Ryne Stanek isn’t a starting pitcher, but he plays one in real life sometimes. (Steve Nesius/AP)

At 20 games out of first place in the American League East and nine games out of the AL’s last wild-card spot, the Tampa Bay Rays waved the white flag at Tuesday’s trade deadline by making three deals, one of them sending right-handed starter Chris Archer, a two-time all-star, to the Pittsburgh Pirates for perhaps-promising youngsters Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow.

This left the Rays with a curious hole in their depth chart. See if you can spot it:

The Rays entered 2018 with three viable starters in Archer, Blake Snell and Jake Faria and have been taking an unorthodox approach to their rotation this season, sending hybrid relievers/starters to the mound for the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation and then relying upon their bullpen to eat up the rest of the innings. In May, reliever Sergio Romo became the first pitcher since the Oakland Athletics’ Steve McCatty in 1980 to start on consecutive days after pitching at least one inning the first day (Romo had made zero starts in 588 career appearances before that two-game stretch). But Faria and then Snell were sent to the disabled list and then Archer was dealt to the Pirates, leaving Tampa Bay with zero starters, at least temporarily. Nominal reliever Ryne Stanek started Tuesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Angels, his 16th start of the season — the most among the Rays’ active players — and third in six days. He purposely hasn’t lasted more than two innings in any of them and leads the majors (by a vast margin) in no-decisions with 14.

Late Tuesday night, the Rays updated their depth chart to include one starting pitcher:


(MLB.com image)

Glasnow, the pitcher who was acquired from the Pirates, has made 34 appearances this year, all of them as a reliever (he did make 13 starts in 2017). Naturally, he is slated to start Wednesday night’s game against the Angels.

Read more baseball coverage:

Bryce Harper on Nationals considering trades: ‘Glad I’m still inside this clubhouse’

Trea Turner, in a tearful news conference, takes ‘full responsibility’ for his past tweets

Sean Doolittle: ‘There’s no place for racism, insensitive language or even casual homophobia’

Svrluga: When an athlete’s ugly tweets hit home, ‘it feels like an actual gut-punch’