by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
The Tampa Bay Rays have quickly become one of the more frustrating teams when it comes to their pitching, whether you play in a Quality Start league (with a reliever often starting the game, it takes a QS out completely) or are searching for saves. When it comes to the latter they appear set on a full out committee, but while Sergio Romo and Jonny Venters could factor in there appears to be two clear choices. Who represents the most potential? Let’s take a look:
Chaz Roe – Right-Handed Pitcher
2018 Statistics – 3.80 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 10.97 K/9, 3.38 BB/9
It’s interesting that Roe has seen a significant drop in his groundball rate (43.1%, compared to a career mark of 52.5%), but his control has improved significantly (career 4.24 BB/9). It’s not that he’s changed his approach so there’s hope that he can improve his groundball rate, but over the first two months we’ve already seen a regression in his control:
- April – 3.27 BB/9
- May – 4.32 BB/9
The May mark appears much closer to the truth, and if he doesn’t get the groundball rate back up there are going to be significant concerns. As a closer you can’t walk people and carry the risk of home run issues (1.27 HR/9), and that’s exactly what Roe would represent.
There’s no questioning his strikeout stuff, but at the end of the day there simply could be too many risks/stumbles to hand him the role.
Jose Alvarado – Left-Handed Pitcher
2018 Statistics – 2.84 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 10.30 K/9, 4.26 BB/9
We’ve talked about him a lot, but he continues to represent the best option for the team. Whether they want to continue resisting the urge, due to him being left-handed, long-term financial concerns or another reason, remains to be seen. That said he’s pairing strikeouts (12.4% SwStr%) with a big groundball rate (62.3%).
The control obviously is a red flag, but look at the split:
- April – 3.21 BB/9
- May – 5.19 BB/9
If he can get back to the April mark the sky is truly the limit, but even with the control issues he carries the other two skills and that’s enough. It’s just a matter of when he truly gets an opportunity to run with the role, and that’s something we aren’t willing to predict given the team he plays for.
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball
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