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S.W. Florida Daily News


Countdown to Opening Day: FIVE Rays relievers who gave you a sense of relief

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The Tampa Bay Rays have had some standout relievers over the years who have provided crucial support on the mound. As we count down the days to opening day, let’s take a look at five Rays relievers who gave fans a sense of relief during their appearances on the field. From lefties to submariners, these pitchers have provided invaluable contributions to the team’s success.

Countdown to Opening Day: FIVE Rays relievers who gave you a sense of relief

As the new Major League Baseball season inches closer and closer, fans are eagerly anticipating the opportunity to cheer on their favorite teams once again. For Tampa Bay Rays fans, one of the biggest sources of excitement comes from their bullpen, which has been a major asset to the team in recent years. With that in mind, here are five Rays relievers who have given fans a sense of relief.

Nick Anderson

Nick Anderson burst onto the scene for the Rays in 2019 after being acquired from the Miami Marlins. The right-hander quickly proved himself to be one of the best relievers in the league, posting a 2.11 ERA and striking out an incredible 110 batters in just 64 innings pitched. Anderson followed that up with a solid 2020 campaign, striking out 26 batters in just 16 innings pitched before struggling a bit in the playoffs. If Anderson can bounce back in 2021, he’ll once again be one of the most dominant relievers in the game.

Pete Fairbanks

Although Pete Fairbanks only joined the Rays in mid-2019, he quickly established himself as a valuable bullpen arm. The right-hander posted a 2.70 ERA in 25 innings pitched that year, striking out 30 batters in the process. In 2020, Fairbanks took his game to another level, striking out 39 batters in 27 innings pitched while posting a 2.70 ERA. He was also dominant in the playoffs, recording four saves and allowing just one earned run in 11 innings of work. With his high-velocity fastball and devastating slider, Fairbanks is a force to be reckoned with out of the bullpen.

Diego Castillo

Diego Castillo has been a key member of the Rays bullpen since his debut in 2018. Over the past three seasons, the right-hander has posted a 2.91 ERA in 124 innings pitched while striking out 134 batters. Castillo is particularly effective against right-handed hitters, holding them to a .182 batting average over his career. With his power sinker and devastating slider, Castillo is always a threat to induce a ground ball or a swinging strikeout.

Andrew Kittredge

Andrew Kittredge has quietly been one of the Rays’ most reliable relievers over the past few seasons. The right-hander has posted a 3.82 ERA in 128 innings pitched over the past three years, striking out 126 batters in the process. Kittredge doesn’t blow hitters away with velocity like some of his teammates, but he makes up for it with a deep arsenal of pitches and excellent command. He’s also shown an ability to pitch in a variety of roles, making him a valuable asset for the Rays’ bullpen.

Cody Reed

Although Cody Reed only joined the Rays in a midseason trade with the Cincinnati Reds last year, he quickly established himself as a valuable bullpen arm. The left-hander posted a 2.84 ERA in 19 innings pitched for the Rays, striking out 25 batters in the process. Reed has always had electric stuff, but he struggled with consistency earlier in his career. If he can continue to build on the success he found with the Rays last season, he could become one of the best left-handed relievers in the game.

As the Rays gear up for another season, these five relievers will be crucial to the team’s success. With their power arms and ability to miss bats, they’ll give opposing hitters plenty to worry about whenever they take the mound. Fans can’t wait to see what they’ll be able to accomplish in 2021.


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