Here is a cool stat for you via Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal. The Rays have not used a starting pitcher over the age of 30 since June 25, 2006, a stretch of 749 games. That is the longest such streak since at least 1919. It also easily outpaces the second-longest active streak, 118 games (Blue Jays). Although the author doesn’t speculate on why the Rays have avoided older pitchers, the obvious answer is “cost.” As in younger pitchers are cheaper. The streak should continue at least through the end of this season. In addition to the guys in the rotation, Andy Sonnanstine is only 28 and Dirk Hayhurst, who just turned 30, is the oldest starting pitcher in triple-A. [Wall Street Journal]

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9 Comments

  1. Scot says:

    I was a bit surprised by this article. I would also expected Oakland of this decade to be in there, but it isn't.

    Yes the reason might be cost, but what it also says to me is that they don't buy into the "necessity of the grizzly bearded veteran" chemistry idea.

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      that's a good point. I have never understood that argument. If your starting pitchers need a grizzled veteran to be a good influence, hire somebody that just retired to be a coach. It's a lot cheaper, and you'll probably win more games at a cheaper cost.

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      • Scot says:

        Yea - grizzled, not grizzly. (Leave that to the closers for the Giants. Or is that the Amish farmer look instead?)

        More experience nonsense - remember how the Rays didn't have a chance in the playoffs in 2008 because they lacked ..and they made the playoffs. Then we were told in 2010 they would excel because they had that playoff experience. ... yeah right.

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  2. Cork Gaines says:

    To add to the above stat: Under Friedman, the Rays have used 2 starting pitchers (total of 14 starts) that were 30 or older. Mark Hendrickson made 13 starts at age 31 in 2006. And Jae Seo's last big league start came for the Rays in 2007 on his 30th birthday.

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  3. Jon L. says:

    Wow. That is pretty mind blowing that they have had success over the past 3 years without experienced starting pitchers.

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  4. Joe says:

    Yeah, were good with pitchers, we kinda suck with hitters, especially told against Jackson who owns us as it is...

    1. Sam Fuld (L) CF
    2. Elliot Johnson (S) 2B
    3. Matt Joyce (L) LF
    4. Felipe Lopez (S) DH
    5. Ben Zobrist (S) RF
    6. Casey Kotchman (L) 1B
    7. Sean Rodriguez (R) 3B
    8. John Jaso (L) C
    9. Reid Brignac (L) SS

    *barfs*

    Damnit Maddon, when Damon is hurt, you don't rest Upton also. Also, Rodriguez is incredible at 2B, if you feel the need to play Lopez anyway, let S-Rod play 2B. I don't really care that Johnson is benched but ugh Kotchman. We need a 1B....

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  5. Chris says:

    I gave up looking after finding these AAA starting pitchers older than Hayhurst: Casey Fossum, Buffalo, 32; Rodrigo Lopez, Gwinnett, 35; Brian Burress, Indianapolis, 30; Eddie Bonine and Nate Bump, 30 & 34, Louisville Bats. But maybe you meant to say: "The oldest starting pitcher in the Rays system is Dirk Hayhurst, doing a brilliant job in AAA (5 1/3/ innings of no-hit ball today)".

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