One of the Tampa Bay Rays top prospects is heading to the Majors, as they have called Chih-Wei Hu up from Durham.
The Tampa Bay Rays pitching staff has been decimated by injuries as of late. Yesterday, Tommy Hunter became the latest casualty, as his strained calf made him the fifth member of the Rays bullpen to be placed on the disabled list.
To take his place on the roster, the Rays have called up Chih-Wei Hu from Durham. Although he was used as a starter throughout most of his minor league career, Hu is joining the Rays as a reliever, with Erasmo Ramirez retaining his place in the starting rotation. Of course, that is for now, as Jake Odorizzi feels he is ready to return from the disabled list, meaning that Hu could have a short stay in Tampa Bay.
Hu, meanwhile, is obviously hoping otherwise. Although his performance this season has not been stellar, Hu has been serviceable in his three outings with the Bulls. In 16 innings, he has posted a 3.94 ERA and a 1.312 WHiP, striking out 11 batters against three walks.
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Considered the eighth best prospect in the Rays system according to MLB.com, Hu has been considered a possible middle of the rotation starter. His fastball sits in the lower 90’s, but has increased velocity at times. Amongst a varied arsenal, Hu also throws a good changeup and has a palmball, a pitch that really has not been seen since the days of Bryn Smith.
It is that uptick in velocity in short spurts that makes Hu interesting as a reliever. While he may still be considered a part of the rotation of the future, he could be a solid piece out of the bullpen. Given his fastball/change combination, as well as that palmball, he has the weapons to succeed in such a role.
Chih-Wei Hu has been called up to the Tampa Bay Rays as a reliever. If he performs well in his time in the Majors, he may prove to be what the Rays need to solidify their bullpen.