Tampa Bay Rays: Thoughts on Bobby Wilson DFA, Other Moves

By Robbie Knopf

I was really hoping to avoid writing any non-MLB Draft feature pieces before I got through profiles of all 40 of the Tampa Bay Rays’ picks, but then last night happened. Bobby Wilson was designated for assignment, Andrew Bellatti was placed on the DL with a minor shoulder injury, and Preston Guilmet was optioned to Triple-A while Matt Andriese, C.J. Riefenhauser, and Enny Romero were all promoted.

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Wilson was not that bad considering that Rene Rivera isn’t hitting either, but it’s not as though his presence was ever going to stop the Rays from making other moves. He was hitting to just a .145/.203/.145 line and doesn’t even have Rivera’s raw power–what else is there to say? He is a decent defender and it was nice for him to spend as much time in the major leagues as he did, and it’s not as though Curt Casali could be any worse. We can’t be too excited about Casali’s .205/.326/.348 line at Triple-A, but he has a .244/.354/.439 line in his last 96 plate appearances and the bar has been set so low for offense from Rays catchers.

Bellatti’s injury is pretty minor according to Kevin Cash, which is good because Bellatti has shown promise and the Rays are running out of arms. Guilmet has not been impressive, but at least he has been able to fill some innings. He will be a DFA candidate himself at some point. Riefenhauser and Romero have been two more up-and-down arms, but Riefenhauser looked great in his last Triple-A appearance and is talented enough to potentially stick in the majors. Romero also has great stuff, but his control and command remain huge concerns that he may never overcome.

Finally, we have Matt Andriese. Andriese was iffy as a starter for the Rays earlier this season, but he looked better in relief as he recorded a pair of saves in long outings. At this point, though, he was starting every fifth or sixth day for four starts at Triple-A Durham and has finally gotten into a routine. He also pitched quite well, managing a 3.00 ERA, a 16-4 strikeout to walk ratio, and more groundballs than flyballs in 18 innings pitched.

Andriese was always regarded as a useful back-end starter type in the major leagues between his sinker, command, and decent enough secondary pitches. Now his pitch count is fine as he got up to 88 pitches at Durham and hopefully we can start seeing the pitcher that he was supposed to be. The Rays are hoping that they will eventually have enough starters healthy that Andriese will pitch in the bullpen, but for now, a reliable No. 4 starter is exactly what they need and he can give them that.

Next: Tampa Bay Rays Rays MLB/MiLB Recap: Questionable Bullpen Work