Ryne Thomas Stanek
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 180 lb.
- School University of Arkansas
- High School Blue Valley High School
- Debut May 14, 2017
Pitcher Ryne Stanek was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the third round of the 2010 amateur draft. He did not sign, opting to attend the University of Arkansas instead. He was then taken by the Tampa Bay Rays and scout Rickey Drexler in the supplemental first round of the 2013 amateur draft and signed for a bonus of more than $1.75 million. He made his pro debut with the Bowling Green Hot Rods on May 8, 2014, giving up 1 earned run in 5 innings of work in a start against the Lake County Captains.
He made his debut with the Rays in 2017, pitching 21 times in relief with no decisions and a 5.85 ERA. In 2018, still a rookie, he put up a bizarre stat line due to his being used repeatedly as a starter on "bullpen days", a strategy which th Rays embraced with a passion that season. On September 3-4, he became the first rookie in 75 years to start a game on consecutive days, going just one inning against the Toronto Blue Jays both days before turning the ball over to other pitchers. The Rays won both games, but Stanek was not involved in the decision either day. "It's pretty much the same as two relief appearances in a row," Stanek explained after the second game. Red Munger had been the last rookie pitcher to start on consecutive days for the 1943 St. Louis Cardinals, but under completely different circumstances: he had made an abbreviated start lasting just a third of an inning on July 28th, then had followed that with a complete game victory the next day. He finished the year with 29 starts in 59 appearances, but just 66 1/3 innings pitched and just 5 decisions - 2 wins and 5 losses. His ERA was a solid 2.98, though and he struck out 81 batters against just 27 walks, so he did pitch quite well.