The Rays made a rather surprising announcement prior to tonight's game as they optioned the Rays former number one pick, Tim Beckham, to Triple-A Durham and selected the contract of Ryan Garton. The Rays cleared space on the 40-man roster by designating Jake Goebbert for assignment. This move was one the Rays needed to make though as they're going to be playing 43 games over their next 45 days, so bullpen assistance is much more essential than the weak side of a platoon on the middle infield.
Beckham showed some tremendous pop last season as well as flashes of the player the Rays hoped he'd become, but his struggles were often more showcased on both sides of the ball as he often slumped with the bat and provided sloppy glove work on the infield. So far this year during his limited platoon play, Beckham has slashed .185/.241/.352 while sporting a nearly 40% strikeout rate.
The Rays drafted Garton back in the 34th round of the 2012 draft, who has since slowly climbed the ladder from Hudson Valley to now the majors without receiving much fanfare, despite being successful at each stop along the road. So far in Durham this year, Garton has a 2.38 ERA and a 2.04 FIP while sporting a 29.6 strikeout rate and so far a career low 6.1 walk rate. Walks have been his main problem, as he's produced a walk rate north of 10% over his minor league career and that includes his year so far at Durham.
Another proponent to consider is Garton's endurance as he's averaged over an inning per appearance this year so far for Durham, as well as over his minor league career. Kevin Cash even stated this
"We got a second Erasmo"