Brent Honeywell’s first outing for the Tampa Bay Rays was a long time coming. He had not pitched a regular season game since 2017, his major league debut having been pushed back until one had to wonder if it would ever occur. Finally, on Sunday, after all those years, Honeywell got his chance.
His outing was likely to be brief, as is his probable stay in the majors. Honeywell was listed as the opener for Sunday’s contest against the Yankees as the Rays plan on being cautious with his innings count this season. However, a solid showing could force their hand and lead to his remaining in Tampa Bay.
Brent Honeywell impresses in long awaited Tampa Bay Rays debut
As anticipated, Honeywell did not last long, throwing just 21 pitches in his two innings of work. Nonetheless, he was impressive in that outing, not allowing a baserunner and striking out two batters. He threw 14 of his pitches for strikes, showing excellent command of his arsenal.
Honeywell even threw his trademark screwball. There had been questions as to whether or not he would be able to continue throwing that pitch given that he has undergone four arm surgeries since he was last on the mound.
At 26 years old, and having lost three full seasons of development time, he may never reach the potential that made him a consensus top pitching prospect for four consecutive years. But he showed a flash of the talent that led many to expect that he would be the next ace for the Rays.
Obviously, one start does not mean much. Honeywell would still need to show that he can remain healthy and continue to find success at the major league level. But if Sunday’s outing means anything at all, it is possible that he is on his way.
Brent Honeywell finally made his debut with the Tampa Bay Rays. His first two innings in the majors went as well as anyone could have hoped.