MLB Teams

Tampa Bay Rays Best Relief Pitchers

By Aditya update Bhattarai / 28 July 2023 02:33 AM

Colome is among the best relievers from Tampa Bay Rays for his records during the 2016 season.
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Tampa Bay Rays Best Relief Pitchers include Jake McGee, Alex Colome, and Fernando Rodney. Roberto Hernandez and Grant Balfour are other top Tampa Bay relievers.

The relief pitchers are players that replace the starting pitchers following their removal from the pitching mound. They take command when the starters are injured or cannot continue pitching.

There are situations when a starter has poor performance or exceeds their pitch count limit. In such cases, a reliever continues the games by throwing the remaining innings. Left-handed relief pitchers are more important for teams because for their ability to perfectly tackle left-handed hitters.

Tampa Bay Rays pitchers history contains players such as David Price and James Shields among the best hurlers. These hurlers are famous for their achievements as starters.

Meanwhile, relievers such as McGee and Colome are known for their ability to pitch without worrying about fatigue. They are known for their Saves when completing a game for the winning team after they get injured or removed.

Best Rays Relief Pitchers Of All Time

Tampa Bay Rays relievers with all time best results are Jake McGee, Alex Colome, and Fernando Rodney. They had made franchise records for saves and appearances.

McGee was drafted by the Rays on the fifth round of the 2004 MLB draft.
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Below are the top five relief pitchers of all time to ever play with the Tampa Bay Rays. The list by MLB prioritizes appearances and contributions over the seasons along with the number of saves.

Rays All Time Best RelieversAchievements (records)
Jake McGee297 Appearances as Highest in the Franchise
Alex Colome2016 All Star appearance and 2017 AL Saves Leader
Fernando Rodney46 Single Season Saves Record for the Franchise
Roberto Hernandez101 Saves as All Time Best Franchise Record
Grant Balfour274 Appearances as the Third Highest in Franchise

Relievers are players that continue pitching in a game after the starting pitcher is removed. A save is when they finish a game after the starter with a win.

Their contributions are best analyzed by the number of saves they have along with strikeouts and ERA. They are divided into five categories starting from closers, setup men, middle relief pitchers, left or right-handed specialists, and long relievers.

Closers are those that are substituted at the final few innings of the game and Setup men are the ones that pitches before a closer. Likewise, Middle relievers are those who pitch around the fifth to seven innings of the game.

The handed specialists are known for their expertise in specific right or left-handed pitches to tackle the opposing hitters. They are usually switched during the pinch hitter situations when the active pitcher has the opposite arm side from the batter. 

Long relievers are those pitchers that enter the game during the first three innings of the game. They usually enter when the starter is injured or removed due to a lack of performance.

Jake McGee

Jake McGee has the highest number of appearances with the Rays where he supported 297 games. McGee has made consistent contributions as a left handed pitcher.

While his save records are lower in comparison to others, his regular appearances over numerous seasons with the team has more weight.

McGee had the best ERA+ record of 198 in 2012 which was more than 98% better than the average league scores. He repeated the feat in 2014 with a 197 ERA+ score.

Alex Colome

Colome had been an All-Star player in 2016 for his performance as a closer. The reliever was also awarded with an AL Save Leader award in 2017.

Starting his career as a starter, he transitioned to become a righty reliever in the later years of his career. His first year as a closer in 2016 resulted in an ERA of 1.91 in just 57 appearances.

His record for 47 saves in 2017 was the second-highest record in the franchise. He could have broken the record in the following year had he not been traded to the Mariners.

Fernando Rodney

Rodney has the single season record of 48 saves in the long history of the Major League Club. Rodney had made his mark as a relief pitcher after joining the Rays.

Rodney has made the highest number of saves in a season within the Rays franchise.
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His record number of saves came about in just 76 appearances in his first season with the Rays. Rodney had won Delivery Man of the Year and AL Comeback Player of The Year awards in his first year with the Rays.

