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Andriese the super-utility of Rays' pitchers

MLB.com @wwchastain

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Matt Andriese knows the drill: Be ready for anything.

Such has been the right-hander's plight since first joining the Rays in 2015. He's been a swing guy, making 54 appearances in two seasons, of which 27 have been starts. He's brought dependability to both roles.

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BRADENTON, Fla. -- Matt Andriese knows the drill: Be ready for anything.

Such has been the right-hander's plight since first joining the Rays in 2015. He's been a swing guy, making 54 appearances in two seasons, of which 27 have been starts. He's brought dependability to both roles.

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"I've done every single role," said Andriese, who earned a no-decision after throwing 1 2/3 innings in the Rays' 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Friday. "So I think that helps going in."

Though he's earmarked to be the team's No. 5 starter, Andriese isn't exactly sure how his situation will play out since there are a lot of off-days early in the season. The Rays might choose to begin the season with four starters, which could leave Andriese in limbo like last season, when he begin the year at Triple-A Durham. That move allowed him to continue starting so he was stretched out once the Rays needed a fifth starter.

"I haven't heard much about what their plans are for the beginning of the season," Andriese said.

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Andriese did say the Rays told him he will be a starter.

Video: TB@PIT: Andriese strikes out Bell swinging in the 1st

 

"I just don't know if that's the first week of the season, or the second week, whenever we need a fifth guy," Andriese said. "I just have to approach getting ready the same way."

Andriese made an immediate impact once he arrived to the Rays last season. First, he allowed one run in seven innings on May 8 to pick up the win over teh Angels. In his next start, he threw a two-hit shutout against Oakland. In his first seven starts, he was 5-0 with a 2.82 ERA.

"I had success when I got called up the early part of the year," Andriese said. "I think I got some confidence from that, and it helps a lot for this season."

Rays manager Kevin Cash said Andriese was "pretty valuable" to the team in the swing role.

"I don't know if that's the ideal role we want to put him in this year," Cash said. "It could be somebody else's turn to do that."

Cash noted the Rays have not yet decided whether they will go with a four-man or five-man rotation to start the season.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays, Matt Andriese