The New York Times called his sinker the "nastiest pitch in baseball" last May…during the offseason, José practices by using a tire as a target, clipping its inner wall with the baseball…"I know when I throw a two-seamer and hit the inside part of the tire-imagining there's a left-handed hitter-it's instant feedback that I threw a strike."..José told The Athletic that he often played cards with "much older people" as a kid, once taking so much of the table's money he was told to return his winnings at gunpoint...When he was 14, José dropped out of school to help support his family by working at La Parcela, a small farm, where he picked fruit...For his Players' Weekend nickname, José selected 'Pocho,' a fruit that his mother made a drink out of for him when he was young.
Limited to 35 apps due to a stint on the Family Medical Emergency List (June 2-27) and two stints on the injured list...Issued 27 BB in 30 IP…min. 25 apps, his 8.10 BB/ 9 IP ratio was the highest of any AL pitcher and the highest mark in Rays history…according to Baseball Reference, only 58 pct. of his pitches were strikes, the lowest rate for a Ray (min. 25 apps) since Cesar Ramos (58 pct.) in 2011...Went 1-4 with a 9.95 ERA (12.2-IP, 14-ER) over his last 17 apps beginning on May 17...His average fastball velocity, according to FanGraphs, was 98.2 mph…his hardest-thrown pitch, according to StatCast, was 101.5 mph...Placed on the Family Medical Emergency List on June 2 and transferred to the Restricted List on June 9 while dealing with a personal matter in Venezuela…on June 16, returned to the United States and reported to the Charlotte Sports Complex to begin a throwing progression...Began the season with 10 consecutive scoreless apps before taking the loss in back-to-back apps on April 20-21 vs. BOS…yielded a 9th-inning sacrifice fly in the first of these games and 11th-inning sacrifice fly in the second...On May 17 at NYY, took the blown save and loss after yielding 3 runs in the 9th inning…allowed a solo homer to Luke Voit leading off the frame, snapping a homerless streak of 54 IP, and a 2-out, walk-off single to Gio Urshela...On July 3 vs. BAL, yielded 6 runs and 5 ER, both career highs…started the 9th inning with a 3-3 tie and was replaced with 2 outs in a 9-3 deficit...On Aug 24 at BAL, was used as an opener for the first time but threw only nine of 24 pitches for strikes, and was replaced with the bases loaded and 1 out in the 1st inning…placed on the 10-day IL after the game (left elbow inflammation).
Recorded a 2.39 ERA, best among Rays relievers, in his first full major league season…ranked 2nd on the pitching staff with 70 apps and 3rd with 8 saves…at 22 years, 312 days, was the youngest Ray to make the Opening Day roster since Matt Moore in 2012...His avg. fastball velocity was 97.4 mph, according to FanGraphs, a mark equaled by only two lefties in baseball: NYY Aroldis Chapman (98.9) and PIT Felipe Vázquez (98.1)…his max velocity, according to StatCast, was 100.3 mph in his outing on April 28 at BOS...Held opponents to a .183 avg. (42-for-229), including a .217 avg. (15-for-69) with RISP and a .133 avg. (4-for-30) with RISP and 2 outs...Yielded 1 HR in 64 IP…min. 50 IP, his 0.14 HR/9 IP ratio was the best in the majors and 2nd in club history behind Roberto Hernández (0.12) in 1999...His 32 holds tied teammate Chaz Roe for the AL lead...he and Roe tied for 3rd in Rays history, behind Joel Peralta in 2013 (41) and 2012 (37)...Recorded the most holds by any lefty since PIT Tony Watson (41) in 2015, and tied SEA Arthur Rhodes (2001) for the 2nd-most ever by an AL lefty, behind MIN J.C. Romero (33) in 2002...On April 30 at DET, recorded his first career save, preserving a 3-2 win...earned his first career win on July 10 vs. DET, after not allowing a baserunner over a season-high 2 IP... On June 26 vs. WAS, played an interesting role in a 1-0 victory…he entered to begin the 9th inning, walked Bryce Harper, then moved to first base while Chaz Roe struck out Anthony Rendon…he then returned to the mound, yielded singles to Juan Soto and Daniel Murphy to load the bases, before Sergio Romo recorded the final two outs for the save…he became the first pitcher to also appear at first base in a 9-inning game since MIL Chuck Crim on June 6, 1989 at TOR…was the first pitcher in club history to appear defensively at another position…Romo joined this list when he appeared at third base on July 25 vs. NYY...On June 29 vs. HOU, induced a Marwin Gonzalez fielder's choice for his second career save…was the fifth time in club history a pitcher recorded a 1-pitch save, first since Fernando Rodney on April 7, 2012 vs. NYY...Spent the last 5 games leading up to the All-Star break on the Family Medical Emergency List...Compiled a 2.10 ERA (25.2-IP, 6-ER) in 29 apps after the All-Star break and a 1.72 ERA (36.2-IP, 7-ER) over his last 43 apps beginning June 12...From the start of August through the end of the season, struck out 46.7 pct. (35 of 75) of batters faced…allowed only 9 hits and 6 BB...Crafted a 1.47 ERA (18.1-IP, 3-ER) against the Red Sox and Yankees…held them to a .131 avg. (8-for61) without yielding an extra-base hit.
