Carleton: The Rays’ third-time-through-the-order experiment

From Russell Carleton at Baseball Prospectus on May 13, 2015:

It’s the 2015 trend that no one is talking about. The Rays are at it again. Even with Joe Maddon in Chicago, they’re still getting all inventive on us. It’s easy to miss if you don’t watch Rays games every night (indeed, Tommy Rancel of Rays blog The Process Report tipped me off to this one) but the Rays have apparently figured their #NewMoneyball. It used to be signing Evan Longoria, or turning Ben Zobrist into a resonance structure, or trading for Wil Myers, or trading Wil Myers, but this year, the Rays are trying something different.

They don’t do it every night, but see if you can pick up on the pattern here:

· April 14Matt Andriese starts, faces 18 batters (72 pitches). 2 runs, 5 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, pulled after 3.2 IP with runners at first and third with two out.

· April 19 – Andriese again, faces 18 batters (63 pitches), 4 runs, 8 hits, 2 walks, 1 strikeout, pulled after giving up an infield hit with a runner at first and one out. He lasted 3.1 IP

At this point, there’s no pattern other than noting that Andriese is a rookie who was pitched himself into a jam in the first game and just wasn’t having a good game in the second. Nothing to see here.

· April 24Drew Smyly starts, faces 18 batters (79 pitches), and gives up 2 runs on 4 hits (5 K/1 BB). Pulled in the middle of the fifth inning with two outs… which were the result of Smyly retiring the first two hitters in the inning. (Andriese gets the save with three innings of relief!)

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Originally published: May 13, 2015. Last Updated: May 13, 2015.