Kevin Jepsen Returns To Tampa

Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn / USA TODAY Sports
Last year, Jepsen was acquired from the Angels and was having a good year with the Rays, but later they flipped him to the Minnesota Twins for two prospects, which one just pitched in the Futures game and that player is Chih-Wei Hu. It seems the Rays won that deal, as the 31-year-old reliever returns to the Rays after having a miserable 2016 campaign with the Twins. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported that the two parties were nearing an agreement.

In addition, the Twins season has not gone to plan and same with Jepsen, as in 33 games, he has thrown 30.2 innings and posted a 6.16 ERA. He has struck out 22 batters and walked only 12, which he only walked 27 last year. He has struggled by not making hitters miss his pitches, as they have hit him hard, but his ground-ball rate is above 30 percent, which is a plus.

Now, before everyone looks at his 6.16 ERA and says “how does not fit the team”, just remember that he was one of the better bullpen pieces for the Rays a year and a half ago. Hopefully the Rays can fix his issue and if they do then I would see Jepsen staying next year, as his arbitration will be cheaper than the $5.3 mil he made from it last season. Interestingly and affordably, Jepsen will only cost the Rays about $222k through the rest of the year.

Finally, if Boxberger comes back healthy, Colome pitches the way he has done, and Jepsen tweaks his problem, then the Rays have a nice backend of the bullpen with Xavier Cedeno throwing from the opposite side of the rubber.

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