Rays bringing up Ryan Thompson from Triple-A

In response to the Aaron Civale trade, the Tampa Bay Rays made a series of roster moves that included bringing Ryan Thompson back into the bullpen from Durham.
Tampa Bay Rays v Oakland Athletics
Tampa Bay Rays v Oakland Athletics / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

On Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Rays made a trade that sent first base prospect Kyle Manzardo to Cleveland for RHP Aaron Civale. The move gives the Rays needed depth in a starting rotation that has seen its fair share of injuries this season.

As a result of this trade, Tampa Bay decided to send Taj Bradley down to Durham. Bradley completed his big-league stint with a 5-7 record, a 5.67 ERA, 99 strikeouts, and a 1.41 WHIP. To take the roster spot would be reliever Ryan Thompson. 

Thompson has struggled for Tampa Bay in 2023. His last appearance came on July 6 against the Phillies, when he gave up a run and had a strikeout in one inning. In 18 total games played in a Rays uniform this season, he managed only a 6.11 ERA

However, time playing for the Durham Bulls seemed to do Thompson some good. In 13 appearances, he amassed a record of 4-0 and had an ERA of 3.26. This average was similar to the one he had in 2022 with Tampa Bay (3.80). Grant it, there's a difference between that and triple-A baseball, but it is encouraging to see him get a rhythm in his game back.

In 19-1/3 innings pitched in Durham, Thompson also had 24 strikeouts and walked only 11 batters out of 79 faced.

The bullpen could use the good rhythm that Thompson seems to have right now. In July when Tampa Bay finished 8-16, the pitching staff as a whole put up an ERA of 4.55 and an opposing OPS of .697. Both were the highest numbers the staff has given up in any month this season. 

The Rays pitching staff in July also had only four saves this season out of 24 games during the month. It serves as a reminder that Tampa Bay is in the top half of the league in blown saves among all teams.

Thompson will look to be a big reinforcement within the Rays' bullpen.