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UPDATE: Bell designated for assignment; Karns recalled, then sent back

UPDATE, 5:08: The Rays sent Karns back to Durham after the game and are expected to add a reliever for Tuesday's game, with RHP Brad Boxberger seemingly the likely candidate.

UPDATE, 12:08: Manager Joe Maddon said the Rays had to do something to add length to their bullpen today in case of an injury to Bedard or extra innings - "We would have been totally naked if we had not done something" - and that the decision on dumping Bell rather than Josh Lueke came down to the potential they still see in Lueke.

"Part of it is Lueke is obviously a lot younger and from a scouting perspective we still see a really big upside with him,'' Maddon said. "At time you have to be patient with the more youthful player, and that's pretty much it. We still see a pretty good upside with him. We still think if he gets everything together we're going to be rewarded by that patience.''

Several players in the Rays clubhouse were surprised by the decision.

"I couldn't believe that. I didn't see that coming,'' RHP Joel Peralta said.

Karns' stay may be short, as Maddon said there has been no talk of him joining the rotation. Today was his day to start for Triple-A Durham, so he should be able to cover plenty of innings if needed.

"Right now it's today, and we'll see how it plays out,'' Maddon said. "I haven't really talked to Andrew (Friedman, exec VP) beyond today.''

Maddon said he had an good conversation with Bell late Saturday night, and that Bell sent him a nice text message this morning.

DEVELOPING: The Rays designated veteran reliever Heath Bell for assignment, creating room to add a fresh arm to their bullpen.

RHP Nathan Karns was recalled from Triple-A Durham and will be here today.

The decision to dump Bell - rather than RHP Josh Lueke - was an expensive one, as the Rays are paying $5.5-million of his $9-million salary.

The Rays have 10 days to trade, release or pass Bell through waivers.



[Last modified: Sunday, May 4, 2014 5:09pm]


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