Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Rays

UPDATE: Rays call Brendan McKay to start Saturday vs. Texas, face Yankees on Friday

McKay, the No. 4 pick in 2017 draft from Louisville, has dazzled this season at Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham.
Brendan McKay, shown during spring training, has had a dazzling season for the Rays in the minors. [Times photo 2019]
Brendan McKay, shown during spring training, has had a dazzling season for the Rays in the minors. [Times photo 2019]
Published Jun. 28, 2019
Updated Jun. 28, 2019

UPDATE, 6:14: McKay will pitch at least twice for the Rays, Cash said, with his next appearance on Friday against the Yankees, and then the team will decide if he stays or goes back to the minors. There are some discussions about letting McKay hit while he’s here, but he won’t DH 3 days a week as he was doing in the minors.

DEVELOPING: The Rays are turning to the future a bit earlier than planned, calling up lefty Brendan McKay to start Saturday’s game against Texas.

The Rays needed pitching help after covering 18 innings on Thursday, including using Ryan Yarbrough, who was slated to work bulk innings on Saturday.

Related: MORE RAYS: Tampa Bay goes 18 innings to avoid sweep in Minnesota

McKay, the promising two-way prospect from the 2017 draft, has been dazzling this season advancing from Double-A Montgomery to Triple-A Durham.

He was3-0, 1.30 in eight games (seven starts) for the Biscuits with 62 strikeouts over 41 2/3 innings and only nine walks. He was promoted in late May to the Bulls, and went 3-0, 1.08 in five games (four starts) with 26 strikeouts over 25 innings and only six walks. Overall in 2019, he is 6-0, 1.22 with 88 strikeouts and 15 walks in 66 2/3 innings. He was scheduled to start for Durham on Friday.

McKay, 23, was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 draft and signed for a then record $7,007,500 bonus. He has continued to work through the minors as a two-way player, though the Rays this season limited him to DH duties when he wasn’t pitching rather than playing first base as he had. Though his pitching is generally considered well ahead of his hitting, he has improved since moving up to Durham, hitting .265 with four homers and 10 RBIs in 15 games.

With Yarbrough unavailable to pitch Saturday, the Rays needed help in the short-term and chose McKay, which leads to speculation if they will keep him long-term given the uncertainty over Tyler Glasnow’s return due to his latest setback with a forearm issue.

The Rays, though, will want to limit McKay’s innings, as he threw only 78 1/3 last year, missing time with oblique injuries. He already is on a six-day schedule.

McKay will be added to the MLB taxi squad Friday, as he travels south, and then activated on Saturday. The Rays will have to make room for him on the 40-man and 25-man rosters. They also will need a 40-man spot when reliever Jose Alvarado is reinstated from the restricted list, which could be this weekend as well, and when Jose De Leon is done with his already extended rehab assignment.

McKay pitched in one big-league spring training game for the Rays, working two innings against the Braves, allowing just a solo homer while striking out four, including Atlanta front-liners Ender Inciarte (curveball) and Ozzie Albies (fastball).

“It was a different experience, obviously, but it felt great," said McKay, who had played only at the Class A level at that point. “Learned a lot of stuff from talking to the pitching coaches up there, (catcher Mike) Zunino talking about how to attack hitters. … It was fun."

The Rays are likely to add a fresh arm to the bullpen for Friday’s game. Casey Sadler seems the most likely option from those at Triple-Durham.



ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter laughs with teammates during Monday's game against the Rays at Tropicana Field. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times] [Tampa Bay Times]
    Derek Jeter and Scott Rolen joined the list, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are still there, Curt Schilling still isn’t
  2. He is a Yankee icon. One of baseball's greatest ambassadors. And soon, he will be a Hall of Famer. But did Jeter's reputation exceed his actual value on the field? [GENE J. PUSKAR  |  Associated Press]
    John Romano | The Yankees shortstop might join former teammate Mariano Rivera as the only unanimous Hall of Fame selections, but his defensive abilities left a lot to be desired.
  3. Former White Sox manager Tony La Russa stands with his Baseball Hall of Fame plaque while being honored before a game in Chicago on Aug.  30, 2014. [MATT MARTON  |  AP]
    "There was a toggle switch in the manager’s office and a camera zoomed in on the catcher,” Jack McDowell says of the setup he claims was installed by the Hall of Fame manager.
  4. In this 2007 file photo, Alyssa Nakken making the all-metro softball team at Woodland High School in Sacramento, Calif. [RENEE T. BONNAFON  |  ZUMAPRESS.com]
    Alyssa Nakken, 29, a former standout softball player at Sacramento State, will be in uniform for the big-league team, though not in the dugout during games.
  5. After five winning seasons, and four playoff appearances, in Chicago, Joe Maddon will return to the Angels where he spent 12 seasons as a big league coach before coming to Tampa Bay. [JEFF GRITCHEN  |  ZUMAPRESS.com]
    As he gets nearer to Hall of Fame standards, the former Rays manager is contemplating a return to some old-style baseball ideas in his new gig as the Angels manager.
  6. New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran listens to a question during the Major League Baseball winter meetings on Dec. 10, 2019. [GREGORY BULL  |  AP]
    The move comes after the Astros and Red Sox also lose their managers.
  7. In this Oct. 31, 2018, file photo, Red Sox manager Alex Cora rides with the trophy during a parade in Boston to celebrate the team's World Series championship over the Dodgers. Cora was fired by the Red Sox on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, a day after baseball commissioner Rob Manfred implicated him in the sport's sign-stealing scandal. [CHARLES KRUPA  |  AP]
    All Major League Baseball might have to do to solve its sign-stealing problem is look no further than what’s going on in the college game.
  8. Alex Cora was an Astros assistant coach before the Red Sox hired him as manager in 2018, when he led Boston to a World Series title. [DAVID J. PHILLIP  |  AP]
    Major League Baseball continues to investigate a scandal that could include Boston.
  9. The Rays have no worries about Yoshitomo Tsutsugo's bat, but they're going to watch him closely in the spring to figure out whether he fits better at third base or a corner outfield position. [SHIZUO KAMBAYASHI  |  AP]
    Defense remains strong up the middle, but could get a little wobbly elsewhere as the Rays try to figure out the best place to slot everyone in.
  10. Only 29 days until Rays pitchers and catchers report to spring training in Port Charlotte. Single-game tickets for games at Charlotte Sports Park go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. on RaysBaseball.com.
    Tampa Bay plays a 16-game home schedule at Charlotte Sports Park, then comes home for a one-game exhibition against prospects at Tropicana Field on March 24.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement