Steve Geltz to Start Friday’s Game
The Rays named their starter for Friday night’s game against the Marlins.
Turns out, neither Matt Andriese nor Erasmo Ramirez will get the ball to begin the bottom half of the first inning. That honor will instead go to Steve Geltz, a career reliever whose longest professional outing is 3 2/3 innings. Geltz won’t challenge that mark tonight. Rather Kevin Cash figures to remove Geltz for a pinch-hitter once his spot comes up, likely in the second or third inning.
This is what Jim Hickey meant when he said the Rays would get creative during the interleague series. By starting Geltz instead of Andriese or Ramirez, Cash has ensured his pitcher will not bat for himself unless the Rays have a lead—be it in the first inning or later on, if/when the Rays use one of the expected starters to gobble innings and feel comfortable giving away a plate appearance.
Of course, Cash would prefer to employ a conventional strategy and hand the ball to Alex Cobb or Drew Smyly for six-plus innings. Without that choice on the table, he’s opted for a creative, if unusual solution to the problem at hand. It may not work—Geltz and his sloppy location versus Giancarlo Stanton seems promising for souvenir seekers—but it’s more proof that Cash has a certain comfort level to him that exceeds his inexperience.