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Rays option LHP Blake Snell; promote flamethrower RHP Ryne Stanek

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays have done what seemed unthinkable a month ago. They’ve optioned Blake Snell.

In his sophomore season, the Rays southpaw Blake Snell has struggled with smoothing out his delivery, and has slumped to a near-4.00 ERA. This is bearable, but more troubling than runs allowed are his overall performances. His strikeout rate is a mere 17.7% and his walk rate has somehow worsened on his previous year rate to 13.4% of batters faced.

Across seven starts, Blake Snell has yet to be credited with a win, and will hopefully be the beneficiary of a lower intensity of competition in Triple-A as he works to right the ship.

In the meantime, the Rays are promoting triple-digit reliever Ryne Stanek to take his place on the roster.

Stanek will join the beleaguered bullpen for what looks to be a long term promotion, as the Rays think highly of the young gun, and even considered him for a September promotion last season.

Another starter will need named to the Rays roster, but a move can likely wait until Snell’s spot in the rotation comes back around at home vs. the Yankees on May 19th, following a travel day for the Rays.

With the demotion of Snell, there is now only one LHP on the Rays roster, recently promoted reliever LHP Jose Alvarado. A corresponding move in Durham is not obvious, but the Rays have been strongly impressed by off-season acquisition LHP Ryan Yarborough. To be promoted, room will have to be made on the 40-man roster.