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Reliever Steve Geltz to join Rays from minors

Steve Geltz was impressive for the Rays during spring training and has pitched well in two seasons at Triple-A Durham.

Associated Press

Steve Geltz was impressive for the Rays during spring training and has pitched well in two seasons at Triple-A Durham.

ST. PETERSBURG — A second straight solid season in the bullpen at Triple-A Durham — albeit interrupted by a 50-game drug suspension — earned RHP Steve Geltz a promotion to the major leagues.

Geltz is one of four players to be added to the Rays' roster today when rosters can be expanded. RHP Brandon Gomes and C Curt Casali, who were up earlier this season, are being recalled, and OF David DeJesus, out since mid June with a left hand fracture, will be activated from the disabled list.

Geltz, 26, has two games of big-league experience, with the Angels in 2012 (both against the Rays). He was acquired in a March 2013 trade for RHP Dane De La Rosa and had an impressive 2013 at Triple-A Durham (5-3, 2.82 ERA in 41 games with 80 strikeouts in 67 innings). He took advantage of a 2014 spring training invitation to make a good impression and had another solid season at Durham (3-3, 2.36 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 412/3 innings). He was suspended for 50 games in May after a second positive test for what MLB called "a drug of abuse."

"I hear nothing but good things," manager Joe Maddon said. "I loved him in spring training. Look at his numbers; historically they've been really good. Our guys really like him. It's kind of like (Brad Boxberger), he made that kind of impression. … I met him, and I liked him, and I'm eager to work with him here. I think he can be really good."

Casali may not get many starts — depending on, Maddon said, how Jose Molina "feels" — but having a third catcher allows for more in-game maneuvering regarding pinch-hitting and -running. DeJesus said the hand still gets sore but he is ready to contribute.

The Rays will have to clear a spot on the 40-man roster to add Geltz.

JENNINGS UPDATE: CF Desmond Jennings was out of the lineup for a third straight game Sunday versus the Red Sox with a bruised and sore left knee, and likely won't start again today against Boston. Jennings has not been available to the media in the clubhouse all weekend, but he told Neil Solondz of Rays radio that he hurt the knee fouling off a ball in the series against the Blue Jays before the All-Star break and it hasn't gotten better.

SMYLY GUY: LHP Drew Smyly is feeling good and throwing extremely well, coming off consecutive two-hit outings. But he takes the mound today uncertain how much more he will get to pitch this season; Rays officials are planning to cap his workload based on an already career-high total of 1411/3 innings. "I think right now we're just kind of playing it by ear," Smyly said. "Pitch (today) and then re-evaluate it after that."

Smyly, who will be eligible for arbitration for the first time, said his arm "has been feeling great" and he wants to keep pitching. The Rays want to keep him to 150-160 innings; they routinely try to limit increases to about 20 percent a year. Smyly's previous high was 117 innings in 2012. He threw 76 in 2013 working exclusively in relief.

FOR THE DEFENSE: RHP Alex Cobb's errant third-inning pickoff throw in Sunday's 3-0 loss marked the eighth straight game in which the Rays made an error, their longest such streak since a team-record 11 in 2004. The Rays have made eight errors in that stretch and 75 this season; they made 59 last season. "Sloppy defense is something that we can't have if we're going to sustain success around here," Cobb said. CF Kevin Kiermaier had another adventurous day in centerfield, making a running, twisting, bad-break-correcting, over-the-shoulder catch to end the sixth but also missing on a diving catch in the eighth that led to the third Boston run.

MISCELLANY: Rookie-level Princeton (W. Va) lost 4-3 to Danville (Braves) in the opener of the best-of-three Appalachian League playoffs. … Class A Bowling Green lost the first game of a doubleheader 3-1 to Fort Wayne, with both teams vying for a spot in the Midwest League playoffs. … Saturday's Mystery Ball event run by the Rays Wives raised $35,360 for All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Reliever Steve Geltz to join Rays from minors 08/31/14 [Last modified: Sunday, August 31, 2014 10:44pm]
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