Today for the Rays, one player will receive an opportunity to make his major league debut while the other has made the team’s patience with him run thin.
After sending down Jake Odorizzi following yesterday’s game, the Rays have made the corresponding move, calling up right-hander Alex Colome from Triple-A Durham for his first ever stint in the major leagues. Colome suffered a shoulder injury late last season that prevented him from making an impact in the Rays’ 2012 stretch run, but now his time has finally come and it’s well-deserved. Colome has gone 4-5 with a 2.60 ERA, a 9.9 K/9, a 3.6 BB/9, and a 0.7 HR/9 in 10 starts and 55.1 innings pitched at Triple-A Durham, shining brightly even in a prospect-laden Bulls rotation. For now, Colome will take his electric arsenal to the bullpen, where his mid-90’s fastball, high-80’s cutter, low-80’s changeup, and high-70’s curveball could make him a dominant late-inning reliever someday. Colome isn’t just a placeholder arm but a talented pitcher who can really throw, and we’ll have to see how he does when Joe Maddon gives him the ball.
Why Colome and not a pitcher such as Alex Torres or Jeff Beliveau? Torres is unavailable because he just made a start on Monday (and didn’t do very well) while Beliveau has one more day to go before the 10-day window passes and the Rays can bring him up. Colome was scheduled to start today and he’s fully stretched out, meaning that he could be used in long relief if necessary. With that in mind, could Maddon have a shorter leash on Roberto Hernandez if he struggles knowing that Colome could take his place?
Josh Sale was already in a bad situation, and now he has only made it worse. Suspended late last season for testing positive for methamphetamine, Sale had much to prove when he returned. Sale was the Rays’ first round pick in 2010 and renowned for his character, and you had to hope that the subsequent years would prove that his positive test was an isolated mistake. That is clearly not the case. Sale has been suspended again for “conduct detrimental to the organization” after making a comment on Facebook about “throwing change at a hooker.” That’s just a stupid action with no possible explanation and Sale completely blew it again. Sale played great before he got suspended last season, but how many chances are the Rays going to give him if he keeps acting like this? Before, Sale had the benefit of the doubt. Now, his back is against the wall and one more mistake will be the end. Will Sale ever right himself or will his downward spiral take him straight to a release?