LOS ANGELES — It had become increasingly clear over recent weeks, if not months, the Rays didn't have a role in which they felt comfortable using reliever Kyle Farnsworth.
So Friday, they cut ties with the veteran right-hander, designating him for assignment and calling up Josh Lueke, who had dazzling Triple-A stats: 0.72 ERA with 70 strikeouts and only 14 walks in 50 innings.
"I was trying to put (Farnsworth) on the right kind of guy; we try to do that with all of our relief pitchers," manager Joe Maddon said. "It was a little bit rugged at times. He had some good moments also. If Josh was not looming, we probably would not have done it at this time."
Farnsworth, 37, struggled most of this season, posting a 5.76 ERA and allowing a .306 average.
Maddon called him on Thursday's off-day with the news as the Rays have 10 days to trade, release or pass him through waivers. "He didn't act surprised," Maddon said.
Lueke initially will be used in mid-inning situations but could get higher-leverage work. He had mixed results in two previous stints with the Rays this year. He made an unimpressive debut Friday against the Dodgers, allowing a double and a walk.