The Rays are set to advertise prime pitching prospect Shane McClanahan to begin Thursday’s recreation in opposition to the Athletics, tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Instances. It’s a pleasant birthday current for the 2018 No. 31 total decide, who turns 24 in the present day.
McClanahan technically already made his Main League debut, nevertheless it got here throughout final 12 months’s postseason. It will signify the left-hander’s first style of huge league motion through the common season. It’s not but clear whether or not this will probably be a spot begin or the start of a authentic audition for a rotation job, however the Rays have to date obtained shaky work from lefties Ryan Yarbrough and veteran Wealthy Hill. Proper-hander Chris Archer, in the meantime, is on the injured record with a forearm damage.
McClanahan pitched simply seven innings of Rookie ball after being drafted and didn’t pitch in any respect in 2020 as a result of canceled minor league season. He was wonderful in his solely full minor league season, nonetheless, pitching to a 3.36 ERA with an enormous 30.6 p.c strikeout fee and a strong 8.9 p.c stroll fee by means of 120 2/3 innings throughout three ranges (Class-A, Class-A Superior and Double-A). He’s thought-about to be one of many recreation’s higher all-around prospects, sitting seventy fifth at MLB.com, ninetieth at Baseball America and 117th at FanGraphs.
Scouting experiences on McClanahan all observe that his future might finally lie within the bullpen, the place he can lean on a triple-digit heater and a wipeout breaking ball to thrive as a two-pitch, late-inning weapon. However he’s additionally improved his management and added a still-developing changeup to his arsenal, and the Rays understandably will give him an opportunity to begin earlier than dropping right into a reduction position. MLB.com’s report suggests McClanahan may very well be a strong No. 3 starter if the changeup and management are there, whereas FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen believes he’ll finally be an influence reliever in the back of the Tampa Bay ’pen.
Regardless of the final result for McClanahan, most count on that he’ll be an essential piece of the Rays’ pitching workers for the foreseeable future. He didn’t accrue any large league service for final 12 months’s postseason play, and he’s now spent sufficient time on the alternate web site that his path to free company has been pushed again a 12 months. Even when he’s within the Majors for good from this level forth, he’d be controllable throughout the 2027 season. Because of the timing of his promotion, he’s at present on monitor to qualify as a Tremendous Two participant, which might make him arbitration-eligible 4 occasions, starting within the 2023-24 offseason. Future non-obligatory assignments to the minors, in fact, may affect each timelines.