Another left-hander has been added to the bullpen as the Tampa Bay Rays have called up Justin Marks from Triple-A Durham.
The Tampa Bay Rays on Friday afternoon have selected the contract of left-hander Justin Marks from Triple-A Durham and optioned Chih-Wei Hu back to Durham. Hu had been recalled Thursday to replace Erasmo Ramirez who had been placed on paternity leave.
Marks was a September call-up for the Rays last season appearing in four games (0-0, 1.00, 9-IP) in which he allowed one run (earned) on seven hits, with nine walks and six strikeouts. However, the Rays needing openings on the 40-man roster outrighted Marks off the roster at season’s end, and re-signed him to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
One of the final cuts of spring training, Marks had outstanding spring going 1-0 with a 0.66 ERA in nine games (13.2-IP), allowing only one run on eight hits with eight strikeouts and two walks, which was good enough to earn a spot on the 25-man roster. However, Jumbo Diaz earned one of the final spots remaining.
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Optioned to Durham to begin the season, Marks has appeared in nine games (one start) going 4-1 with a 4.80 ERA in 15.2 innings. He has allowed eight runs (all earned) on ten hits with 15 strikeouts and nine walks while holding opposing batters to a .182 average.
After not having a left-hander in the bullpen since the Rays placed Xavier Cedeno on the disabled list, Marks is the second left-hander to be added in a matter of days as he joins Jose Alvarado who made the jump from Double-A Montgomery.
The shuttle ride to Durham goes on for Chih-Wei Hu, as his brief cup of coffee was good for two appearances, in which he worked 0.2 innings allowing one run (unearned) with one walk and one strikeout.
There is some speculation that Marks could be sent back to Durham when Ramirez returns from his paternity leave, however he would need to go through waivers, as he has no options remaining. Speculation on my part is that Marks stays and that Alvarado is returned to Montgomery, as he has options remaining.