ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays optioned infielder Daniel Robertson to Triple-A Durham on Saturday and called up right-hander Jake Faria.
Robertson, 25, has struggled at the plate, hitting .205 with 10 extra-base hits in 176 at-bats.
“Obviously it’s a frustrating year to date, but Robbie is a good player,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash. “We kind of gave him the message that we continue to believe in him, wanted him to go down there, relax a little bit, let’s work on some things at the plate.”
Robertson thrived in a part-time role in 2018, hitting .262 with 25 extra-base hits in 282 at-bats.
“We know we’re a better team when Daniel Robertson is helping us win games at this level,” Cash said.
Faria, pitching as a starter and a reliever at Durham, posted a 5.14 ERA. He enjoyed success with the Rays in 2017, posting a 3.43 ERA in 86⅔ innings.
Faria entered Saturday’s game against the A’s, allowing one run on two hits in two innings.
The addition of Faria comes at a key time for a bullpen that has been taxed of late. It was stretched over 5⅔ innings Friday during a stretch of 21 games in 20 days.
Tyler Glasnow threw off a mound Saturday, the first time he has done so since going on the injured list with a right forearm strain on May 11.
Glasnow, 25, tossed only fastballs from the mound to a catcher positioned 3-5 feet in front of home plate. Glasnow could throw a bullpen session next Tuesday or Wednesday.
“He threw, I think, 10, 12 pitches; let it go,” Cash said. “We’re all counting down days for him, but we want to do it smart and not rush anything.”
Glasnow made eight starts before being injured, posting a 1.86 ERA with a 6-1 record.
Solving an infield puzzle
Infielder Joey Wendle returned to the roster Friday. Wendle served as the primary second baseman in 2018, but he will rotate between second, shortstop and third, providing days off for Brandon Lowe, Willy Adames, and Yandy Diaz. Ji-Man Choi continues to serve as the primary first baseman, but Diaz and Travis d’Arnaud also will continue to get playing time at the position.
The Rays signed Cuban outfielder Patrick Merino. The 20-year-old received a $375,000 signing bonus. Merino, who is 6-feet-3 and 220 pounds, profiles as a right-handed power bat. He’s the son of Ronaldo Merino, a catcher who played 15 years in the Cuban National Series and posted a .961 OPS with 165 career home runs.
The Rays rolled out the red carpet for fans this weekend, offering a series of promotions. On Friday, they hosted Pride Night, offered $7.11 tickets and wrapped up their $5 ticket promotion. Saturday featured Dog Day with the Rays and a short-sleeved Devil Rays hoodie. Attendance was 21,598 Friday and 22,320 Saturday.
On Sunday they are giving away Devil Ray fanny packs to all fans 14 and under, while supplies last.
• The Rays wrap up their seven-game homestand on Sunday before heading on a 10-game road trip starting Monday: Yankees (three), A’s (four) and Twins (three).
• With 22,320 in attendance, the Rays have had crowds of 20,000 or more at the Trop eight times this season. They had nine all of last year.
• The Rays fell to 19-18 at home; they went 51-30 at the Trop last year.