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What Does Rays Rotation Look Like In 2024

photo: Tampa Bay Rays/Instagram

With Shane McClanahan scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery Monday and be lost for not only the rest of 2023 but also for the entire 2024 campaign, I decided it would be best to take a look at what next year’s pitching staff could look like for the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day.

Arms Returning From This Year

Tampa Bay will most certainly have both Zach Eflin, who they signed to a three-year deal this past off-season, and Aaron Civale, who they acquired at the trade deadline, near the top of the rotation.  In addition, they could also use Zach Littell, who has turned into one of the biggest finds the front office made this season, in the rotation.  Taj Bradley, who has struggled adjusting to facing big-league hitters, would also be a big consideration for the rotation.

Then, of course, comes Tyler Glasnow, who will be going into his final season before reaching free agency and is scheduled to make $25 million.  My feeling is that president of baseball operations Erik Neander and general manager Peter Bendix will look to move Glasnow in the off-season, possibly using the flame-throwing right-hander to bring in additional pieces to both supplement the big-league roster and fortify the minor-league system.

Arms Coming Back From Injury

The biggest arm coming back from injury is right-hander Shane Baz, who underwent Tommy John surgery in September of 2022 and will not pitch this year.  Baz was known through his time in the minors for his electric arm, and had a very strong debut coming up at the end of the 2021 campaign.  If he can show that he’s back to his 2021 form, he might be a gigantic piece of the pitching staff.

Some fans have speculated whether Colby White, a ninth-round draft pick from 2019 who is also coming back from Tommy John surgery, could be used in the rotation.  White skyrocketed through the minor leagues in 2021, going from Low-A all the way to Triple-A.  But the right-hander was used out of the bullpen going all the way back to his college days at Mississippi State, and I’d expect he’ll end up being a guy used to get just three outs.

Left-hander Jeffrey Springs and righty Drew Rasmussen are both expected to pitch at some point in 2024, but after Rasmussen underwent a procedure to add an internal brace to his UCL, which has already been reconstructed twice, and Springs had Tommy John surgery, I’d expect neither will be ready to begin the season.

Possible Free Agents To Add

Outside of Shohei Ohtani, the free agent class of pitchers doesn’t hold a whole lot of top-of-the-rotation type of talent, and what it does have is either well out of the Rays’ price range or well on to the back end of their respective careers.  Does the front office want to bring in someone like Chris Flexen?  Would they feel like trying to roll the dice on a Frankie Montas, who has battled injury?  Would Blake Snell take a (steep) discount to reunite with Kyle Snyder?  Those questions would all have to be answered after the World Series comes to an end.

Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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