The Rays announced that they’ve designated right-hander Aaron Slegers for assignment. His spot on the 40-man roster will go to right-hander Cole Sulser, whose previously reported selection to the MLB roster is official.
Sleger, who stands at a towering 6’10”, pitched just three innings for the Rays this season and spent the rest of the year in Triple-A Durham. The former Twins farmhand totaled 112 1/3 innings there, pitching to a 5.05 ERA with 6.4 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 1.76 HR/9 and a 41.5 percent ground-ball rate. While those results are unsightly, that’s been the case for the majority of Triple-A pitchers in 2019, as the adoption of the Major League ball has led to an explosion of home runs in the International League and Pacific Coast League alike.
Prior to the 2019 season, the 26-year-old Slegers carried a much more respectable 3.54 ERA through 233 innings at the Triple-A level. Slegers’ strikeout, walk and ground-ball rates in seasons past have been roughly in line with this year’s rates, but he’s never endured anywhere near this level of home run issues in the past. Slegers has a minor league option year remaining beyond 2019, so it’s possible that another club in need of some pitching depth will take a look at the big righty.