Made 35 apps with the Rays spanning three stints in the majors, his first career major league action…was on the active roster from May 3- June 27, Aug 4-13 and Sep 5 through season's end.... Did not allow a run in his last 14 apps spanning two stints, from Aug 4 through the end of the season…opponents hit .190/.227/.214 (8-for-42) over this stretch, which lowered his season ERA from 5.89 to 3.64... Averaged 98.2 mph on his fastball, according to StatCast…his max velocity of 100.9 mph was the fastest by a Ray since Fernando Rodney (101.1) in 2013...With his May 3 recall from Double-A Montgomery, was the first Rays call up to bypass Triple-A for his major league debut since Scott Kazmir in 2004…Hunter Wood did the same with his late-May call up…made his major league debut that night vs. MIA and allowed 3 R/ER in the 7th inning.... Debuted at 21 years, 347 days and became the fourth pitcher in club history to take the mound before his 22nd birthday, joining Scott Kazmir, Chad Gaudin and Dan Wheeler... Pitched to a 14.54 ERA (4.1-IP, 7-ER) over his last 6 apps prior to his June 28 option to Triple-A Durham…yielded at least 1 run in 5 of those 6 apps, and suffered 3 losses over that span.... In his second stint, struck out 9 of his 16 BF spanning 5 apps, all scoreless…on Aug 4 vs. MIL, made his first major league app since June 24 vs. BAL and struck out all 3 BF on a total of 9 pitches…was the third "immaculate inning" in club history, following Brad Boxberger on May 8, 2014 vs. BAL and Rafael Soriano on Aug 23, 2010 at LAA....Averaged 12.13 SO/9 IP (29.2-IP, 40-SO) over 25 apps between Montgomery and Durham.... WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC: Pitched for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic during spring training, making 3 apps…earned the victory in a 4-3 comeback win over Italy in a tiebreaker game in Guadalajara, Mexico, going 2.1 IP in relief.
Made 37 apps between Class-A Bowling Green and Class-A Charlotte, combining for a 3.06 ERA (70.2-IP, 24-ER) and 85 SO…was used ex-clusively in relief for the first time since his 2012 debut season. Held left-handed hitters to a .184 avg. (14-for-76) with 1 HR and 28 SO between the two levels. Issued 55 BB in 70.2 IP for 7.00 BB/9 IP and 1.55 SO/BB ratios. All 10 apps for Bowling Green were 2 IP or lon-ger…averaged 12.4 SO/9 IP there to earn a pro-motion to Charlotte on May 16. Logged a 5.56 ERA (22.2-IP, 14-ER) in his first 15 apps with the Stone Crabs, but finished the season with a 2.31 ERA (23.1-IP, 6-ER) over his final 12 apps. Made 9 apps for the Tiburones de La Guaira of the Venezuelan Winter League, going 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA (9.1-IP, 2-ER) and 13 SO. Listed by Baseball America as one of three Rays farmhands to touch 100 mph according to scouts, front office officials or PITCHf/x data, along with Ryne Stanek and Diego Castillo. Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 28 prospect in the Rays organization following the season.