The Rays were active at the 40-man roster deadline Friday evening, having added eight prospects to their 40-man roster: Willy Adames, Daniel Robertson, Chih-Wei Hu, Austin Pruitt, Ryne Stanke, Jaime Schultz, Jose Alvarado and Hunter Wood.
Heading into the day, the Rays had 36 players on the 40-man roster, so to accommodate the eight prospects added to the roster, the Rays traded two and released two others.
Ahead of the deadline, the Rays traded former first round pick Richie Shaffer and utility man Taylor Motter to the Seattle Mariners for three minor leaguers, which gave necessary roster room to the club.
Read more about the trade here.
Then to finalize the roster, two players were outrighted in RP Steve Geltz, who was designated for assignment, and the recently acquired SP John Lamb, who was released.
Geltz, who was effective at times in 2015, completely fell off the wagon in 2016 as he struggled with almost every opportunity he was given.
Lamb, meanwhile, is a former top prospect, but has struggled with injuries throughout his career. The Rays had acquired Lamb at the beginning of the month from the Cincinnati Reds for cash considerations.
Shaffer and Motter both played for a couple of short stints with the Rays in 2015 and 2016, but didn’t enjoy success and eventually found their ways back to the minors.
All eight players the Rays promoted should either start the year in Durham, with a couple possibly making bids to join the major league roster. The Rays roster now stands at 40 players following today’s transactions.
Here are the full write ups on the eight prospects added to the roster, courtesy of the team’s press release:
Willy Adames, 21, spent the 2016 season with Double-A Montgomery and was named to the Southern League midseason and postseason All-Star teams, batting .274/.372/.430 (133-for-486) with 11 home runs and 57 RBI. He ranked among league leaders in games played (132, tied for fourth), runs scored (89, first), doubles (31, third), extra-base hits (48, third), total bases (209, third), walks (74, first), on-base percentage (fourth) and slugging percentage (fifth). Following the season, he was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 2 prospect in the Southern League and the No. 1 prospect in the Rays organization. He was acquired by the Rays from the Detroit Tigers in July 2014.
Jose Alvarado, 21, went 4-1 with a 3.06 ERA (70.2-IP, 24-ER) in 37 relief appearances between Class-A Bowling Green (10 apps) and Class-A Charlotte (27 apps) in 2016. Over parts of five minor league seasons, he is 8-19 with a 3.61 ERA (199.2-IP, 80-ER) in 79 appearances (29 starts). He was signed by the Rays as a free agent out of Venezuela in 2012.
Chih-Wei Hu, 23, went 7-8 with a 2.59 ERA (142.2-IP, 41-ER) in 24 starts for Montgomery in 2016 and made one April spot start for Triple-A Durham. He was named to the Southern League midseason and postseason All-Star teams, leading the league in ERA while ranking third in WHIP (1.15) and fifth in opponents’ average (.241). His 2.75 ERA between the two levels ranked fourth among Rays minor leaguers. A native of Taiwan, he pitched for the World Team in the Futures Game at Petco Park in July. Following the season, he was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 5 prospect in the Rays organization. He is 23-17 with a 2.74 ERA (364-IP, 111-ER) over parts of four minor league seasons and was acquired from the Minnesota Twins in July 2015.
Austin Pruitt, 27, went 8-11 with a 3.76 ERA (162.2-IP, 68-ER) in 28 starts for Durham in 2016 and won the team’s Most Valuable Player honors, ranking among International League leaders in starts (tied for first), innings (fourth), WHIP (1.19, fourth) and strikeouts (149, second). He was an IL midseason All-Star and his 149 strikeouts ranked third among Rays minor leaguers. Following the season, he was tabbed by Baseball America as having the Best Control in the International League. He was selected by the Rays in the ninth round of the 2013 June Draft and is 27-28 with a 3.33 ERA (519.2-IP, 192-ER) over parts of four minor league seasons.
Daniel Robertson, 22, hit .259/.358/.356 (113-for-436) with five home runs and 43 RBI in 118 games for Durham in 2016. Following the season, he was ranked by MLB.com as the No. 10 prospect in the Rays organization. Selected by the Oakland Athletics in the first round (34th overall) of the 2012 June Draft, he was acquired by the Rays in January 2015. Across parts of five minor league seasons, he has hit .278/.368/.412 (524-for-1,887) with 38 home runs and 220 RBI.
Ryne Stanek, 25, split the 2016 season between Montgomery and Durham, going 4-10 with a 4.30 ERA (102.2-IP, 49-ER) in 34 appearances (11 starts). He was used exclusively as a reliever for his last 23 appearances, posting a 3.83 ERA (42.1-IP, 18-ER) and .205 opponents’ average over that span. Stanek was the Rays Minor League Pitcher of the Month for June and pitched for the U.S. Team in the Futures Game at Petco Park in July. He was selected by the Rays in the first round (29th overall) of the 2013 June Draft and is 16-20 with a 3.72 ERA (273.2-IP, 113-ER) in 72 games (41 starts) over parts of three minor league seasons.
Jaime Schultz, 25, spent the 2016 season with Durham and went 5-7 with a 3.58 ERA (130.2-IP, 52-ER) in 27 starts, ranking third in the minor leagues (and leading both the International League and Rays system) with 163 strikeouts. His 3.58 ERA ranked seventh in the IL. Schultz has averaged 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings over four minor league seasons, and is 19-15 with a 3.36 ERA (370-IP, 138-ER) in his career. He was selected by the Rays in the 14th round of the 2013 June Draft.
Hunter Wood, 23, went 9-5 with a 2.39 ERA (113-IP, 30-ER) in 21 appearances (18 starts) between Charlotte and Montgomery in 2016. He ranked among Rays minor league leaders in ERA (behind only Brent Honeywell) and wins (fifth). Wood twice took home his league’s Pitcher of the Week honors, doing so once at each level. He was selected by the Rays in the 29th round of the 2013 June Draft. Over four minor league seasons, he is 18-19 with a 2.76 ERA (352.2-IP, 108-ER).