The Tampa Bay Rays are an MLB team situated in St. Petersburg, Florida. They are from the American League East.
Here are their top 5 greatest pitchers ever.
Top 5 All-Time Pitchers Of Tampa Bay Rays
After a poor sophomore season (10-7, 4.42 ERA), Price surpassed expectations in 2010, winning 19 of 25 decisions with a 2.72 ERA and finished second in the AL Cy Young voting behind Felix Hernandez of Seattle.
Two years later, he went one better, winning 20 games (with five losses) to become the Rays’ first-ever 20-game winner—and finishing second to none in the Cy Young voting, becoming the first Tampa Bay athlete to get the award.
Shields, a strong, dependable pitcher, started his productive streak in 2007 with a 12-8 record, which was all the more amazing considering the Rays were in the midst of a losing season. Shields was there when the Rays broke through and startled the AL with a pennant in 2008, winning 14 games, losing eight, and pitching a 3.56 ERA in 215 innings.
He also demonstrated to the AL East’s more affluent opponents that the Rays were not to be scared, inciting a melee at Fenway Park in Boston when he fired a retaliation pitch at Red Sox’s Coco Crisp, earning him a six-game ban. Shields won the Rays’ only game in their five-game World Series loss to Philadelphia, pitching 5.2 shutout innings in Game 2 at St. Petersburg.
Kazmir was the only trustworthy pitching talent in the Tampa Bay rotation before the ascent of Price, Shields, and Jeremy Hellickson, and he proved it by posting four straight winning seasons from 2005 to 2008—the first three of which he did with decidedly losing clubs.
He became the youngest pitcher to start an Opening Day game in 20 years when he was 22 years old in 2006, and he was the team lifetime leader in several pitching areas within a few years. Kazmir had his best season in 2006 when he went 13-9 with an AL-leading 239 strikeouts for a Tampa Bay squad that ended 66-96.
Archer didn’t make his big-league debut until 2012, but it wasn’t long before he was turning heads with a blazing fastball and a slider, recording ERAs in the low 3.00s in each of his first three seasons. More attention was paid to him in 2015 as he recorded 252 strikeouts (in just 212 innings) and became the first pitcher since 1900 to strike out at least 10 hitters in three consecutive starts.
The Rays responded by awarding him one of those team-friendly “take the money and run” contracts for $46 million over eight years. The Pittsburgh Pirates, who acquired Archer late in the 2018 season as the right-performance hander’s on the mound deteriorated, were responsible for those payments. Because he was so bad, the Pirates sent him back to the Rays in 2021.
With a 95-mph fastball, slider, curve, and change-up, Snell battled in his first two big-league seasons until exploding in 2018 with 21 wins (five losses) and a 1.89 ERA, both records for the Rays organization. In his four prior seasons with Tampa Bay, he has never won up to ten games.
A portion of that may be blamed on the Rays’ quick-hook approach, which seemed to see anyone pitching past the sixth inning as anathema.