If the Rays decide they need a new arm in the bullpen, they may not have to buy a relief pitcher on the trade market. They could choose to seek reinforcements on the Durham roster. Specifically, the Rays could turn to RJ Swindle as a dominating lefty specialist…

The Rays already have a solid lefty-specialist in Randy Choate, who is holding lefties to a .189 average this season. But if the Rays do add Swindle to the roster at some point, Joe Maddon would have the opportunity to go to a lefty-specialist more than once late in a game. That could be huge down the stretch.

Swindle does have limited big league experience, appearing in 3 games with the Phillies in 2008 and 6 games with the Brewers last year.

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6 Comments

  1. DRR says:

    Swindle is fun to watch. As a Bulls fan I would be sad to see him go, but I have been surprised that there has not been more talk about him for the Rays.

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  2. Beth says:

    Why is it that I have the perception that Choate gets his lefty better out about 50% of the time? The stats you cite make him look very effective, but I could swear that when I've seen him (and I do watch a fair number of games) at least half the time he walks or allows a hit to the one guy he faces.

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  3. Alex says:

    Since his sample size is so small the failures stick out more in our mind because they often come when we need the outs the most. Like with two men on and a one run lead.

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  4. Chris says:

    Every time R.J. comes into the game I try to go down and watch from behind home plate and wait for his slow curve. Simply an amazing pitch. And, when you've got a 30 mph differential between your fastball and your curve, I don't think it matters that one is 80 and the other is 50. Apparently he got a couple of winks and nods because he chose not to exercise his opt-out clause last week.

    In addition to his curveball, I'm am as impressed with his control. Also, I think you've got a small sample size problem with his FIP against righties. He's given up 3 home runs and I think, but am not sure, they were all to righties.

    Oddly enough (no surprise for a Bulls fan), I have little faith that the Rays would treat him very well. I cannot recall a single Bulls pitcher not on the start of the season 40-man who has been given an honest chance by the Rays. Willing to be corrected, of course. Organizational myopia?

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  5. John S says:

    Swindle would not have left the Rays organization without speaking to someone. I think that speaks for itself on the entire situation. Look for a call up when the roster expands and RJ will be very valuable as the first lefty specialist to come out for those 6th-7th inning followed by Choate in the 7th-8th inning.

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  6. Roger Mallett says:

    I think I saw a Misprint... I think I read "solid lefty-specialist in Randy Choate"... Solid and Specialist??? He reminds of Shawn Camp when he played here. Every time he came on to pitch I was like Oh god here we go again. I never feel confident with Choate nor Cormier....and nor should I with him having an ERA over 6.00 and to think those 2 together make $2 million dollars. Wow. Bring up Swindle and Drop one of them.

    The Thing is Choate's ERA should be higher. He comes in usually with runners on and lets those runners in so the runs get accounted to the pitcher before and at the same time lets hitters get on base and lets some of those get in. And after Choate always goes out after failing someone has to clean up his mess.

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