Rays righty Eddie Gamboa made his big-league debut Friday at the age of 31, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times notes. Gamboa spent his entire career in the Orioles organization before signing a minor league deal with the Rays last offseason. He had a strong season for Triple-A Durham (2.68 ERA, 8.5 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 94 innings), finally earning his shot in the Majors as the oldest Rays player to debut in the bigs since “The Rookie” Jim Morris in 1999. Gamboa throws about 80% knuckleballs, so he joins R.A. Dickey and Steven Wright as one of the very few knuckleballers currently in the big leagues. Here’s more from the East divisions.
- Yoan Moncada’s debut is exciting news, but the Red Sox need relief pitching, not more offense, writes Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. The Sox have already added Brad Ziegler and Fernando Abad this season, although Abad has struggled. Koji Uehara is close to returning from a right pectoral injury, and could potentially provide the bullpen with a boost. Red Sox relievers have posted a 4.68 ERA with 9.7 K/9 but also with 4.3 BB/9 over the past 30 days.
- Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard met with manager Pete Mackanin earlier this week to discuss Howard’s playing time, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki writes. Mackanin has said he wants to get Tommy Joseph more looks at first base as the season comes to a close. “I’ve got one more month here and I just want to play and finish out playing,” Howard told Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer earlier this week. “So, it’s like I’m just trying to do my time, finish out this last month, and try to keep playing somewhere else.” The Phillies will pay Howard a $10MM buyout rather than exercising his 2017 option. He’s batted .199 this season, although he’s hit 20 home runs in just 305 plate appearances.