The Rays are continuing to make 'openers' cool with these fresh new T-shirts
By now, you've probably heard a little something about teams using "openers'" -- relievers who start the game but only throw one or two innings to get through the top of an opposing lineup -- before bringing in a traditional starting pitcher. Many teams have experimented with this strategy, but the Rays, who were the first team to do it last season when they started Sergio Romo against the Angels on May 18, have really owned it as part of their identity. Check out their sweet new shirts:
While Romo may have been the first opener for the Rays, it's been right-hander Ryne Stanek who has really become the face of this revolutionary new pitching role. In 29 "opens" in 2018, Stanek had a 3.38 ERA in 40 innings with 53 strikeouts. He has even been working on his 'opening' skills this offseason:
If you want to get in on the opener action, make sure you head to the Rays game on April 20 and pick up your Ryne Stanek bottle opener:
This is only the beginning, folks. The openers are coming.
Jordan Shusterman is one half of Cespedes Family BBQ. He enjoys overpaying for Mike Trout in fantasy baseball leagues and convincing the masses that Mike Zunino is good.