The Rays announced Thursday that they’ve designated righty Kevin Herget for assignment. His spot on the 40-man roster will go to infielder/outfielder Miles Mastrobuoni, whose selection to the Major League roster (covered here this morning) is now official. Catcher Rene Pinto was optioned to Triple-A Durham, as expected.
It’s the second DFA of the season for the 31-year-old Herget, although unlike his first stint on the big league roster earlier this summer, Herget actually got into a pair of games and made his MLB debut this time around. That marked the culmination of an arduous, nearly decade-long grind through both the minor leagues and the independent circuit for Herget — a 39th-round pick out of Division-III Kean University by the Cardinals back in 2013.
Herget’s pair of calls to the big leagues this season have been well-earned. In his first year with the Rays organization, he’s logged 93 2/3 innings in Durham while pitching to a sharp 2.98 ERA with a solid 24.9% strikeout rate and a pristine 3.9% walk rate. It’s by far the most success Herget has enjoyed in parts of five seasons at the Triple-A level, where he has a lifetime 4.16 ERA, 22.7% strikeout rate and 5.8% walk rate in 376 1/3 innings. Herget’s brief MLB experience during this most recent stint saw him yield a pair of runs on two hits and no walks with one strikeout in 2 2/3 innings.
With the trade deadline squarely in the rear-view mirror at this point in the season, the Rays’ only real choices with Herget are to place him on outright waivers or release waivers. He went unclaimed and was outrighted to Durham last time around, so Herget would have the option to reject an outright assignment in favor of free agency if he passes through waivers a second time. However, with just a couple weeks left in the season, it seems likelier that he’d accept and head back to Durham — particularly since he’ll be a minor league free agent this winter anyway.