September is just around the corner and once it arrives, major league rosters will expand from their current 25 player limit to 40 players.
Yesterday, we looked at possible position players the Rays could add to their roster and today, we’ll look at the pitchers. The Rays have no shortage options to potentially add to their roster as they boast one of the most pitching-rich organizations in all of baseball.
Brent Honeywell - The top (healthy) pitching prospect in baseball has proven himself in Durham as he carves his way through any opposing hitter that dare enter the box. However, there are still a few things the team believes he needs to work on. But, if the Rays are locked into a playoff race, they have an incredible weapon to call upon in Durham.
Jonny Venters - The perseverance story of the year, and possibly the decade. Venters has overcome numerous setbacks, including three Tommy John Surgeries. He hasn’t pitched in the majors since October, 2012. He is on the cusp of reaching the show once more as he is currently on the Montgomery Biscuits roster.
*Jose Alvarado - The Rays made some noise early on in the season when they promoted Jose Alvarado directly from Double-A, but the southpaw flamethrower did very well with his first sip of the majors. There were some rough points, but still should be a very nice addition to the Rays pen.
*Ryne Stanek - The Rays triple digit throwing former first round pick also made some strides in becoming a relief for the Rays, but still has some room to grow. During his latest callup, he displayed a new splitter that has been helping him strike out more opposing hitters. He’ll most certainly be added in September.
**Nathan Eovaldi - The Rays signed him in the off season as another one of their Tommy John reclamation projects, but there are some reports that he could be healthy enough to help the team out in September if need be. He is slated to throw live bullpens sometime this week.
*Chih-Wei Hu - Another one of the Rays young pitching prospects that made his debut from them this season, Hu has seen a couple of major league stints with the Rays. He has spent most of the season trying to transition to the Bulls bullpen after spending the majority of his career as a starter.
*Adam Kolarek - The Rays tried him out earlier this season, after liking his ability to get left-handed hitters out and the way he generated groundballs. He could fit a LOOGY during the upcoming month
*Andrew Kittredge - He’ll be up at some point to eat innings for the Rays, basically a RHP version of Kolarek.
Burch Smith - He is still alive and is actually healthy pitching for the Durham Bulls while he continues to progress from his 2015 Tommy John Surgery. Originally acquired by the Rays during the 2014-2015 off season in the huge Wil Myers trade, Smith finally threw his first professional pitch for the Rays in June, it was actually his first professional pitch since 2014.
*Jaime Schultz - He would have been up already, if not for a groin injury suffered during his first outing with the Durham Bulls this season. Short in stature but he produces high octane pitches with some very nice secondary offerings.
*Chase Whitely - He’ll be up
Diego Castillo - One of the Rays most underrated prospects, he gained some recognition in the Arizona Fall League last year. He possess a plus fastball to go along with a plus slider that should make him a weapon in the bullpen.
* Player is on the 40-man roster
** Player is on the 60-day DL