The Rays announced that they’ve designated right-hander Ian Gibaut for assignment. His spot on the roster will go to third baseman Matt Duffy, who has been reinstated from the 60-day injured list. Tampa Bay also placed corner infielder Yandy Diaz on the 10-day IL due to a foot injury.
Gibaut, 25, spent the first two months of the season on the minor league injured list but returned in early June and made his MLB debut earlier this month. In 12 1/3 innings in the minors this season, Gibaut allowed 10 runs (only four earned) on 12 hits and 11 walks with 17 strikeouts. He also yielded a pair of runs in his two-inning MLB debut.
That said, Gibaut pitched well enough in 2018 that the Rays protected him from the Rule 5 Draft by adding him to the 40-man roster in the offseason. Last year in Triple-A, Gibaut logged a 2.09 ERA with 12.1 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 0.48 HR/9 and an even 47 percent ground-ball rate. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that the Rays have already heard from clubs expressing interest in Gibaut, and they expect to be able to trade the righty.
It’s not yet clear how long Diaz will be sidelined. Topkin tweets that the slugger is on crutches at the moment with what the team has termed to be a bruise, but Diaz is still in a good amount of pain. The fact that there’s no break or structural damage in his foot is obviously encouraging, however. A speedy return would prove most beneficial for the Rays, as their under-the-radar acquisition of Diaz looks like one of the offseason’s best moves for the team. In 344 plate appearances, he’s hitting .270/.343/.480 with 14 homers, 20 doubles and a triple.
The 28-year-old Duffy will be making his season debut after missing nearly four months due to a hamstring injury. Acquired in the trade that sent Matt Moore to the Giants, Duffy’s Rays tenure has been punctuated by injury. It’s been nearly three years to the day since Duffy was traded, but he’s only been able to suit up for 153 games. He’s been productive in that time (.292/.354/.364) and is regarded as a strong defender on the left side of the infield, but his acquisition has yet to yield significant dividends — at least, not to the extent the organization had hoped.