Rays Zach Eflin ‘It’s Gonna Be A Good Year’ (Rock Riley)

Tampa Bay Rays’ Zach Eflin, “It’s Gonna Be A Fun Year”

Rays Zach Eflin ‘It’s Gonna Be A Good Year’ (Rock Riley)
Rays Zach Eflin ‘It’s Gonna Be A Good Year’ (Rock Riley)

Rays pitcher Zach Eflin has goals for this season. Says he’s a simple guy.

“My goal is to pitch every fifth day,” Eflin said. “Keep it simplified. If you’re out there every fifth day and you’re healthy, the numbers are going to take care of itself.”

In his first season with the Tampa Bay Rays, the Orlando area native had a career year. Thirty one starts, 177 2/3rds innings 186 strikeouts and a 3.50 ERA.

His other goal is to get the team to be tighter on and off the field. He knows there’s a lot of young players on this Rays roster but after spending close to a decade in the Phillies organization he’s taking what he learned there and what he say last season with the Rays.

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“I feel like we were really close as a team this spring,” Eflin said. “We’re going to make it a point this year to be as close as we can and to make sure we’re playing together as a team. it’s nice to feel a part of that.”

Eflin is way more than “a part of.” He’s looked at as a leader.

Most likely, Eflin will be at the top of the Rays rotation with Shane McClanahan not expected to pitch this season coming off his 2nd Tommy John surgery and Tyler Glasnow was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.. 

Eflin doesn’t mind that role and he’s willing to help any of the younger players but only if they ask, “Never gonna force anything on anyone, but I’m always gonna be here in terms of people finding their routine.”

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The Hagerty High School alum was a lifetime Rays fan and used to jump in a car with a bunch of his buddies and make the trek down I-4 to watch the Rays play at Tropicana Field.

Having been in the Phillies organization for so long, then he and his wife were expecting twins last season, and pitching in the American League on a new team was an adjustment. Now he feels he’s settled in with his six pitch repertoire and with the help of Rays pitching coach Kyle Snyder fine tuning him he feels the sky’s the limit. 

“Looking back on last year, it was just a huge testament to the pitching staff helping me understand how I was as a pitcher,” Eflin said. It’s a credit and testament to the athletic staff for keeping me on the field. I never made 31 starts before in my career. That was the most refreshing thing in my life.”

Eflin finished 6th in AL Cy Young voting last season. he feels he can be even better.

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