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Rays Bring Up Brad Hawpe; Option Andy Sonnanstine to Minors

From Marc Topkin:

The Rays made room to add OF Brad Hawpe to their playoff-eligible roster by optioning RHP Andy Sonnanstine to Class A Hudson Valley. ...

The Rays put Hawpe on the 40-man roster in the spot created by moving J.P. Howell from the 15- to 60-day DL.

Why is Andy Sonnanstine going all the way down to Class A? It's not because the Rays don't like him - it's to ensure he can come back to the majors quicker. Once a player is optioned to the minors, they normally cannot return to the majors until ten days have passed...unless a team's season ends first. Since Hudson Valley finishes playing on September 5th, Andy can be back up with the Rays as early as Monday.

This roster move means a couple things. To state the obvious, Hawpe is now a playoff option for us and Andy Sonnanstine is not. The Rays are calling up Desmond Jennings, Jeremy Hellickson, Rocco Baldelli, and Dioner Navarro tomorrow, but none of them will be eligible for the Rays' post-season roster unless they're filling in for an injured player's spot.

Right now, the Rays have one potential post-season spot that they can fill and the added player has to be a pitcher since the injured player is J.P. Howell. That means unless more players currently on the Rays' roster come down with injuries between now and the post-season (cough*Cormier*cough), the Rays will have to choose between adding Jake McGee or Jeremy Hellickson to the bullpen. It's also possible that Gabe Kapler gets moved to the 60-day DL, which would allow the Rays to add Jennings or a position player to the roster, but that's idle speculation on my part. My guess is the Rays have another ace or two up their sleeves, but we'll have to wait to find out what they are.