Yarbrough, whom the Rays have seemed hesitant to anoint a full-fledged member of the rotation in the past, will likely have an enhanced opportunity for regular starts during an abbreviated 2020 season, Josh Tolentino of The Athletic reports.
The southpaw fought through some adversity in 2019 to put together a solid season, one that saw him reach double-digit wins (11) for the second time in as many big-league campaigns and also finish third in WHIP (1.00) in the AL behind only Justin Verlander (0.80) and Gerrit Cole (0.89). Yarbrough was also a versatile workhorse for manager Kevin Cash, as the 28-year-old's 141.2 innings were second only to Charlie Morton's 194.2 on the Rays. Yarbrough ultimately logged 28 appearances despite being sent down to Triple-A Durham on three occasions last season, but Cash still hadn't fully committed to him as a regular starter before spring training was suspended. However, the fact the Rays had already planned on deploying a "bullpen day" strategy much less frequently in 2020 -- and that they now may look to manage starter's workloads more carefully due to an abbreviated ramp-up period to a shortened season -- both figure to solidify Yarbrough's chances of becoming a full-fledged member of the rotation.