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Tampa Bay Rays: 5 Players Deserving of an Extension

Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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1. LHP Shane McClanahan

Shane McClanahan has undoubtedly been the shining star on the Rays' pitching staff this season. A breakout year for the young southpaw, he was named to his first All-Star Game while also getting the honor to start for the American League. He boasted a 1.71 ERA heading into the All-Star Break with strikeout numbers battling for the best in the league. He's shown he can be a leader of this team on the bump, using his commanding and powerful presence to mow down the opposition and put the Rays in a position to win.

Recently, he's been a victim of some bad luck, as his post-ASG starts haven't looked great to the casual eye compared to his numbers pre-ASG. It's not too much I would worry about though, because one of the things that has helped Shane grow from last year is his poise. The kid has a lot of passion for the game and wants to demonstrate his elite abilities as he has been doing, so it's understandable if he gets a little bit frustrated when things don't go necessarily how he envisioned. The best part about it though is he gets back out on the mound and continues to attack and compete. He doesn't let his frustration in the moment boil over and ruin his outing, a sure sign of maturity.

He's on pace to obliterate his numbers from last year as well, showing an immense amount of growth. His WHIP is down to 0.87 this year compared to 1.27 year, with only a .189 opponent batting average. That's a full .063 below the .252 he allowed last year. That's not even mentioning the ridiculous strikeout pace, amount of quality starts, and low hard hit ball rate.

Shane has truly molded himself into the ace of this staff with an arsenal that any opposing hitter would be worrisome about. An extension could avoid arbitration in the next couple of years while locking down one of the best young arms in the game. The show he's been putting on warrants some acknowledging by the front office, as he should be the mainstay in this pitching staff for years to come.

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