, and Aaron Civale as three true starting pitchers left in the rotation. In order to beef up their starting lineup again, the Rays may have to go get Bradley back into a major league uniform.
The 22-year-old right-hander has played two games for the Bulls in the month of August and they have not been anything special. He's pitched a total of 7-2/3 innings giving up nine hits and four earned runs. During that stretch, he also has put up 9 strikeouts and has walked four batters.
Now the numbers are nothing crazy, but Bradley is arguably the next best man to come start for Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg that is within their system. The beginning of his stint with the Rays showed a good sample of what he can provide on a good day. In the month of April, where Bradley played three games with the Rays and two with the Bulls, he held opposing batting lineups to a combined average of .214 and combined that with a WHIP of 0.91.
If push comes to shove, Tampa Bay has the backup plan of Bradley to assist them in the starting rotation for the remainder of the 2023 season. That may come sooner than expected as the Rays' record in the month of August is currently 6-5.