The last couple days in Boston have not been fun for the Rays. Hopefully that’s about to change. Meanwhile, the Rays have made a whirlwind of roster moves and let’s attempt to figure out what happened.
The Rays’ placed catcher Jose Lobaton on the DL with a sore shoulder and called up Chris Gimenez to the big league club to replace him. Gimenez has hit just .171 in 94 major league games, but he has posted a 31% CS% at catcher and what makes him special is his versatility as a catcher. Gimenez has major league experience in left field, right field, and at first base, and he has also played 100 minor league games at third base, where he’s a passable defender and where we saw him play during spring training as well. Gimenez won’t hit, but in vintage Rays fashion, he can play everywhere.
The Rays replaced one apparently horrendous reliever with another. With Josh Lueke‘s ERA standing at 27.00 in two relief appearances following his Friday afternoon meltdown, the Rays replaced him with Dane De La Rosa, who promptly “beat” Lueke, getting his ERA up to 45.00 after his Saturday debacle by allowing 5 runs in 1 inning. Now he’s gone, replaced by Alex Cobb. This is actually a move I like. Cobb has the only true plus pitch of the three, his outstanding (and eccentric) split-change (that a combination of a splitter and a changeup if you’re scoring at home), and his two fastballs, a four-seamer and a sinker, could see an uptick in velocity out of the bullpen. Cobb’s four-pitch mix (see my season preview for him here for more on that) could be extremely effective in short stints, not to mention that calling Cobb up would give the Rays a record seven proven major league starters on their 25-man roster at the same time. Hopefully Cobb can provide solid relief outings for however long he’s in the big leagues.