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Rays call up Peter Fairbanks, reliever who throws ‘lightning bolts’

Acquired from Rangers in July, Fairbanks has worked 10 1/3 innings for Triple-A Durham and fanned 19.
Reliever Peter Fairbanks, acquired by the Rays in a trade this season, has been called up and could make his Rays debut this weekend against Detroit.  (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Reliever Peter Fairbanks, acquired by the Rays in a trade this season, has been called up and could make his Rays debut this weekend against Detroit. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Published Aug. 16, 2019|Updated Aug. 16, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays are calling up hard-throwing reliever Peter Fairbanks.

Acquired in July from Texas, Fairbanks, 25, has worked 10⅓ innings for Triple-A Durham and struck out 19.

Fairbanks returned to action this season after undergoing a second Tommy John surgery and made his big-league debut in June, pitching in eight games (one against the Rays) while compiling an 0-2, 9.35 record and striking out 15 in 8⅔ innings, averaging 97 mph with his fastball.

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In 24 minor-league appearances over three levels with the Texas, he was 2-0, 4.15 with 40 strikeouts in 26 innings. With Durham he is 0-1, 3.48.

The Rays got Fairbanks for Nick Solak, one of several promising middle infielders they had stockpiled in the minors.

At the time of the deal, both Rays and Ranger officials raved about him.

Rays senior VP Chaim Bloom said, "Since his surgery Pete’s been a dramatically different pitcher. His pure stuff is elite and he has the potential to get big outs late in games. It’s been a very fast rise and there’s more development to come, but the upside is as high as anyone’s.’’

Rangers GM Jon Daniels was more colorful in his praise to mlb.com, saying “Peter’s got lightning bolts coming out of his arm.’’

The Rays have an open spot on the roster due to outfielder Avisail Garcia’s going on the injured list. Reliever Jose De Leon was initially called up Wednesday and worked two innings, then was optioned back to Durham.

Fairbanks’ stay could be short as the Rays need a starter/bulk innings pitcher for Sunday and seem likely to call up Trevor Richards to handle that duty.

Contact Marc Topkin at mtopkin@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Rays



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