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Rays put Ji-Man Choi on IL, call up Mike Brosseau, trade Casey Sadler and Andrew Velazquez

Choi has a left ankle strain, and now time to rest over break. Sadler had been DFA’d; Velazquez’s roster spot was needed.
DIRK SHADD | Times Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Ji-Man Choi (26) celebrates the catch made by Rays left fielder Tommy Pham (29) after he made a leaping catch at the wall on a ball hit by Oakland Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman (26) to end the fifth inning at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg on Monday, June 10, 2019.
Published Jul. 3
Updated Jul. 3

UPDATE, 1:42: De Leon was indeed activated off the 60-day IL and optioned to Triple-A Durham, where he had been pitching, 0-1, 3.99 in nine games, throwing only 29 1/3 innings.

DEVELOPING: The Rays had a busy Wednesday morning, making a series of roster moves.

Most significantly, they placed 1B Ji-Man Choi on the 10-day injured list with an left ankle strain and called up rookie infielder Mike Brosseau to replace him.

Though Choi has had a hand in the Rays last two wins, he has been struggling of late, hitting .152 with a .568 over his previous 15 games. Though it wasn’t clear when the lefty-swinging Choi was injured or how severely he is hurt, the move to the IL comes at a good time in that he could miss only six games - the final five before the All-Star break and the first one after. Choi overall is hitting .266 with nine homers, 33 RBIs and a .774 OPS.

Bringing up Brosseau makes sense as he is a right-handed hitter and the Rays are slated to face lefty starters in four of the five games this week, and potentially the July 12 date in Baltimore. Brosseau made his MLB debut on the last roadtrip and played in three games, impressing with a 3-for-8 showing.

The Rays also made two small trades.

* They sent infielder/outfielder Andrew Velazquez to the Indians for international bonus pool money, a move to clear space on the 40-man roster. The Rays have five players on the 60-day DL they potentially will need space for, starting with pitcher Jose De Leon, whose thrice-extended rehab assignment from Tommy John surgery is about to end.

Also on the 60-day DL are pitchers Anthony Banda and Tyler Glasnow, catcher Anthony Bemboom and infielder Matt Duffy. Duffy, who has been out all season with a hamstring injury, has made enough progress that he may start a new rehab assignment later this week.

The Rays could also need room over the next few weeks for trade additions as they seek to upgrade their bullpen.

* The other trade was a matter of getting something for pitcher Casey Sadler, who was designated for assignment and likely would have been lost on waivers. He was traded to the Dodgers for minor-league righty Nathan Witt, a 2017 17th round pick who was 1-2, 5.32 in 22 games at Class A Great Lakes and will join Class A Bowling Green.


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