After a marathon game on Sunday and needing bullpen depth, the Tampa Bay Rays have promoted one of their top pitching prospects in Jose De Leon.
Having used the majority of their bullpen arms in Sunday’s 15-inning game against the Minnesota Twins, the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday afternoon added some much-needed depth by promoting Jose De Leon. In a corresponding move, Ryan Garton was optioned to Durham.
Buster Olney of ESPN via Twitter first reported that DeLeon appear headed to the majors, which was confirmed by Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times also via Twitter. Not reading into his promotion any more than what has been reported, is that his stay with the Rays could be nothing more than a cup of coffee.
Since the Rays had to call upon Monday night’s starter, Erasmo Ramirez to pitch in the Sunday’s marathon game the bullpen has a few tired arms and little depth should Ramirez have problems Monday night. Ramirez would pitch the bottom of the 15th inning, throwing 12 pitches to pick up the save in the Rays 8-6 win. Scratched from his scheduled Monday start for Durham, De Leon could essentially make his Rays debut out of the bullpen.
Tampa Bay Rays
De Leon made his MLB debut last season with the Dodgers, making four starts (2-0, 6.35) throwing 17 innings in which he allowed 17 runs (12 earned) on 19 hits with 15 strikeouts and seven walks.
Having pitched 2.3 innings of scoreless ball for Puerto Rico in the WBC with five strikeouts and a walk, De Leon would return to spring training where he struggled in his two appearances, (0-1, 17.18) covering 3.2 innings. He would allow seven runs on four hits with three strikeouts and three walks.
De Leon would begin the season on the disabled list as he was experiencing forearm discomfort, which was corrected by rest. Following his recovery, De Leon would remain in Port Charlotte for extended spring training before getting the green light to begin his season with the Charlotte Stone Crabs.
With the Stone Crabs, De Leon would make two starts going 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA covering 8.1 innings. Over this span, he would give up two runs on five hits with 12 strikeouts and two walks before his promotion to Triple-A Durham.
At Durham, in his only start De Leon (0-1, 9.00) allowed four runs (all earned) on eight hits with four strikeouts and one walk.
While his stay with the Rays may be for only a cup of coffee, De Leon could seize this opportunity by possibly moving into the rotation and allowing Ramirez to head back to the bullpen.