I'm going to miss him falling off the mound, among other things.
But I understand that having both Cesar Ramos and Alex Torres waiting in the wings made it a certainty. About a 1/6 certainty. Goes from around 3 mil to 500k for each.
Fwiw, ray_uk, it seems that Alex Torres might still have options. Some obscure clause about time spent on Rookie League, less than 90 days. So the bullpen might look like this, for now:
RodneyPeraltaMcGeeGomes RamosR. Hernandez (?)One of the gazillion Rays SPs that didn't make the SP rotation
Here's the clause from Cot's Transaction Glossary and the rule reads:
" A player may be eligible for a fourth option year if he has been optioned in three seasons but does not yet have five full seasons of professional experience. A full season is defined as being on an active pro roster for at least 90 days in a season. (If a player is put on the disabled list after earning 60 or more days of service in a single season, his time on the DL is counted.) The 90-day requirement means short-season leagues (New-York Penn, Northwest, Pioneer, Appalachian, Gulf Coast, Arizona Rookie, Dominican and Venezuelan Summer Leagues) do not count as full seasons for the purposes of determining eligibility for a fourth option."
Seems that in 2008 he spent less than 90 days with the Ranch Cucamonga Quakes of the California League.
Looks like a very good bullpen to me!
(And ... the way that Howell frequently falls off the mound and has to put his hand down to keep from hitting the ground almost fully stretched-out ... can get him killed! In that circumstance, there's no way that he can react to avoid being hit in the head by a low liner.)
Seen him wind up that curve so tight he nearly took a nose dive on third base!