The Rays announced tonight that they’ve optioned right-hander Ryan Weber to Triple-A Durham and will formally select the contract of minor league outfielder Johnny Field prior to Thursday’s game. Tampa Bay will have to make a corresponding 40-man roster move to accommodate Field, although that announcement won’t be made until tomorrow, per the team.
Field, 26, was the Rays’ fifth-round pick back in the 2013 draft and will be making his Major League debut when he first finds his way into the lineup for Tampa Bay. While he’s not considered to be among the organization’s top prospect at present, Baseball America did rank him 27th among Rays farmhands a couple offseasons ago, praising his feel for hitting and superb work ethic. Field had a lackluster season in 2017, but he’s posted an overall line of .268/.318/.437 in parts of three Triple-A campaigns (including a fast start in 2018).
The 27-year-old Weber pitched just a third of an inning for the Rays yesterday after being brought up to the big league club a day prior. Given that he has options remaining and experience in both the rotation and bullpen, he could be shuttled back and forth between St. Petersburg and Durham for much of the season as the Rays work with an unconventional alignment of their pitching staff that’ll assuredly require the club to frequently tap into its minor league system.