Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Cash thinks Rays starting pitching took a 'step back' this offseason

The Tampa Bay Rays starting rotation lost some firepower this winter with the departures of Charlie Morton and Blake Snell, and manager Kevin Cash doesn't seem too thrilled about what the future holds for his rotation. 

Cash admitted that his rotation has thinned out this offseason and that a lot of players will have to step up in 2021. 

"It's tough," Cash said Friday, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. "None of these decisions are easy. But we work within the parameters we think are best for the organization. Trading Blake Snell was extremely tough. Not having Charlie back is really, really tough.

"You could make the argument, make the case, that from a starting pitching standpoint we took a step back. You could certainly say that, losing Blake and Charlie. But we're very excited about the guys we have that are going to come in to compete for the opportunity."

The Rays are currently expected to trot out Tyler Glasnow, Ryan Yarbrough, Michael Wacha, Josh Fleming and Trevor Richards in 2021. 

Tampa Bay traded Snell to the San Diego Padres and declined Morton's 2021 option, making him a free agent. Morton decided to sign with the Atlanta Braves.

Glasnow and Yarbrough are the best pitchers remaining on Tampa Bay's roster. Glasnow went 5-1 during the pandemic-shortened season with a 4.08 ERA, 1.134 WHIP and 91 strikeouts in 57.1 innings. Yarbrough, meanwhile, went 1-4 with a 3.56 ERA, 1.186 WHIP and 44 strikeouts in 55.2 innings. 

It's unclear if the Rays are interested in any of the remaining free-agent pitchers. 

Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bridgewater State University and currently is in pursuit of her Master's Degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90.

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