The September roster call-ups for the Tampa Bay Rays will be arriving in waves, with the first group expected to join the team on Friday.
By this time tomorrow, the Tampa Bay Rays will have increased their roster by three as pitchers Ryne Stanek, Adam Kolarek and catcher Curt Casali will get the call in the first wave of September call-ups from their top minor league affiliate Durham Bulls as reported by Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Stanek and Kolarek both made their MLB debuts earlier this season with Stanek having two cups of coffee, his first from May 14-June 10 and his most recent coming Aug. 5-8. While Kolarek was aboard for a larger cup of coffee from June 29-July 28. Casali though has spent the entire 2017 season at Durham.
In his two stints with the Rays, Stanek was 0-0 with a 6.39 ERA in 13 games logging 12.2 innings in which the hard-throwing right-hander struck out 16, with seven walks. All nine runs allowed were earned, coming on 12 hits, five of them home runs.
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However, at Durham he has been lights out pitching to a 1.21 ERA with a 3-0 record along with eight saves. In his 44.2 innings pitched (37 games), he has 60 strikeouts with just 16 walks and has not given up a home run. Furthermore, he has allowed just six runs (all earned) on 26 hits.
After years with three other organizations chasing the elusive MLB call-up, Kolarek finally earned the opportunity with the Rays in June when the Rays optioned Austin Pruitt to Durham. Although he does not strikeout many 25 percent, he does induce ground balls as evident by his work at Durham where has produced a ground ball rate of 72.6 percent.
Overall, at Durham Kolarek went 3-4 with a 1.65 ERA in 41 games, logging 43.2 innings in which he allowed nine runs on 37 hits. He had 46 strikeouts, walked only 16 and did not give up a home run. In his month with the Rays, Kolarek in 11 games was 1-0 with a 5.87 ERA in 7.2 innings pitched.
As the Rays headed into spring training it was presumed that Casali would be the starting catcher sharing the duties with Jesus Sucre who was acquired just before the start of spring training. However, that all changed when the Rays signed Derek Norris to a one-year deal at the end of spring training with Casali being the odd-man out.
Casali has spent all of 2017 at Durham where his line reads /263/.351/.347 in 85 games. He has driven in a career high 48 runs, to go along with five home runs, 65 strikeouts and 37 walks in 300 at-bats.
Last season Casali played in a career high 84 games, batting just .186 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs. Overall, in 152 games over three seasons, Casali’s line with the Rays is .195/.280/.378 with 19 home runs, 46 RBIs with 139 strikeouts in 399 at-bats.