One day after calling him up, the Rays optioned right-hander Calvin Faucher to Triple-A Durham today, the team announced. Infielder/outfielder Vidal Bruján has been recalled to take his spot on the active roster and will start tonight’s game against the Angels in right field.
Faucher did pitch in his brief introduction to the bigs, covering the seventh inning of the Rays’ loss to the Angels on Monday night. His debut hardly went to plan, though, as he allowed allowed five runs — including a Shohei Ohtani grand slam — before recording an out.
Bruján, who played in ten games with the Rays last year after a July call-up and a single game earlier this season, will hope to stick in the bigs this time around after logging a .300/.400/.467 triple-slash across 70 plate appearances at Triple-A Durham. The speedy switch hitter’s versatility will likely help his case. While Wander Franco is obviously quite firmly established at shortstop, Bruján has already seen action at four positions in the majors (second base and all three outfield spots) and has played both short and third in the minors.
The Rays originally signed Bruján out of the Dominican Republic for a paltry $15K. While his speed is his carrying tool (he’s stolen 201 bases in 518 minor league games), he also possesses excellent bat-to-ball skills and solid plate discipline; his walk rate in the minors (10.7%) is only barely eclipsed by his strikeout rate (11.9%). Given manager Kevin Cash’s proven penchant for players capable of covering multiple positions, should Bruján prove himself capable of replicating those numbers in the majors, he could quickly begin challenging 2022 under-performers Taylor Walls, Brett Phillips, Brandon Lowe, and perhaps even Randy Arozarena and Kevin Kiermaier for at-bats.