The most impressive feat obtained by Rodney was finishing with an ERA record of 0.60 in 2012. It had broken Dennis Eckersley's record for the lowest ERA by a reliever in MLB history.

Roberto Hernandez

Roberto Hernandez holds the record for most saves in the Rays' history by closing 101 games. Hernandez had the best season in 1999 with 43 saves and a 3.07 ERA.

Rodriguez has made 101 saves capping the record for most saves in franchise history.
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The right handed pitcher was also voted 10th on the AL Cy Young Award that year. In the following seasons, he maintained at least 26 saves making a franchise record in three years.

Grant Balfour

Balfour made the cut in this list for his consistent contributions over 274 appearances with the Rays. He had helped the team reach World Series in 2008 Season.

The right-handed pitcher Grant Balfour had the best season of his career in 2008. Balfour had made 82 strikeouts in 58 1/3 inning along with a 1.51 ERA in 54 games.

Balfour had led the team to their only World Series season in 2008, marking his name among the list of best relievers in Rays history.

Tampa Bay Rays Relief Pitchers 2023

Tampa Bay Rays Relief Pitchers 2023 are Peter Fairbanks, Jason Adam, and Shawn Armstrong. Rays have listed nine other relievers on their roster for 2023.

Fairbanks is the closer along with Adam holding the position as the setup man after the starting pitchers this season. Cooper Criswell is the bulk reliever for the Rays after 15 July 2023.

Fairbanks is the closer reliever for the Rays since 2019.
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The remaining relief pitchers on the bullpen consist of Jake Diekman who holds the most experience among all other pitchers on the roster. Likewise, Calvin Faucher and Kevin Kelly are rookies that are stepping into their Major League careers this season.

Andrew Kittredge and Garrett Cleavinger are currently on the injured list. While Kittredge is expected to become active after 28 July for this season, Cleavinger is out for the season with a knee injury.

Here are all the relief pitchers listed on the 2023 roster of the Tampa Bay Rays.

  • Peter Fairbanks
  • Jason Adam
  • Shawn Armstrong
  • Jake Diekman
  • Calvin Faucher
  • Kevin Kelly
  • Zack Littell
  • Colin Poche
  • Cooper Criswell
  • Robert Stephenson
  • Andrew Kittredge (injured)
  • Garrett Cleavinger (injured)

Rays Starting Pitchers 2023

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitchers 2023 cover Shane McClanahan, Tyler Glasnow, and Zach Eflin. Taj Bradley and Josh Fleming are the other two starters for Rays.

Fleming is currently on the injured list and is expected to make a return on 29 July 2023. McClanahan and Glasnow are the first two starters for the season.

While Glasnow and Eflin have more than five years of experience in pitching, McClanahan has made waves starting from his rookie season last year.

Likewise, Bradley had recently lasted more than five innings against the Orioles after allowing the first three scores in the beginning.

Below is the list of all five pitchers in the starter list according to their starting order.

  1. Shane McClanahan - Number 1
  2. Tyler Glasnow - Number 2
  3. Zach Eflin - Number 3
  4. Taj Bradley - Number 4
  5. Josh Fleming - Number 5 (Injured till 29 July)

Rays Closer Pitchers 2023

Closer pitchers for Tampa Bay Rays in 2023 are Peter Fairbanks, Jason Adam, Kevin Kelly, and Colin Poche. Adam took the lead after Fairbanks got injured on 28 May.

The role of closer transfer correspondingly to all the relief pitchers listed on the depth chart for the year. Relievers in the bullpen can move up the list by performing well throughout the season.

The following list includes the list of closer based on their corresponding order for closing a game.

  • Peter Fairbanks - Closer
  • Peter Adam - Setup Man
  • Kevin Kelly - Bullpen (3rd in Line)
  • Colin Poche - Bullpen (4th in Line)
  • Jake Diekman - Bullpen (5th)
  • Shawn Armstrong (6th)
  • Robert Stephenson (7th)
  • Zack Littell (8th)
  • Calvin Faucher (9th)
  • Cooper Criswell (10th)

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