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The Rays Tank: Brandon Gomes Optioned; Who's Coming Up?

CAPTION CONTEST! Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
CAPTION CONTEST! Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

After yesterday's game, the Tampa Bay Rays optioned Brandon Gomes down to Triple-A. This move didn't come as a surprise, as Gomes was called up a few days earlier in order to help rest an overworked 'pen, and he filled in that role adequately. He worked one inning in Friday's game, striking out the side, and then worked two innings in Saturday's 15-inning duel.

Although Gomes let up the winning run in Saturday's game, he looked a lot better in these few outings than he had earlier this season. His pitches were fooling more batters, his velocity was up to around normal for him, and his control was improved. One of these days, he's going to stick in the Rays' bullpen and be a solid performer out there ... But for now, the Rays' glut of bullpen talent will leave him tearing through Triple-A hitters (38% strikeout rate).

The Rays want to call up a hitter to replace Gomes, but it doesn't sound like that hitter will be either Evan Longoria or Jeff Keppinger. Both of them are playing with the Durham Bulls at the moment, but they haven't played in enough games to be considered ready yet. As such, the Rays are left with a handful of options on their 40-man roster: Rich Thompson, Stephen Vogt, Chris Gimenez, and Reid Brignac.

That's not an inspiring bunch -- Vogt is the only one with wRC+ over 100 at the moment* -- so it's possible the Rays could choose to add someone like Brandon Allen to the 40-man instead. That'd leave them in an awkward situation when Keppinger and Longoria return, but in that case, it seems likely that Will Rhymes and Drew Sutton would get demoted instead. I'm rooting for Allen to get another shot in the majors, but it would be a bit odd to re-promote him shortly after clearing him through waivers.

*You know what's incredible? Reid Brignac currently has a .182/.278/.307 line in 150+ plate appearances in Durham. That equals a .271 wOBA, or in other words 35% below average, and it's still better than he produced in the majors in 2011. Woof.

  • If you didn't already do so, please take a few minutes to fill out a mid-season survey for DRB. We'd love to know what we're doing right! Well, and what we're doing wrong too. But mostly right...that's more fun to hear.
  • Alex Speier from NESN interviewed Theo Epstein, and the subsequent article offers great insight into the Red Sox front office and their decision process over the last few years. I mention this because I'm obviously now obsessed with the Red Sox (best team evah!), and because Epstein's comments about running a large-market team are quite interesting.
  • Oh, and schadenfreude time: Josh Beckett is headed to the hte DL. There's good news for Sawx fans, though, as Carl Crawford is almost ready for a rehab assignment. Mwahaha...Best. Plant. Ever.
  • Bryce Harper may be the brashest, cockiest teenagers in all of MLB, but apparently he can actually be stopped. The Yankees struck him out five times on Saturday, en route to a weekend sweep of the Nationals. So for all those that play fantasy baseball, keep this in mind: whenever Harper signs his 10 year, $500 million deal with the Yanks, he's bound to flop. He just can't handle the New York pressure.*

*That's a fool statement, bro.