Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays call up Desmond Jennings, send Reid Brignac to Triple A

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Now that the Rays have decided Desmond Jennings is ready, they are going to give him the chance to show it, with plans to play him in leftfield and bat him leadoff.

The move was not the precursor to the team making a trade, manager Joe Maddon said.

"It's Desmond earning an opportunity to be here, period,'' Maddon said after Friday's loss to the Royals. "And hopefully he's going to be somewhat of a catalyst offensively.''

Reid Brignac, whose potential to take over at shortstop was why the club felt comfortable trading Jason Bartlett in the offseason, was sent to Triple-A Durham after hitting .193 in 68 games.

"Reid Brignac, no question, is a major-league-caliber shortstop defensively,'' Maddon said. "But moving down the road, we have to get him better on the offensive side of the ball."

With Brignac gone, Sean Rodriguez (who started unexpectedly Friday) and Elliot Johnson will share time at short.

Jennings, 24, was hitting .275 with 12 homers and 39 RBIs in 89 games for Durham. Sam Fuld and Justin Ruggiano will be reduced to limited duty.

SIX PACK: The Rays will stick with an unconventional six-man rotation at least into August.

Maddon said it was primarily a matter of necessity, as they need to not only limit the innings that rookie RHP Jeremy Hellickson throws in his first full big-league season (110⅔ thus far), but also because they are growing concerned at the amount that top starters RHP James Shields (156⅓) and LHP David Price (142⅓) are logging. Maddon said it's also a matter of opportunity, as the emergence of rookie RHP Alex Cobb (2-0, 3.09 in six starts) as a dependable starter provided an attractive option.

The Rays will manipulate when they use Shields and Price to maximize their starts against the Red Sox, Yankees and other tougher teams, trying to keep them from getting too far over 200 innings. They would like to keep Hellickson, who had some minor arm issues in the minors, to 170-180 innings.

The drawback to using six starters is carrying only six relievers, but Maddon pointed to how little work RHP Andy Sonnanstine got when he was the seventh, and he said they can rotate in relievers from Triple A if they need fresh arms.

DOWN AND OUT: Bullpen coach Bobby Ramos stayed in St. Petersburg for further medical tests, having been sidelined on and off for six weeks with throat issues. Maddon said traveling makes Ramos' condition worse but added that the issue is not considered serious. Stan Boroski, assistant to the pitching coach, has taken over bullpen duties.

MINOR MATTERS: Top pitching prospect LHP Matt Moore made an impressive Triple A debut for Durham, allowing one run on three hits with seven strikeouts and two walks over five innings against Toledo (Tigers). He allowed a fourth-inning homer and threw 89 pitches, 52 for strikes.

TRADE WINDS: Shields continues to generate trade interest, even from the unlikeliest places. According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Yankees called about Shields "and were told he is not available — presumably to (them and the Red Sox)."

Tampa Bay Rays call up Desmond Jennings, send Reid Brignac to Triple A 07/22/11 [Last modified: Saturday, July 23, 2011 1:12am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Twins eventually cash in as Rays lose, fall back to .500 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays could only battle their way out of trouble for so long Saturday afternoon before succumbing in a 5-2 loss to the Twins.

    Minnesota Twins pitcher Adalberto Mejia, right, makes the tag at the plate on Tampa Bay Rays' Steven Souza Jr. who attempted to score on a runner's fielders' choice in the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 27, 2017, in Minneapolis. AP Photo/Jim Mone) MNJM103
  2. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  3. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  4. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  5. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]