Rays The Analysis: Brent Honeywell’s MLB Debut

There was an overwhelming sense of delight and relief for Rays fans as they got to witness the long-awaited MLB debut of right-handed pitcher, Brent Honeywell in Sunday’s series finale against the New York Yankees.

Honeywell hadn’t pitched in a game, aside from his Spring Training appearances in 2021, in over 3 ½ years, dealing with four different arm surgeries along the way.

His road to the majors was quite a turbulent one, but once finally there, it was a welcomed sight. The biggest takeaway from his outing? Honeywell looked really good on the mound.

Yankees hitters did not look good against him, starting with exhibit A: DJ LeMahieu attempting to swing at Honeywell’s screwball, a pitch seldom seen in the big leagues anymore.

Apparently, Baseball Savant has categorized it as a change-up and recorded Honeywell throwing just one screwball during his outing, so it honestly might be as confounded as everyone else.

That’s a hitter who is one of a select few, in the history of baseball, to win a batting title in the NL and AL, and he had no read on that pitch whatsoever.

He has great command of his off-speed stuff, as shown here in his first career strikeout of who else, but Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton.

Honeywell baffled one of the best offenses in baseball in his two innings of work, inducing weak contact and striking out two in the process.

It was perfect timing as Honeywell’s spot to pitch at Tampa Bay’s alternate site in Port Charlotte was that same day, and rain was going to postpone that game, so why not just make your MLB debut instead?

His pitch mix was solid and most importantly, Honeywell looks like he’s been waiting for this moment for far too long, and who better to show off against than the Bronx Bombers.

This won’t be the last of Honeywell this season for the Rays after he was optioned back to the alternate site after the game. 

He’s going to be a fixture on this pitching staff for quite a bit, and that’s a statement that is very refreshing for the Rays fanbase.

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