Tampa Bay Rays

Veteran relief pitcher to get first career start in another revamped pitching plan

The Tampa Bay Rays made waves before the 2018 Major League Baseball season even began when they planned on using with a four-man pitching rotation.

This Saturday, the Rays and manager Kevin Cash are going one step further.

Veteran relief pitcher Sergio Romo is expected to get his first career start, according to the Tampa Bay Times, against the Angels.

"It allows us in theory to let Sergio to come in there and play the matchup game in the first, which somewhat unheard of — up until Saturday anyway," Cash told the Tampa Bay Times following Thursday's game. "Then Yarbs can, in theory, have the avaliability to get deeper in the game. There's no more secret about the third time through the order, everybody knows that. And that's kind of what this is about.

Yarbs is rookie left-hander Ryan Yarbrough, who would follow Romo and not have to face an Angels' lineup with Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Justin Upton three times.

The Rays' plan for the four-man rotation hit a roadblock when Nathan Eovaldi got jurt before opening day. So the Rays attempted a three-man rotation with two scheduled "Bullpen Days" where several relievers pitched rather than a traditional starter, the Tampa Bay Times reported.