The Rays made a whirlwind of moves Friday and let’s attempt to piece together what just happened.
Joel Peralta has dropped his appeal of his 8-game suspension for having an excessive amount of pine tar in his glove and will begin serving the suspension immediately. Peralta still takes up a 25-man roster spot as long as he is suspended.
Jeff Keppinger has been activated from the 15-day DL. Keppinger has posted a .298/.330/.398 line with 2 homers and 8 RBI in 29 games with the Rays this season playing second, third, and first base, and played well on his 6-game rehab assignment, hitting .286 with a .400 OBP. Keppinger will likely see a lot of playing time at second and third base with Evan Longoria and now Matt Joyce on the DL.
Joyce has been played on the DL with back tightness, an injury that has sidelined him since the middle of the Rays’ opening game versus the Washington Nationals on June 19th. With Evan Longoria out, Joyce had been the Rays’ most dependable hitter posting a .279/.387/.512 line with 8 doubles, 3 triples, 11 homers, and 34 RBI playing right and left field. His absence is another blow to the Rays’ already injury-depleted lineup, although at least Keppinger is back now.
The Rays have added infielder Brooks Conrad and reliever Brandon Gomes to the 25-man roster. We talked about Conrad here as a power-hitting bench option (although we had no idea how he would make it onto the Rays’ 25-man roster). Gomes has posted a 5.87 ERA in 7 major league relief appearances after posting a 2.92 ERA in 40 MLB relief appearances in 2011. He does have a 1.14 ERA in 19 Triple-A relief appearances so far in 2012, posting a 34-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 23.2 IP.
To accomodate Conrad and Gomes,the Rays have designated infielder Drew Sutton for assignment and optioned outfielder Rich Thompson to Triple-A Durham. Sutton, acquired from the Pirates back in May, posted a .271/.314/.354 line in 18 games for 4 doubles and 6 RBI, seeing time at third base, second base, and first base. Thompson, optioned for the second time this season, has gone 1 for 17 with 1 RBI and 2 stolen bases on the season since being acquired in May and has played 6 games in left field.
Added: Jeff Keppinger, Brooks Conrad, Brandon Gomes
Subtracted: Joel Peralta (suspension), Matt Joyce (DL), Drew Sutton (DFA’d), and Rich Thompson (Triple-A)