This upcoming campaign we may see some unusual things on the mound; as we approach the regular season, more and more teams are trying to innovate the now standard 5-man pitching rotation; the Rangers will come up with a 6-man starting rotation, and now, the Tampa Bay Rays are going to use a 4-man rotation.
But how? According to Mark Tompkin of the Tampa Bay Times says that Rays' manager Kevin Cash will stick to their Spring Training 4-man rotation experiment during the season. However, this does not mean that they will be using only 4 starting pitchers.
Tompkin says that the Rays will still be using a 5-day role, with their pitchers Chris Archer, Blake Snell, Nathan Eovaldi and Jake Faria the constant names on the sheet throughout the season; for the 5th spot, the Rays will be using their many multi-inning relievers across the campaign.
As Cash himself stated:
We feel like we have a lot of good pitchers and we want to get them all their reps and not limit somebody, not get use out of that guy that gets kind of odd man out by not being in the rotation
The Rays appear to have in their bullpen their strongest asset, as they have very good pitchers like Anthony Banda, Yonny Chirinos, Jose De Leon, Chih-Wei Hu, Andrew Kittredge, Austin Pruitt, Ryan Yarbrough, and Hunter Wood, plus veteran Matt Andriese, with all of them competing for being the occasional 5th man in the rotation.