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Rays Send Joe Nelson To Minors; Andy Sonnanstine To Return?

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In addition to the Desmond Jennings promotion, the Durham Bulls will also welcome Joe Nelson to their team. The Rays demoted the reliever after pitching in tonight's rout of the Royals. After signing Nelson to a one-year $1.3 million dollar contract in the offseason, things have not gone according to plan for the Vulcan master. Coming into last night's game, Nelson was 3-0 with a 4.12 ERA/5.72 FIP in 41 games.

Those numbers are a far cry from the 2.00/3.45 he put up as a member of the Florida Marlins last year. Nelson's K/9 also dropped from 10.0 to 8.01 while his BB/9 jumped from 3.67 to 6.18. For Nelson pitching in the minor leagues is nothing new as he spent the better part of a decade in the minors. This stay shouldn't be too long as Nelson would be the first option in the event of a injury. If not, he'd almost guaranteed to be back when rosters expand.

The Rays haven't announced a corresponding move, but one would have to believe that Andy Sonnanstine is headed to the Rays bullpen. Since being sent down last month, Sonny has gone 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA/2.46 FIP in four starts. If things go accordingly Sonny's numbers should pick up as a reliever as is the case with most starters moving to the bullpen. The Rays did not acquire a bullpen arm from outside the organization, but Iceman Jr. could provide the lift the Rays were looking for.