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Rays to evaluate handling of pitching staff

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) walks Kansas City Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain (6) in the third inning of the game between the Kansas City Royals and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 28, 2015. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times


Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) walks Kansas City Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain (6) in the third inning of the game between the Kansas City Royals and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 28, 2015. WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Whether you think the Rays' unorthodox strategy of limiting their young starters to five to six innings worked given their stats — as manager Kevin Cash does — or you think it did not because of the impact it had on the bullpen, know that they plan a thorough review before deciding whether to continue.

"We learned a lot from this year as a group," baseball operations president Matt Silverman said. "Circumstances changed on us given all the injuries. Certainly the bullpen as we had it constituted (to start the season with too many one-inning-only relievers) didn't fit what we needed.

"We learned on the job. And we learned a lot from the players, too, as to how they adapt to roles, their philosophies, how we can make it easier for them and also understand their sensitivities even more.

"That's a conversation that's been going on throughout the year. We don't talk about it to you all (in the media) very much, but we certainly talk about it a lot behind closed doors to make sure we're in better shape next year."

They should be better off for a couple of reasons. Pending what they do in potential trades, they could have four veterans in the rotation (Chris Archer, Drew Smyly, Jake Odorizzi, Matt Moore) and only one spot that needs to be handled with care.

And they now know they need at least a couple of relievers capable of working two-plus innings on occasion, which they should have with RHP Alex Colome, LHP Enny Romero, RHP Andrew Bellatti and, if he doesn't make the rotation, RHP Erasmo Ramirez.

MONEY BALL: Typically close-to-accurate projections by mlbtraderumors.com have the Rays on the hook for nearly $29 million for 11 arbitration players, though not all will be tendered contracts by the Dec. 2 deadline.

Their numbers, with 2015 salaries: LHP Jake McGee, $4.7 million ($3.55M); RHP Alex Cobb, $4M ($4M); Smyly, $3.9M ($2.65M); 2B Logan Forsythe, $3.3M ($1.1M); OF Desmond Jennings, $3.1M ($3.1M); Ramirez, $2.8M ($522,800); C Rene Rivera, $1.6M ($1.2M); C J.P. Arencibia, $1.4M ($1M); OF Daniel Nava, $1.9M ($1.85M); OF Brandon Guyer, $1.3M ($515,800); RHP Brandon Gomes, $900,000 ($507,500).

RAYS RUMBLINGS: Archer got rave reviews for his AL wild-card game commentary on ESPN, including this from writer Jonah Keri: "Chris Archer is 1 of the 10-12 best pitchers on Earth, and might also be 1 of the 10-12 best baseball commentators on Earth. What a jerk." … Archer leaves Monday for Taiwan for a week-long MLB goodwill trip that includes the opening of an information center. … Former Rays/now Cubs bench coach Davey Martinez is being mentioned as a candidate for the Nationals manager's job again. … Former Rays pitching coach Chuck Hernandez is among the Marlins coaches in limbo until a new manager is hired. … With a handful of prospects to be added to the 40-man roster (including RHP Taylor Guerrieri, INF/OF Taylor Motter and LHP Blake Snell), the Rays will have considerable shuffling by the Nov. 20 deadline. ... LHP Everett Teaford and RHP Ernesto Frieri, who were both outrighted to Triple-A during the season, declared free agency. ... The Rays have the No. 14 pick in the June draft. ... The Marlins are moving in their fences, which can't make their pitchers pleased.

Contact Marc Topkin at mtopkin@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Rays.

Rays to evaluate handling of pitching staff 10/09/15 [Last modified: Saturday, October 10, 2015 8:40pm]
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