On July 15, 2005, Hideo Nomo started his final game as a member of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He went 2.2 innings, gave up seven runs, and was released the next day. That was also the last time a free agent starting pitcher started a game or the Rays.

Next Thursday, Roberto Hernandez, who was signed as a free agent this off-season, will start for the Rays. That will end a streak of 1,207 games since the last time a free agent pitcher started a game.

For fun, here is a look at every starting pitcher used since Nomo. The sizes of the names are relative based on how many starts they made with the Rays. For example, James Shields (217) has made the most starts during this stretch, while Mitch Talbot (1) and Cesar Ramos (1) had the fewest and are barely visible (via Wordle.net)…

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  1. I still think it speaks volumes about how the Rays view Chris Archer and his readiness to be a MLB pitcher.

    • Lane Meyer says:

      I think the Rays are more concerned about innings and feel Hernandez can give them more at this point. Not sure Archer is ready to give us 180-200 innings as a starter but he may be key later on if Hernandez and/or Niemann falter.

      • Rob says:

        Is that really your name or are you a fan of Better off Dead, which is a great movie by the way.

    • Ken says:

      It's the Rays way, they yar who they yar sez Popeye. Let's play ball and get this passion play started.

  2. Ricky C says:

    Archer's time will come and everyone needs to realize that. Hernandez is here to eat up some innings and (hopefully) keep the ball down to induce some ground balls. He made the rotation b/c he has a better chance to go deeper into games vs Niemann who can be really good or really go a really bad 1 2/3. Maddon likes consistency over hit and miss spectacular

  3. Rob says:

    TBO is reporting that Scott may be starting the season on the DL.


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