The Tampa Bay Rays made more roster decisions on Thursday, announcing that Austin Pruitt will make the team as a reliever. Pruitt, who has never pitched at the big league level, was added to the 40-man roster for the first time this offseason.
With Pruitt added to the 25-man roster, Jaime Schultz and Chase Whitley were both optioned to Triple-A Durham. Manager Kevin Cash said Schultz — and his high-octane fastball — will be a reliever with the Bulls, while Whitley is expected to start, although he could be called up to pitch in relief.
Pruitt walked just 27 and fanned 149 in 162-2/3 innings with Durham last seas0n, earning him a spot on the All-Star roster. The right-hander was thrilled by the decision:
Im definitely surprised. This is an absolute dream come true. I can’t believe this is going on.
(Audio Courtesy of Rays Radio)
As of now, it appears the six relievers who will break camp with the Rays on Opening Day are:
Rays manager Kevin Cash said the team will make its final decisions on the remaining bullpen spot on Friday or Saturday, with Jumbo Diaz likely to be the final choice if the Rays don’t make any other additions from outside. As we noted last night Nick Franklin, Daniel Robertson, Peter Bourjos and Mallex Smith are competing for the final three bench spots.
You’re invited to Opening Day with Baseball Forever
From the official press release:
Please join us this Sunday, April 2 – Tampa Bay Rays Opening Day – at the official Baseball Forever tent set up at Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Wear your Baseball Forever gear, share your Tampa Bay Rays pride and spread the word to keep the Rays in St. Pete. Opening Day draws a big crowd of enthusiastic fans – a timely opportunity to reach people who may not be aware of the initiative.
Thank you all for your support. See you Sunday! #RaysUp #BaseballForever
More information at www.baseballforever.com