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Rays sign LHP Ryan Sherriff

Sherriff is recovering from Tommy John surgery

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals-Media Day Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays are looking to bolster their left-handed pitching reserves this offseason, and have started early, with the acquisition of lefty reliever Ryan Sherriff. Sherriff, whose name will certainly lend itself well to grand puns in the future, has most recently played for the St. Louis Cardinals.

The 28-year-old, who the Rays signed to a minor league deal, was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 33rd round of the 2010 amateur draft, but did not sign, and was subsequently selected by the Cardinals in the 28th round of the 2011 draft. He largely favors a fastball, which averages about 91mph, but has a slider he uses roughly 30 percent of the time.

Fittingly, Sherriff made his major league debut on August 25, 2017 in a game against the Rays, where he went three scoreless innings, gave up two hits and a walk, and collected four strikeouts. He is also notable for having played with Team Israel for the most recent World Baseball Classic.

His 2018 season ended in June when he underwent Tommy John surgery, something that the Rays training staff certainly have a good handle on working with. His major league numbers with the Cardinals include a 4.05 ERA, 4.51 FIP, and 1.350 WHIP in 18 appearances over two seasons, but he had solid numbers with the Cardinals minor league team prior to needing his surgery. He will very likely miss the bulk of the 2019 season recovering from TJS, but the Rays are clearly invested in him as part of the organization.