Earlier today Marc Topkin confirmed the starters for the first five games of the 2017 Tampa Bay Rays season.
It comes as no surprise that Cash will go with Archer on Opening day to face Yankee’s ace, Masahiro Tanaka. Archer this spring has posted a 2.53 ERA and 0.84 WHIP in 10.2 innings with 13 Ks. That doesn’t include his WBC outing, where he pitched through 4 perfect innings against Colombia, striking out 3.
Its also no surprise that Odorizzi, Cobb, and Snell will follow Archer after. What is interesting is that Cash has possibly named his fifth starter in Matt Andriese, who has been impressive this spring, posting a 2.84 ERA and 1.89 WHIP with 7Ks in 7 innings of work.
Andriese did have a decent stint in the 2016 rotation, with a 2.82 ERA, but had low strikeout and high walk rates with decreasing success throughout the game. He was more effective once Cash moved Andriese to the bullpen, posting a 8.57 K/9 and 1.41 BB/9 rates respectively. It is yet to be seen if Andriese’s stay will be longer than last years, as top pitching prospect Jose De Leon should be knocking on the door in May.
Opening day is Sunday, April 2nd.