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Rays to promote LHP/DH Brendan McKay on Saturday

The McKay era begins June 29th, 2019.

Durham Bulls

The Rays top pitching prospect was solidified to be LHP/DH Brendan McKay this season, and after whispers that his stuff was major league, we’ll see it put to the test on Saturday against the Texas Rangers.

After winning the last game of the road trip with an 18-inning affair on Thursday afternoon, the Rays will be in need of arms, particularly on Saturday which would have been Ryan Yarbrough’s day to pitch. Yarbrough covered the final three frames in today’s victory.

The Rangers, who look to be playoffs bound, will be a real test for McKay, who improved upon his 1.30 ERA in Double-A over eight appearances with a 1.08 ERA at the Triple-A level this season over five outings.

His prospect status is second only to Wander Franco, MLB’s top prospect, in Tampa Bay’s system.

Durham Bulls

McKay flashes an above average fastball, curveball, and change, with a major league ready cutter to balance the mix. All four pitches play up through his plus command.

A two-way player, McKay is also a decent hitter, sporting a .265/.400/.551 slash line in 60 plate appearances at the Triple-A level, with four home runs.

It remains to be seen whether the promotion will be for one start, as the Rays have done in the past with their fast rising arms, or if he is here to stay.

To help the depleted bullpen, Tampa Bay will also be re-promoting RHP Casey Sadler, who has impressed with a 1.65 ERA over eight appearances with the Rays in 2019.

At the Triple-A level, Sadler has a 32.4% strikeout rate and 3.7% walk rate, but each have only been half as strong in the majors thus far, despite his overall run prevention. If he can mirror that performance in the majors, Sadler might have a chance to stay, as might McKay following the three week setback to Tyler Glasnow’s recovery from injury.