Ryne Stanek

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Stanek Western Illinois vs Arkansas baseball, 2013 004.jpg

Ryne Thomas Stanek

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Biographical information[edit]

Pitcher Ryne Stanek was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the third round of the 2010 amateur draft. He did not sign, opting to attend the University of Arkansas instead. He was then taken by the Tampa Bay Rays and scout Rickey Drexler in the supplemental first round of the 2013 amateur draft and signed for a bonus of more than $1.75 million. He made his pro debut with the Bowling Green Hot Rods on May 8, 2014, giving up 1 earned run in 5 innings of work in a start against the Lake County Captains.

He was a member of the United States team in the 2016 Futures Game, but was roughed up on the mound, as he gave up a long three-run homer to Eloy Jimenez of the World team in a seven-run 9th inning.

He made his debut with the Rays in 2017, pitching 21 times in relief with no decisions and a 5.85 ERA. In 2018, still a rookie, he put up a bizarre stat line due to his being used repeatedly as the opener on "bullpen days", a strategy which the Rays embraced with a passion that season. On September 3-4, he became the first rookie in 75 years to start a game on consecutive days, going just one inning against the Toronto Blue Jays both days before turning the ball over to other pitchers. The Rays won both games, but Stanek was not involved in the decision either day. "It's pretty much the same as two relief appearances in a row," Stanek explained after the second game. Red Munger had been the last rookie pitcher to start on consecutive days for the 1943 St. Louis Cardinals, but under completely different circumstances: he had made an abbreviated start lasting just a third of an inning on July 28th, then had followed that with a complete game victory the next day. Stanek finished the year with 29 starts in 59 appearances, but just 66 1/3 innings pitched and just 5 decisions - 2 wins and 5 losses. His ERA was a solid 2.98, though and he struck out 81 batters against just 27 walks, so he did pitch quite well.

In 2019, he was again the Rays' opener of choice and led the majors with 25 games started in the first half of the season, even though he only pitched 49 2/3 innings and had just 2 decisions - both losses. However, his ERA of 3.24 and his 54 strikeouts reflected that he was continuing to do very well in his specialized role. On July 14th, he almost wrote his name in the history books when his opening stint against the Baltimore Orioles resulted in all six batters he faced being retired in order; he passed the baton to Ryan Yarbrough, who was perfect as well through the next 6 innings. Thus, the Rays entered the 9th inning with a chance of pitching the first combined perfect game in major league history. However, the Orioles' first batter in the bottom of the 9th, Hanser Alberto, managed to push a single thanks to a defensive shift to break up the bid. He eventually came around to score, but the Rays still won, 4-1. He went 0-2, 3.40 in 41 games for the Rays, including 27 starts, totaling 55 2/3 innings, then on July 31st was traded across the state to the Miami Marlins with Jesus Sanchez in return for Nick Anderson and Trevor Richards. The Marlins used him as a conventional reliever the rest of the way, with 22 appearances and 22 1/3 innings, an 0-2 record and an ERA of 5.48. That gave him an overall record of 0-4, 3,97, with 1 save picked up in a Marlins Uniform.

In 2020, during the season shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic, he made just 9 appearances for Miami, with no decisions and a 7.20 ERA. He also pitched twice in the Division Series against the Atlanta Braves, giving up 3 walks but no hits or runs in 2 innings in what were the first postseason appearances of his career. In 2021, he joined the Houston Astros as a free agent and had a vert good year, pitching 72 times out of the bullpen and going 3-5, 3,42 with 2 saves. he recorded 83 strikeouts in 68 1/3 innings. In the postseason, he made a total of 13 appearances as the Astros made it to the World Series, and he gave up just 3 runs in 11 innings while picking up two wins. In 2022, he was dominant in 59 appearances, posting an ERA of just 1.15 and finishing at 2-1 with 1 save as an important cog in a dominant bullpen. He returned to the World Series that year and this time picked up a ring as Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in the Fall Classic. He was not used as much as the year before, making only four appearances across the three series which hi team played, and giving up no runs and not hits in 3 innings. In 2023, he went 3-1, 4.09 in 55 games for Houston, but allowed 3 runs in 4 innings of work in the postseason, as Houston was eliminated at the ALCS stage.

Following the 2023 season, he became a free agent again and had to wait until March 8, 2024 to find a team, signing a one-year contract with the Seattle Mariners. The club had a number of members of its bullpen dealing with health issues at that point, prompting them to take a shot at the best relief arm still available on the market.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Related Sites[edit]