Rays News and Links
- ESPN did a ranking of the 25 most miserable fanbases in professional sports, listing two Tampa Bay teams among them. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers came in at 15th, while the Tampa Bay Rays were ranked at 18.
- Rays Colored Glasses looks at the current state of the Rays bullpen
- MLB.com listed 10 pitchers who had impressive debut seasons, listing Rays southpaw, Ryan Yabrough among them.
Yarbrough’s line might cause a double take -- he went 16-6 despite starting only six games. That was the product of Tampa Bay’s use of “openers” on the mound, with Yarbrough typically coming in afterward and going multiple innings. Unorthodox usage aside, the 26-year-old was able to post a 3.91 ERA, in large part because of how he limited hard contact (95-plus mph exit velocity). Of the 139 pitchers who allowed at least 300 batted balls, five had a lower hard-hit rate, including two (CC Sabathia and Chris Sale) in the AL.
- Richard Justice looks at three ways the Rays can improve as the calendar flips to 2019
Around the League
- Troy Tulowitzky, whom the Toronto Blue Jays released a couple of weeks ago, has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the New York Yankees
- The Seattle Mariners have signed lauded Japanese pitcher, Yusei Kikuchi to a unique contract