UPDATE: Farnsworth designated for assignment; Lueke recalled
UPDATE, 2:19: And it's official. The Rays have designated Farnsworth for assignment, meaning they have 10 days to trade, release or pass him through waivers, but essentially ending his tenure with the Rays.
It had become increasingly clear the Rays didn't have a role for Farnsworth, 37. He didn't pitch well in tight situations, and he didn't respond well to occasional duty in lower leverage situations, saying he had to pitch more to stay sharp.
Lueke isn't a sure thing either, as he failed a few times earlier this season in some key situations himself, but obviously he has a power arm and impressive numbers at Triple-A, with the 0.72 ERA and 70 strikeouts and only 14 walks in 50 innings.
Farnsworth had a base salary of $1.25-million, with another $1.65-million in incentives. He made another $200,000 by reaching the first two - $50,000 for appearing in 30 games, $150,000 for 35. He had pitched in 39 overall and the Rays would have had to pay him another $150,000 if he got to 40.
DEVELOPING: Reliever RHP Josh Lueke was called up by the Rays late Thursday, the Times has confirmed.
Lueke's arrival could be a hedge in case RHP Chris Archer has to go to the DL due to the forearm tightness that forced him from Wednesday's game. The Rays have him Thursday to rest with the plan that how he felt on Friday would determine their course of action. Both Archer and team officials were confident he would be fine and make his next start.
The other scenario for Lueke's arrival could be the departure of veteran Kyle Farnsworth, who has continued to struggle and does not appear to have much a role in the bullpen. Farnsworth, 37, has a 5.76 ERA and after allowing two of the three D-backs he faced Wednesday to reach, he has allowed a .306 average and .828 OPS.
Lueke is somewhat of a surprise choice for a promotion since RHP Brandon Gomes has looked sharp on his rehab assignment and has to reinstated soon. Lueke, though, is 2-1 with 14 saves and a 0.72 ERA for the Bulls over 34 games.