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Rays bring up five, designate Hank Conger for assignment

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The Rays made several roster moves after Triple-A Durham’s season ended

Detroit Tigers v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

With the Durham Bulls’ season coming to a close, the Rays announced that they will recall OF Mikie Mahtook, INF/OF Richie Shaffer, RHRP Steve Geltz, and select LHSP Justin Marks from the Bulls tomorrow. Additionally, the Rays recalled RHP Chase Whitley from the Montgomery Biscuits after completing his rehab assignment.

To make room for Whitley on the 40 man roster, catcher Hank Conger was designated for assignment.

In an up and down season, Mahtook has been largely ineffective with the bat at the major league level this year. Slashing just .158/.218/.228 with the Rays in 125 plate appearances this season, Mahtook will hope to mirror his 2015 September where he slashed .295/.351/.619 in 115 plate appearances. He also needs to cut down his strikeouts and walk more, but of course that is easier said than done.

After a pretty incredible 2015, Shaffer performed closer to league average for the Bulls in 2016 and probably under performed a lot of expectations. He hasn't seen much action with the Rays this year, but they may see how he looks defending a corner outfield spot as they try to figure out if he has a place on the major league roster.

Geltz appeared in 70 games - 68 out of the bullpen - for the Rays in 2015, carrying a 3.74 ERA in 67.1 innings. He bounced between the major-league and Triple-A bullpens this season, with his most recent MLB appearance coming August 28. Geltz struck out more batters but also walked more while with Triple-A. The righty had a 10.09 K/9 and 4.29 BB/9 with Durham and 8.14 K/9 and 2.57 BB/9 in the majors this year.

Marks joined the Rays system this season after spending 2015 with the Diamondbacks. He has one major-league appearance in his career, allowing three runs in two innings of relief in 2014 with the Royals. Marks made 23 starts for Durham, posting a 3.86 ERA and 3.88 FIP in 140 innings. The lefty made waves when he threw a no-hitter July 16 this season.

The Rays claimed Whitley last offseason from the Yankees after he had Tommy John surgery. In 95 career major-league innings with the Yankees between 2014 and 2015, Whitley had a 4.23 FIP and 1.44 WHIP. Whitley made nine rehab starts between Class-A Advanced Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery. He had a 0.87 WHIP and 2.21 ERA as he went 2-1.

Conger started the year with the major-league club before the Rays optioned him to Triple-A July 11. The former Astro and Angel looked to return to 2014 form, but he contributed -0.4 fWAR to the Rays before his demotion. He continued to struggle with the Bulls, as he hit for a .171/.207/.314 line in 29 games with Durham.

Interestingly, neither Tim Beckham nor Taylor Motter were recalled. Both saw significant time in the major-leagues this year, but each struggled. Motter batted for a .590 OPS in 34 games between May 16 and June 29.

Outside of a week at the end of May, Beckham spent all of the year in the majors before his demotion September 1. He continued to struggle with strikeouts as he went down on strikes 31.2% of the time this season. He did, however, show some pop, and slashed .247/.300/.434 for the club, accumulating 1.4 WAR in 64 games.

This may not be the end of the Rays’ roster moves in September. According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the Rays may not be done with September call-ups. Keep it tuned here at DRaysBay for any more moves the Rays make this year.