Experienced Webb Enters Mystery Bullpen Mix

February 24th, 2016

Baltimore Orioles v Detroit Tigers

There’s a reason bullpens lead to night sweats for most managers and front-office types.

So much rides on what happens in the innings after the starter has been yanked. Finding the right mental and physical mettle in relievers can be as harrowing as attempting to survive a high school chemistry experiment while blindfolded.

Entering this season, Rays manager Kevin Cash and baseball overlord Matt Silverman have much to learn about their bullpen, which stands as sort of a reconstruction project. Jake McGee is gone. Brandon Gomes, too.

The Rays will rely on Brad Boxberger to throw gas in the ninth inning, but building the bridge to him will take tinkering through the spring and beyond.

Tampa Bay was in need of a veteran arm to plug-and-play in those late frames. They hope they found an answer with right-hander Ryan Webb.

The 30-year-old Webb, a Clearwater native, has bounced between the Padres, Marlins, Orioles and Indians since 2009. He’s 17-18 for his career with a 3.35 ERA and 260 strikeouts. He threw a career-high 80 1/3 innings with Miami in 2013, but he threw just 50 2/3 last year with Cleveland.

Webb will prove to be a savvy pickup if he becomes a reliable heavy-lifter. The Rays are high on his experience, which includes 376 innings pitched in 357 major-league appearances.

He’s also a ground-ball pitcher, which made him catch Silverman’s eye.

Like all relievers, there’s mystery involved with Webb. Cash and Silverman hope he becomes a no-sweat solution to their bullpen puzzle.

One Response to “Experienced Webb Enters Mystery Bullpen Mix”

  1. CC Says:

    Joe… great to see this.
    With the bullpen being such a huge part of winning baseball teams. I think the Rays are rolling the dice here letting Mcgee go and hoping Box can return to his 2014 form. Last year he was pretty sketchy. Alex Colome could be a viable option to close games if Box has a hard time locating his pitches again this year. Lets hope these moves pay off and we can return to the playoffs.


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