The Rays announced that right-handers Shawn Armstrong and David Hess have each cleared outright waivers (via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times). Both pitchers had the right to elect free agency, but they’ve each chosen to accept an assignment to Triple-A Durham. Tampa Bay had designated Armstrong and Hess for assignment last week.
Armstrong began the season with the Orioles, where he struggled badly and wound up designated for assignment and passed through outright waivers. He performed well with Baltimore’s top minor league affiliate, and the Rays acquired him for cash on the day of the trade deadline and selected him to the big league club a few weeks later.
The 30-year-old Armstrong worked sixteen innings over eleven frames of relief with Tampa Bay, pitching to a 4.50 ERA with rather bizarre peripherals. Armstrong’s strikeout and walk rates with the Rays have been stellar, as he’s punched out 33.8% of opponents while issuing free passes at only a 7.7% clip. But Armstrong was tagged for five home runs in that limited body of work, with an extremely low opponents’ batting average on balls in play and high rate of stranding baserunners keeping his ERA at a respectable level.
Hess has been up and down with a few teams this season. Originally signed by the Rays to a minor league deal, he was traded to the Marlins and made eighteen appearances with Miami. After being designated for assignment, he returned to Tampa Bay on another minors pact, and he’s already been selected and outrighted twice more since landing back in the Rays’ organization.
Between the two clubs, Hess has logged twenty innings with a 9.90 ERA. Like Armstrong, Hess has been plagued by the long ball, as he’s served up ten homers in his MLB action this season. Despite the nightmarish results at the big league level, Hess has been quite impressive with Durham. Over 35 2/3 frames with the Bulls, he has a 3.28 ERA with better than average strikeout and walk numbers (27.2% and 5.4%, respectively).
Wow, sixteen innings in eleven frames of work?!
I am trying to absorb all of this
He was just interpreting for the bowlers out there, who may not be as familiar with baseball jargon.
Hahaha I am.that familiar myself
I think David Hess is in the news about twice a week.
The Hess Truck is worthy of such attention
For the people who argue this type of shuttling is bad for the players, note how both of them opted to go to AAA instead of becoming free agents because their chances of getting another small payday or two is much better with the team that keeps shuttling players like this.
The chasm between AAA and the majors has never been larger. A lot of DFA candidates this year have done really well in AAA only to be embarrassed in the majors after their call up. I wonder why it’s so difficult this year to make a successful jump?