Tampa Bay Times

Honeywell’s major-league debut comes today

- BY MARC TOPKIN

ST. PETERSBURG — The amount of excitement throughout Rays camp was staggering when Brent Honeywell started a March 22 spring game.

That was the first and only game action for the one-time top prospect since Sept. 19, 2017, at Triple A. He injured his elbow the next spring, had Tommy John surgery and remained sidelined after undergoing three subsequent procedures.

Today, Honeywell makes his major-league debut.

The 26-year-old righthande­r was called up to replace the injured Chris Archer and will serve as the opener, working an inning or maybe a little more, against the Yankees at Tropicana Field.

The Rays will need to make more moves to fill Archer’s spot in the rotation, which comes up Thursday, and boost a bullpen that covered 6⅔ innings Saturday; Josh Fleming and Trevor Richards are the most likely candidates. But Honeywell is lined up to for today, and the limited role, pitching in front of Michael Wacha, is a good fit as he builds up his workload.

When Honeywell worked his inning against the Red Sox in March, he said getting the chance to pitch in a game gave him the “chill bumps” he had been missing, adding there was “no doubt” he would make it to the majors sometime this season.

“I feel like I could’ve pitched in the big leagues last year toward the end,” he said.

And now today, as the Rays will say around the clubhouse, is “Honey Day.”

 ?? WILL VRAGOVIC | Tampa Bay Rays ?? Brent Honeywell warms up before his start in a spring game against the Red Sox on March 22. It was the right-hander’s first game since Sept. 19, 2017.
WILL VRAGOVIC | Tampa Bay Rays Brent Honeywell warms up before his start in a spring game against the Red Sox on March 22. It was the right-hander’s first game since Sept. 19, 2017.

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