Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Ryan Yarbrough is trying to accomplish a very hard task of late — earn a win as a starting pitcher.
The left-hander will take the mound Tuesday night in the second contest of the Rays’ four-game homestand against the Texas Rangers in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Winless in a franchise-record 19 starts dating to Aug. 11, 2019, Yarbrough (0-1, 5.06 ERA) will bring a much different pitching style to the mound than the one utilized by teammate Tyler Glasnow in Monday’s opener.
Glasnow overwhelmed the Rangers with a career-high 14 strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings in a 1-0 win. He fired an upper 90s fastball for some of the punchouts.
However, that’s not the game Yarbrough will spin on Tuesday.
Yarbrough relies more on a cutter and a changeup, but right now he will toss whatever it takes to register a win as a starter.
Yarbrough struggled in Tampa Bay’s 9-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday. He allowed nine runs (six earned) on nine hits in five innings to take the loss.
“I think it was a matter of some pitch execution, trying to throw to certain areas and missing across the plate,” Yarbrough said. “With a team like this that hits the ball really well, you can’t really do that.”
The Rays called up right-hander Trevor Richards, who is a bulk innings pitcher who can start or work long relief.
After watching pitcher Kyle Gibson (1-0, 7.11) over two starts, the Rangers are likely wondering which version of him they will see Tuesday.
The Rangers’ Opening Day starter, Gibson lasted just 32 pitches and faced eight batters on April 1 against the Kansas City Royals. He recorded just one out after Texas scored five times in the top of the first.
Gibson, 33, allowed four hits and issued three walks in Kansas City, with five of the baserunners scoring as each club put up a five-spot in the explosive first frame of the season.
Gibson responded well in his next start, tossing six shutout innings Wednesday in a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. He scattered six hits and struck out eight batters.
“It was just nice to see (him) get back out there and do what we’ve expected,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said.
Woodward added that Gibson, on Wednesday, resembled the pitcher who had a strong 2.70 ERA in 10 innings during spring training.
“(He’s) been really good all spring, just like he was today,” Woodward said. “He never really got comfortable in that first game and couldn’t really recover.”
In line to potentially be the Texas closer, right-hander Jonathan Hernandez had season-ending Tommy John surgery on Monday.
The 24-year-old Hernandez was coming off a promising 2020 campaign, going 5-1 with 2.90 ERA in 27 appearances.
–Field Level Media