Rays send Ryan Yarbrough back to Durham, call up Andrew Velazquez

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell, right, wipes off the jersey of Tampa Bay Rays Andrew Velazquez, center, just prior the Rays' game against the Boston Red Sox Sunday, April 21, 2019 in St. Petersburg. CHRIS URSO | Times
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell, right, wipes off the jersey of Tampa Bay Rays Andrew Velazquez, center, just prior the Rays' game against the Boston Red Sox Sunday, April 21, 2019 in St. Petersburg. CHRIS URSO | Times
Published May 6
Updated May 6

Ryan Yarbrough’s return to the Rays lasted one day.

With the Sunday game in Baltimore he was called up to pitch in rained out, and not much other work for him expected given the upcoming schedule (which includes a stretch of three days off in eight), Yarbrough was optioned back to Triple-A Durham on Monday morning.

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The Rays used his roster spot to add some depth and versatility to what has been a three-man bench by recalling Andrew Velazquez, who can play almost anywhere on the field (and is pretty good in the middle infield and centerfield), and also is a switch-hitter and has speed to serve as a pinch-runner.

Velazquez, 24, made his big-league debut with the Rays last year and was up with the team earlier this season but didn’t get in a game.

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As an added bonus for Velazquez, the Rays this week are playing Arizona. He was drafted, signed and started his pro career with the D’backs, then was traded to the Rays (with Justin Williams) in the Nov. 2014 trade for Jeremy Hellickson.

Yarbrough, who was demoted after an April 24 outing that hiked his ERA to 8.10, will get the opportunity to keep pitching on a regular schedule in Durham, which the Rays will say will be good for him.


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