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Erasmo Ramirez returns, Justin Marks designated for assignment

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bays Rays announced Erasmo Ramirez has returned from paternity leave. To make room on the active roster, the Rays designated Justin Marks for assignment, just one day after calling him up.

The veteran reliever Ramirez will be a welcome addition to a shaky and taxed bullpen, and could see action as early as today. Erasmo had a 2.75 ERA, 4.00 FIP and 3.36 xFIP in 19.2 innings of work on the season before taking a few days off for the birth of his child. With Pruitt and Whitley as long relievers, Ramirez could fill a much-needed role of a high-leverage setup man, though he has been successful in long relief and spot starts in the past.

The Justin Marks designation leaves one lefty in the bullpen—the wild, young gun Jose Alvarado. The Rays could have kept both of their lefties if they chose to option Alvarado, so this move suggests they didn’t have big plans for Marks with the big league club.

Marks gave the Rays 10.1 innings of relief while allowing just 2 runs since September of last year, but his peripherals and more advanced metrics believe the appearances were not as good as the ERA suggests.

Marks has gotten good results from his off-speed and breaking pitches—Brooks Baseball has batters whiffing on 55% of their swings against his changeups—but his fastball is pedestrian and his command will probably never be good. Maybe the Rays decided that if they were going to keep one wild lefty, Alvarado’s pure stuff was the easy choice.