Jeffrey Springs poised to thrive in Rays' rotation

A shift from bullpen to rotation has produced positive results for Jeffrey Springs who could be a solid fantasy contributor this year, provided he can avoid the IL and handle a larger workload amidst durability concerns.

Video Transcript

- There's no beating what Rays left hander Jeffrey Springs has done this spring. In 14 innings over four appearances, he struck out 24 batters and gone without allowing a run. He's given up just five hits and two walks during that span.

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The Rays turned some heads in signing Springs to a $31 million extension over the winter. The 30-year-old was primarily a reliever, and often not a very good one, until being moved into the rotation a month into last season. He went on to post a 2.66 ERA in 25 starts, even as he typically worked in the 90 to 93 mile per hour range with his fastball.

Buoyed by an excellent changeup and a new, harder slider, he sported a fine 26% strikeout rate. Springs' ability to hold up as a starter is in some doubt, if only because he's a 30-year-old who had never done it before last year. His 135 innings then were 20 more than he had ever thrown previously, though that's less because of durability issues than the simple fact that he'd mostly been a swing man or a full time reliever.

It might be that the modest workloads in his 20s will pay off for him in the long run. He certainly seems poised to post strong results in the middle of the Rays rotation if he stays off the IL.