Rays option RHP Brandon Gomes to Durham, will call up a hitter by Tuesday

17

June

Rays manager Joe Maddon has been impressed with RHP Brandon Gomes, saying he's a major league reliever "right now," having improved since the beginning of the season.

But Gomes was optioned to Triple-A Durham after Sunday's game solely based on need, as they're going to call up a position player for the upcoming interleague series with the Nationals Tuesday.

Gomes understood the decision, and having been encouraged with how he's thrown, hopes to be back real soon. Gomes, who had offseason back surgery, felt "leaps and bounds" better than when he started the season. Called up Friday, Gomes struck out the side against the Marlins, but picked up the loss Saturday.

"I understand how things work," Gomes said. "I feel like I threw the ball well while I was up here, I was back to where I was last year. So whenever the next opportunity comes, I'll be ready to go."

The Rays haven't said who the position player would be, but Maddon said it's not likely to be injured 3B Evan Longoria (partially torn left hamstring) or INF Jeff Keppinger (broken right toe), who are on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham.
 

-- JOE SMITH

joesmith@tampabay.com

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 12:39am]

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