Taj Bradley's turnaround has made him a key piece of the Rays' future

Taj Bradley has been great in 2024 for Tampa Bay. The outings that he has put together as of late have made him an integral part to the future starting rotation in St. Pete.
Washington Nationals v Tampa Bay Rays
Washington Nationals v Tampa Bay Rays / Douglas P. DeFelice/GettyImages

Taj Bradley's most recent start came in a 5-0 win for the Tampa Bay Rays over the Washington Nationals. The win helped the Rays to earn their fourth straight series victory. Bradley earned his third win of the season, bringing his record to 3-4, which doesn't tell the full story.

The Sunday start for Bradley against the Nationals was a career game for him. He finished with 11 strikeouts while only giving 3 hits and 2 walks. He did all of this over the course of 5.2 innings and did not give up any runs.

In fact, he has had similar success as of late during this set of four straight series wins for Tampa Bay. In starts he had against Minnesota and Seattle, he went 6.0 and 5.1 innings respectively and gave up a combined three earned runs during the course of those games. Despite not racking up as many strikeouts against the Twins, Bradley put up eight of them in his winning effort against the Mariners.

Taj Bradley's recent surge has him in Rays' plans

Prior to those two games, Bradley also posted 11 strikeouts and no-run baseball in 7.0 innings against the Cubs that contributed to another series win at Tropicana Field. All of these games have been a part of a bigger turnaround for Bradley, who shook off two losses against the Baltimore Orioles prior to his recent run of form.

Bradley is not necessarily the biggest name in the Rays' current starting rotation. With Zach Eflin, Aaron Civale, Zack Littell, and even Ryan Pepiot ahead of him, he can bolster the rotation's depth effectively without being counted on to front it.

In recent weeks, though, he arguably has been pitching better than any of his cohorts, and his name has not necessarily been the one at the forefront of trade talks around the league. This means Tampa Bay can consider their rotation filled, and move on to addressing bullpen depth, juggling an overload of talented arms from within the system.