Top Five Starting Rotations of 2020: Tampa Bay Rays (#4)


As we await further news on the future of the MLB, we have the opportunity to look at the upcoming starting rotations for the 2020 season. Plenty of standout names assisted their respective franchise into the top five of this particular segment, as parity in baseball’s pitching depth has become apparent.

In each of the last three seasons, the Tampa Bay Rays have finished in the top 10 in terms of team ERA. During the 2019 season, the team took a step forward and clinched their first postseason since the 2013 season. After falling to the Houston Astros in the Divisional series, the expectations are still high in Tampa Bay.

As the presumed ace of the organization, Blake Snell has been valuable during the high points of his career. In 2018, he totaled a 21-5 record with a league-low 1.89 ERA. His 5.6 hits allowed per nine innings were a league-best, and resulted in an All-Star nomination and Cy Young Award.

However, no high points come without their low stretches as well. In the other three seasons Snell was apart of, he has a starting record of 17-23. Just last season, his ERA of 4.29 was a career-high.

In July of 2018, the Rays agreed to deal away Chris Archer in return for outfielder Austin Meadowns, starter Tyler Glasnow, and more. Since joining the team, Glasnow has totaled a 6-6 record. Despite a rocky start, last season was a standout year for the 26-year old.

His 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings were a career-high, and he posted a 6-1 record as a starter. While the 2019 campaign marked his first winning season, it will be interesting to see whether he can remain consistent moving forward.

The Rays will lean on long-time veteran Charlie Morton. Entering his second season with Tampa Bay, Morton finished his age 35 age season with a 16-6 record and career-low 3.05 ERA.

While his age does need to be taken into consideration, Morton has posted 10+ wins in each of the last three seasons. Still, after finishing last season with a second consecutive All-Star nomination and third in Cy Young voting is admirable.

In each of his first two seasons, Yonny Chirinos has gotten progressively better. He totaled a 9-5 record and 3.85 ERA across 133.1 innings. Both his hits per nine innings (7.6) and walks per nine innings (1.9) decreased, and his strikeouts per nine innings (7.7) increased as well during the 2019 campaign.

With an identical sample size in comparison to Chirinos, Ryan Yarbrough is hoping to build upon his success during the 2020 season. He managed to post 10+ wins in each of his first two seasons with Tampa Bay, and has a career ERA of 4.02. While he did display a slight lack of discipline in the strike zone, Yarbrough does have promise to become a consistent starter with the Rays.

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