The Rays have selected the contract of right-hander Javy Guerra and recalled righty Phoenix Sanders from Triple-A Durham, per a team announcement. They’ll take the roster spots of left-hander Brooks Raley and righty Ryan Thompson, who have been placed on the restricted list in advance of the Rays’ road series in Toronto.
Tampa Bay also announced that left-hander Jeffrey Springs, who had been slated to start tonight’s game in Toronto, has been scratched and placed on the family medical emergency list. Matt Wisler is instead serving as an opener tonight, and lefty Ryan Yarbrough has been recalled from Triple-A in his place. He’ll be an option to work the bulk of tonight’s innings behind Wisler.
This will be the second stint of the season for Guerra with the Rays. Once a top shortstop prospect with Boston, Guerra moved to the mound during his time in the Padres’ minor league system and has since had brief big league stints as a reliever with Friars and Rays. He pitched 7 1/3 innings for Tampa Bay earlier this season but was rocked for nine runs on 11 hits and four walks with four strikeouts during that brief spell.
Guerra, however, has been lights-out in Triple-A, where he owns a 1.29 ERA with a huge 32.1% strikeout rate against an 8.3% walk rate in 21 innings this season. Half the balls put in play against him have been grounders, and although Guerra served up three long balls in the Majors earlier this season, he’s yet to yield a round-tripper with Durham. While he’s being selected to the roster out of necessity at the moment, it’s hard to argue that he hasn’t earned another look anyhow with that standout performance.
The 27-year-old Sanders made his MLB debut with the Rays earlier this year and has pitched well both in the big leagues (1.80 ERA in 10 frames) and in Durham (3.38 ERA in 18 2/3 innings). The Rays’ 2017 tenth-round pick, Sanders only had his contract selected to the Majors this season, so he’s in the first of what can be three minor league option years for Tampa Bay.
Yarbrough, 30, was the Rays’ innings leader from 2019-21 but has seen his results trend in the wrong direction dating back to the 2021 season. He was optioned for the first time in three years earlier this season and has since pitched 19 innings of 4.74 ERA ball in Durham. He won’t have an easy task, returning to face a righty-heavy Blue Jays lineup at the hitter-friendly Rogers Centre, but an impressive showing could help him to pitch his way back into the big league plans.